Reviving ’80s Chic: Richard Mille Unveils Three Striking Watches Inspired by the Memphis Movement for Women

Revisiting the nostalgia of its candy-themed Bonbon collection from 2019, which featured a baby pink ceramic watch with a dial resembling licorice and a white ceramic piece adorned with a dial that resembled a twist of pastels mimicking a marshmallow treat, this collection made waves in the watch world when it made its debut at SIHH in Geneva (now Watches & Wonders). The entire collection sold out within just two days, and it’s highly likely that its latest brightly-colored timepieces will meet a similar fate.

Drawing inspiration from the Memphis Movement, an ’80s Italian design and architecture group founded by Ettore Sottsass, known for its bold use of color and geometric shapes. This design philosophy has also left its mark on Boucheron’s recent high jewelry collection, a groundbreaking assortment characterized by vivid colors and asymmetrical shapes, evoking an overall ’80s vibe. For instance, there’s a necklace designed to resemble a Rubik’s cube.

The new RM 07-01 collection embodies this quirky aesthetic with three ceramic models in sky blue, cotton candy pink, and lavender cases. The dials are adorned with geometric shapes like triangles, circles, rectangles, half-moons, and more, all in corresponding colors. Each dial is meticulously hand-guilloched, resulting in a look that defies convention and traditional Swiss horological techniques. Powering these timepieces is the caliber CRMA2, a skeletonized automatic winding movement featuring hours and minutes, along with a variable geometry rotor, boasting a remarkable 50-hour power reserve. The movements, visible through the caseback, are as visually impressive as the dials themselves.

These calibers reside within a compact 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm case. Although marketed as ladies’ models—in Richard Mille’s universe, the top-selling men’s model, the RM 65-01, measures 40.5 mm by 50 mm—they can easily be worn by individuals of any gender. It ultimately boils down to whether the wearer possesses the style to pull it off. On my relatively small wrist, the RM 07-01 felt a tad oversized, and the patent leather straps were somewhat stiff, giving the impression of a bangle rather than a conventional strap. Each watch comes equipped with a velcro closure, eschewing a metal clasp or pin buckle, a playful nod to the ’80s. However, some may argue that a deployant metal closure would have added a touch of sophistication. Nevertheless, there’s no denying the sheer fun and uniqueness of these timepieces. Like most offerings in the Richard Mille universe, they are bound to sell out in the blink of an eye.