Richard Mille's unique gem setting skills

Posted by KS Chan on

With the development of technology, many craftsmen in traditional industries have faded out of sight, but some industries have kept up with the pace of technological innovation and radiated new vitality, such as the RICHARD MILLE we are going to talk about. artisan. They uphold the spirit of craftsmanship, polishing, drilling, inlaying, and assembling. Every detail is rooted in tradition. Every part needs to be cared for, but they have not forgotten to explore and adventure, whether in terms of materials or watchmaking craftsmanship. , Have made new achievements. Especially RICHARD MILLE's own gem setting skills, inject a refined soul into each watch.



The designer is the first step to breathe life into every watch. Cécile Guenat, the current lady watch series director, joined the team and brought energetic exoticism and architectural decoration style artistic concepts to the original technologically full RICHARD MILLE. The design of RM 71-01 was her first appearance. Through the concept of "Amulet Talisman", Tribal arts tribal art inspired by African primitive tribal masks and carvings, and Art Deco decorative art with contrasting and geometric sense, are integrated and fully presented in up to 10 designs The appearance of the RM 71-01 Talisman series watch.


Every craftsman in the Sercab gem setting studio in Geneva, in addition to inlaid with diamonds of different sizes and arranged in white gold or rose gold, they also use pure-color mother-of-pearl and a charming eye Onyx and black sapphire are decorated on the dial. The color change of the block surface and the brilliance of diamonds are embellished, bright and with a little soft temperature. Before cutting out each inlay base, the craftsman must rely on the accumulated experience of the inlay craftsmen to judge the preparatory matters such as selecting gem materials and estimating the placement distance, which is by no means an overnight task.




Craftsmen are the "dreamers" who realize the design into works. Artisans have long been familiar with alloy materials and have no fear, but if you want to deal with Carbon TPT® carbon fiber RM 07-01 and RM 037 ladies' watch cases, it is another enhanced challenge item.


Carbon TPT® carbon fiber material is composed of multiple layers of parallel carbon fiber filaments, and then hundreds of thin layers are laminated through the machine at a 45° angle and heated to 120° under a pressure of 6 bar to make it. It is combined with excellent physical properties. Compared with the material, the fracture stress phenomenon is improved by 25%, and the optimization effect of preventing the occurrence of microcracks is up to 200%.


In order to create a fixed diamond base, it is necessary to overcome the high hardness and scratch resistance of TPT® carbon fiber, and the risk of brittle fiber texture caused by improper force. Craftsmen abandon traditional tools and use special instruments equipped with diamond sharpeners and drill bits. The TPT® carbon fiber diamond setting process used for the first time in the RM 037 ladies' watch requires craftsmen to accurately drill and grind the appropriate size base on the case and hollow dial. , To place the prongs for fixing diamonds and gems. Then, the craftsmen carefully laid out neat and shiny diamonds on the bezel and case, and the matte texture of the carbon fiber case outlines its appearance; and the arc design that fits comfortably on the wrist, shining and calm The sharp contrast shows the extraordinary temperament of contemporary women's independence and elegance.


The mission of the mosaic craftsmen is to decorate watch works with natural beauty. Next, they will challenge the more difficult gem setting process on the RM 07-01 and RM 037 ladies' watches made of ATZ white ceramic and TZP black ceramic. The ceramic material sintered at high temperature has a high hardness coefficient and good anti-scratch effect, but it has the characteristics of being easily crushed by excessive percussion force, so the inlay craftsmen operate more carefully. Each hand-polished red gold prong set base is individually made, and is sequentially embedded in the case with fine holes with a diameter of 0.25 mm. It is also because of the mastery of the lathe for processing the case drilling. , The setting of various parameters must be accurate enough so that the craftsmen can firmly fix each diamond and arrange it elegantly. The exquisitely cut crystal diamonds have excellent clarity, and the shining luster complements the velvety black nano ceramics in the background.


Finally, the craftsmen also took on an almost cruel task: the diamond setting process of sapphire crystal. Due to the high purity of the composition of sapphire, it not only creates its excellent transparency, but also makes its hardness as high as 9 on the Mohs hardness level. Materials other than diamonds cannot do anything about it. Such a two-phase comparison with high wear resistance is a difficult challenge for the mosaic craftsman to chisel out the mosaic space.


To this end, RICHARD MILLE first conducts meticulous composition analysis and uses laser operations accurate to micrometers. Compared with ceramic or TPT® carbon fiber, it takes twice as long. The red or gray gold claws need to be made separately, polished by hand, and embedded in the bezel to create a row of bases to accommodate delicate diamonds. The entire sapphire crystal processing and finishing process takes up to 40 days. It is self-evident that we will continue to try more difficult materials for inlays and continue to challenge the limits of craftsmanship.


In the watch industry, RICHARD MILLE has become one of the most influential brands, which is closely related to the efforts of watchmakers. Every carefully crafted work is the crystallization of wisdom and skill. Every watch is a treasure.

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