Richard Mille’s new timepieces take the definition of a confection to the ultimate level and while that term is usually applied to diamond-festooned watches and jewelry, here it quite literally means candy. Yes, you read that right. Richard Mille, master of higher-than-high performance watchmaking, a brand aligned and associated with the leading protagonists of motorsport, athletics, sport, endurance and creativity, has revealed a collection of nursery-hued watches that look as if they came straight out of the imagination of Willy Wonka.
From left to right: RM16-10 Automatic Fraise; RM37-01 Automatic Myrtille; RM07-03Automatic Marshmallow
The Bonbon collection comprises 10 models, each inspired by candy and fruit, a confectionary-themed assortment that’s the cutest expression of rigorous haute horlogerie we’ve ever seen. “Bonbon – just saying the word is enough to make you smile. It manages to convey a combination of pleasure, good cheer and sharing all at once. This collection is disruptive, elegant, daring and playful. In a word: creative!,” notes Richard Mille’s artistic director, Cécile Guenat. I wonder if Mille’s daughter Amanda Mille-Bey (an ex-resident of the United Arab Emirates) may have had a hand in the collection. The savvy right hand woman of her father, Mille-Bey lives and breathes watchmaking and has a talent for making anyone she talks to feel like they’re the most important person in the room – which must come in handy when speaking with the average Richard Mille client. The watches in this collection alone have a starting price of around EUR127,000 (AED535,442), far from the ‘penny sweets’ they are inspired by.
From left: RM Automatic Sucette and RM37-01 Automatic Kiwi.
These watches, as with all Richard Mille timepieces, represent some of the most towering technical achievement in modern watchmaking, and command price tags to match. So, while many brands talk about taking risks in terms of design and technical development, Richard Mille, a mostly masculine brand worn by the likes of Rafael Nadal and Felipe Massa has done just that, creating a collection whose spirit is far removed from its previous novelties. And you know what? It’s worked.
Behind-the-scenes at the creation of the Richard Mille Bonbon Collection.
I’ll be honest. My first reaction upon seeing the novelties yesterday, displayed in candy-themed glass windows and sweet-themed booth at SIHH, was slight confusion – the theme so completely unexpected.
The Richard Mille Bonbon Collection comprises 10 models, each produced in an edition of 30 pieces. Based on three of the brand’s iconic models, the RM 07-03, RM 16-01 and RM 37-01 revisit the existing collections while playing with colour.
From Left: RM16-10 Automatic Réglisse and RM07-03 Automatic Cupcake.