BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
Can you believe that the Richard Mille brand has only been making watches since 1999? It feels like it’s always been there, making its “Racing machines for the wrist”. Perhaps even weirder is that, until now, Richard Mille has never made a sports watch for women. Sure, its watches have been worn by women, and most of them look pretty unisex to me, but they’ve never made one for women. As I said, until now.
The RM 07-04 range of watches is smaller, as you’d expect. All of the watches measure 30.50mm x 44.95mm x 10.35mm in size and, astonishingly, weigh about 36 grams, including the fabric Velcro strap. This light mass is achieved by the case material, Carbon TPT, which is unaffected by UV light and is also hypoallergenic. Carbon TPT is, essentially, layers and layers of carbon fibre filaments that are organised into sheets which are then saturated in special resins before being pressed into shape using high temperatures (120C) and pressures (6 bar). Richard Mille then machines the cases in-house to tidy them up and make them presentable. If you’re familiar with how Panerai achieves its Carbotech cases, this is a similar method. It also produces unique patterns on the case of the watch, so no two RM 07-04s are the same. You have a choice of six colours which come with contrasting straps: black, cream white, salmon pink, dark blue, green or mauve. Each case is water resistant to 50m and uses 20 grade 5 titanium screws to secure it.
Inside is the self-winding calibre CRMA8 which took three years to develop. The movement, which is skeletonised, only shows us the time, but it is a function selector, which is something commonplace on Richard Mille watches now. A pusher below the crown controls what the crown does when interacted with. You can choose between setting the time, winding the watch and neutral, which is disconnected from the movement entirely.
The baseplates and bridges are made in grade 5 titanium, which is both super lightweight and very difficult to machine, so extra credit to Richard Mille for doing that. A free-sprung balance with variable inertia and transparent Incabloc shock protection helps this watch resist forces up to 5000G, and the platinum on the rotor is heavy for more efficient winding. The calibre CRMA8 doesn’t have the variable geometry of other self-winding Richard Mille calibres, but it’s still pretty. Weirdly, Richard Mille’s website doesn’t state how long the power reserve runs for, but the watch has a 4Hz beat rate.
Before taxes, these have a price of CHF167,000.
Visit Richard Mille here.