Have you ever been invited to candy land? This year Richard Mille takes us into a vibrant zone full of colourful mechanical delicacies. Oversized candies ranging from marshmallows to liquorice and candy-inspired watches! The Richard Mille Bonbon Collection, with a total of 10 models in limited editions of 30 pieces each, are no less than delectable horological treats.
But go beyond the lovely palette, and you will see that mechanics is also paramount in these unisex watches. The watches in this collection are based on three of the brand’s iconic models: RM 07-03, RM 16-01 and RM 37-01. In a sense, the manufacture has revisited the existing collections, but played quite creatively with the aesthetics, especially the colour. Cécile Guenat, Artistic Director for the collection, mentions that they created a special palette of 60 colours for the same.
We rightly associate Richard Mille with mastery of materials. In this collection, this mastery is gently entwined with a mastery over colours. In fact, they complement each other. The brand’s prowess in working with special and mostly exclusive materials such as tinted ceramics, Carbon TPT, Quartz TPT and constant improvements to the setting of coloured gemstones, has somehow set the base for the pop-inspired sense of fun that is so evident in the Bonbon Collection. The mind-boggling spectrum of greens, crimson, yellow and pink for example, add to the wealth of shades for the collection.
If you notice carefully, little details make up the beauty of these watches, as much as the striking shades do. Each of these 10 models have some stunning graphic compositions, a range of shades and textures across the different components of the watch, as well as some special details, such as the crowns and some of the caseband, for instance, taking the shape of a particular treat, such as a cupcake or gelato! It is in these little things that the finesse and watchmaking skill of the brand are clearly apparent.
Now, just like a child in candy shop, who can’t really choose between the sheer variety of what’s on offer, the watch lover will experience the same dilemma. There is enough variety….and it is all equally tempting! Take the Sweets collection for instance. It comprises of four models. All have two-tone ceramic cases.
The artisanal skills that you will see on these are Grand feu enamel or work with black-chromed titanium. The RM 07-03 Cupcake, RM 07-03 Marshmallow,RM 37-01 Sucette and RM 16-01 Réglisse are colourful. They also provide texture- thanks to the mastery of enamelwork. So, don’t be surprised if just one look evokes the sensations like softness, crunchiness, and fluffiness! The creamy quality of the TZP ceramic case is enhanced by the varied matt and polished effects of elements on the dial. In the RM 16-01, you will see black in a whole new light. It is presented as a giant roll of liquorice that occupies the entire surface of a dial. A stamping operation followed by a black chrome coating was done to get this effect.
Then there is the Fruits Line. This has six delectable flavours: Lemon and Strawberry (RM 16-01 Citron et Fraise), Blueberry and Litchi (RM 07-03 Myrtille et Litchi), Kiwi and Cherry (RM 37-01 Kiwi et Cerise). Here, colour was of paramount importance. The colour-gradient cases are made of Carbon TPT and are combined with Quartz TPT of a different hue for each model.
Another key element here are the miniature sculptures integrated in these compositions that stand out quite conspicuously from the dials. Painted in acrylics and lacquered by hand, they look amazingly realistic. To enhance their realism, a ‘sugar coating’ effect was achieved using powdered enamel and the fine sand employed in hourglasses. Tart jelly ribbons, twisty lollipops, candy citrus segments, gumdrops and other surprises are positioned on plates of grade 5 titanium that are machined and skeletonised like horological components.
HOT Verdict: A childlike wonder into the realm of watchmaking. For once, we don’t mind an excess dose of candy crush!