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A clear case of dazzling technique

The Richard Mille RM 07-02 gemset Sapphire gains a sparkling halo of diamonds. In terms of creating watches that are equally strong on both sides of the gender divide, there is really only one company that does it spectacularly : Richard Mille. Even its generously gem-set pieces, such as the RM 51 Tourbillon Tiger and Dragon (most famously worn by Michelle Yeoh, Richard Mille ambassador and the most kick-ass Bond Girl ever to appear in the notoriously sexist film franchise), are resolutely dominant in appearance and mechanically sophisticated to boot. It’s no surprise, then, that the anchor model of Richard Mille’s feminine timepieces, the RM 07-02, has carried its fair share of innovations and technical breakthroughs. The full sapphire-crystal RM 07-02 with diamond-set bezel poses a particular technical challenge, as sapphire crystal is extremely hard, though non-malleable. Attempting to gem-set sapphire crystal as one does with gold would only result in the fracture of the sapphire crystal. The sapphire crystal case of the RM 07-02 is therefore honed from a block of sapphire crystal that has been chemically synthesized to create the jewel-bright colors that occur in natural sapphires. Channels to house the gems are milled into the material, with gold prongs then individually hand-inserted into the channels to grasp the stones.

RM07-02 Gemset Sapphire

CASE : Pink, green or blue sapphire crystal, set with diamonds ; diamond-set crown FUNCTIONS : Hours and minutes MOVEMENT : Skeletonized gem-set in-house automatic cal. CRMA5 ; 28,800vph (4Hz) ; 50 hours of power reserve STRAP : Rubber

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