Independent watchmaker Richard Mille is known for his pioneering spirit when it comes to materials, utilizing unconventional elements borrowed from high-tech sources to create innovative, wearable timepieces. Take, for example, the brand’s ultra-light watches made from Richard Mille’s signature NTPT® carbon case material. Last week, at the 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, the watchmaker unveils to the world a women’s watch that, for the first time ever, features the material bedecked with diamonds.
The Story of NTPT® Carbon
Since the debut of the RM 50-01 in 2014, Richard Mille has used North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT®) carbon for its timepieces, and remains the only watchmaker currently producing cases made of the material. The strong, durable, and exceedingly lightweight material, which is also used in aerospace and auto racing design, is composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers. These thin layers are also infused with resin and woven together on a machine, achieving a distinct wood-grain effect.
After debuting the first two women’s watches made of the material mixed with gold in 2016, this year Mille will marks an important first with the RM 037, which sets this unique material with diamonds.
Unlike gold or other precious metals that can be carved to create prongs or settings for diamonds, NTPT® can only be worked with special CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machinery and diamond tools. Each case is specially prepared by creating hundreds of tiny (0.25mm) holes into which hand-polished gold prongs are inserted. For the RM 037 watch shown here, 250 individual diamonds are then meticulously set into the prongs.
The Main Features of the RM 037 ®NTPT Carbon Set
Each RM 037 is powered by an in-house skeletonized automatic caliber, CRMA1. The movement baseplate is black PVD titanium and each of the components is hand finished and polished in a combination of shiny and satin motifs. The watch features date at 12:00. Two pushers built to resemble water drops allow for easy access to functions.
Price and Availability
The new RM 037 ladies watch comes in several combinations: either fully set (with 250 diamonds) or partially set with diamonds, plus a small tonneau-shaped dial in jasper, onyx, or pave diamond. The price for the RM 037 NTPT® Carbon Set starts at approximately $150,000. It is slated to arrive in Richard Mille stores around the world beginning in late summer.
For more luxury watches for women, read our reviews of the Hermès Cape Cod 25th Anniversary edition, the Michael Kors Access Gage Hybrid Smartwatch, and the Chopard Happy Diamonds 40th Anniversary Timepiece.
Related: See more watches from SIHH 2017 »