When it comes to timepieces of unusual, unprecedented materials and extreme all-round performance, Richard Mille finds itself beyond peer. This year, the watchmaker has premiered two new materials in concert with North Thin Ply Technology: Gold Quartz-TPT and Gold NTPT carbon which showcases an exclusive combination of quartz or carbon with gold leaf. For the first time, these new, captivating materials will be presented in not one, but two of its women’s models, the RM 07-01 and the RM 037.
The extreme physical properties of Quartz-TPT and NTPT carbon made these composite materials particularly difficult to machine. Ergo, both companies were required to spend hours developing new machining programmes and researching cutting tools adapted to carbon and quartz.
This new interpretation of NTPT technology is still based on the principle of inserting layers of quartz-TPT or NTPT carbon at a 45° angle, in this case alternating with dozens of gold leaf layers, none of which are more than 10 microns thick. As gold is a noble material in chemical terms, it was very difficult for the NTPT and Richard Mille engineers to ensure it melds correctly with carbon and quartz.
This procedure enhances shock-resistance and also accentuates the specific characteristics of these materials. The watches adorned in these novel materials possess a distinct look and feel that instantly differentiates them from traditional gold or platinum cases. The cases boast an extremely attractive graduation of golden tones further enhanced by a satin-brushed 5N red-gold case-band with polished pillars, a dial festooned with hundreds of diamonds and a centre in either mother-of-pearl or black onyx.
Watchmakers may have just begun to tilt their focus towards women but with titanium, ceramic, sapphire and now the Gold Quartz-TPT and Gold NTPT carbon, Richard Mille offers them the full extent of its imaginative nascence in both extreme performance and poise.