October 22, 2022
When it comes to the ultra-exclusive luxury watch brands within the industry, Richard Mille is definitely one of the most divisive. When describing Richard Mille to someone who isn’t a watch enthusiast, the analogy I often make is that the brand is the F1 car equivalent of a luxury watch. A well-constructed luxury sedan will give you a much greater sense of traditional refinement and will provide infinitely more creature comforts, but the state-of-the-art technology and advanced materials of the F1 car ultimately make it exponentially more expensive than something you pick up from your local luxury import dealer. With that in mind, the new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches combine the brand’s signature approach of high-tech materials and futuristic designs with a unique style of gem setting that places an emphasis on the prongs of the settings themselves to emulate the glittering stars set among the vast darkness of the galaxy.
All four of the new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches feature cases that follow the brand’s signature tonneau shape, and they are crafted from Carbon TPT with 5N red gold accents. The cases themselves measure 31.4mm in diameter by 11.85mm thick, with an overall lug-to-lug distance of 45.66mm, making them some of the most compact models that Richard Mille currently offers. Carbon TPT is a carbon fiber composite material that consists of multiple layers of parallel filaments that are created by dividing carbon fibers. From there, the fibers are impregnated with a composite matrix and woven at a 45 degree angle between layers, before being combined with heat and pressure to create a solid block of material, which can then get processed by a CNC machine and milled into the various case components. Sapphire crystals protect both the front and back side of the three-part case and the various components are all held together by grade 5 titanium screws that run through the trio of case components and secure them together using Nitrile O-ring seals to help provide users with 50 meters of water resistance.
Carbon TPT components can be found on a number of different Richard Mille models, but what sets the new RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches apart from their siblings is the unique style of gem-setting that adorns their external cases. Set into the Carbon TPT components are diamonds that are secured by 5N red gold prongs that are scattered throughout their surfaces. Setting diamonds into Carbon TPT comes with a number of unusual challenges due to the nature of the material itself. Unlike setting diamonds into gold, where the metal can be shaped into prongs to secure the diamonds, the hard rigid structure of Carbon TPT means that a space for the diamonds must first be machined using diamond-bit milling tools, and then the diamonds themselves must be secured into the case by gold prongs that are inserted by hand into the into the various settings that have been drilled into the surface of the case. It’s also worth noting that many of the 5N red gold prongs that are set into the case of the RM 07-01 Intergalactic don’t actually secure a diamond, but rather are there for aesthetic purposes to help create the models’ star-packed galaxy aesthetic.
The new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches consists of a quartet of models with each one offering a slightly different take on the same core aesthetic concept. Named the Bright Night, Dark Night, Misty Night, and Starry Night, each of the different versions of the RM 07-01 offers a different ratio of diamonds to prongs set into their case, and while some models place an emphasis on the diamonds, others offer designs where the prongs themselves are largely the focus for a much less glitzy take on the same core aesthetic concept. Beyond the settings, other small differences exist throughout the four models. For example, the Bright Night version features its middle caseband in red gold rather than Carbon TPT like the rest of the range, while the Misty Night version features four red gold pillars on the sides of its case in the locations where the connecting screws pass through the various components. Additionally, while three of the RM 07-01 watches are completed by black rubber straps with red gold deployant buckles, the Starry Night model receives a full-link bracelet made from Carbon TPT.
Similar differences exist when it comes to the dials fitted to the four models. While all of them have a similar overall design and structure, the way that the diamonds and prongs are set into each one is different, as they are intended to correspond with the setting approach of the outer case. Each dial consists of a central section made from Carbon TPT that echoes the shape of the tonneau case and is adorned with diamonds and red gold prongs. Surrounding this central section is a skeletonized area that exposes the inner workings of the movement and separates the central part of the dial from the minute track flange that surrounds the periphery of the display. The outer flange is constructed from carbon fiber and it has hour markers filled with luminous material for added legibility. Sitting at the center of the dial are a pair of red gold hands that indicate the hours and minutes, and since the Richard Mille RM 07-01 does not have a seconds hand at all, the only indication that the watch is running will be the balance wheel moving back and forth, which is partially visible through the skeletonized section at the bottom of the dial.
Despite their differences, all four of the Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches are powered by the brand’s Caliber CRMA2 automatic movement. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz) and offering users a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, the Caliber CRMA2 offers a highly skeletonized structure consisting of a mainplate and bridges that are crafted from grade 5 titanium and given an electroplasma treatment to give them a dark black finish. Along with featuring a free-sprung balance and a fast moving mainspring barrel for optimum performance, the Richard Mille Caliber CRMA2 also includes a bidirectional self-winding system with a variable-geometry rotor. Largely constructed from 5N red gold with a weight segment in heavy metal, the oscillating weight’s variable-geometry design allows the rotor to be set according to the owner’s activity level by adjusting the two weights that are fixed in place by spline screws. The black appearance of the skeletonized plates and bridges paired with the large red gold rotor offer an overall aesthetic that is very much in-line with the rest of the watch, creating an extremely cohesive overall appearance when looking at both the back and front slides of the RM 07-01 Intergalactic models.
Simply put, Richard Mille watches are unapologetically expensive, and the high prices required to obtain them have almost become one of the brand’s defining characteristics. With that in mind, some people want their six-figure statement piece to look a bit more luxurious and resplendent than the usual ultra-sporty models that make up the majority of the brand’s catalog. Combining high-tech Carbon TPT with diamonds and red gold studs give the new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches a more elevated appearance that still stays true to the brand’s signature ultra-modern design language. Just as you would expect from any diamond-set Richard Mille watch, all of the new RM 07-01 Intergalactic models will set you back six-figures, with the Bright Night priced at $243,000 USD, the Dark Night at $188,000 USD, the Misty Night at $243,000 USD, and the Starry Night with its Carbon TPT bracelet are priced at $283,000 USD. Additionally, while production of these new models will not be capped at a specific number, their actual real-world retail availability will almost certainly be rather limited, simply due to the nature of Richard Mille’s production. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.