Behind the kaleidoscopic colors of Richard Mille‘s candy- and fruit-inspired Bonbon Collection shines the technical mastery for which the Swiss luxury watch brand has become known. Those cotton-candy pinks hail from explorations of enamel and acrylics, the polished candy-cane swirls are possible thanks to hand-painting and the frame-like cases (which cast the artworks into relief) are produced by the expert layering of Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT. Glimpses of Willy Wonka, Candy Land and Alice in Wonderland collide for this 10-piece limited edition collection, and only 30 watches will be made in each style.
Unveiled during Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève, the confectionary-themed works were overseen by Cécile Guenat, artistic director for the Bonbon collection. Guenat sought to revisit childhood joy and tantalize with lavish pop sensibilities. 60 colors were developed solely for these unisex watches, new techniques were employed for the “sugar-coating” on certain fruits and even gem setting was toyed with—all to achieve such wonder. An impressive 18 months went into achieving all elements—texture included.
All styles were built around three existing models: the RM 07-03, RM 37-01 and RM 16-01. Wearing select pieces, we were struck by how light they felt—this pertaining to the use of a carbon case. RM 07-03 and RM 37-01 models sit comfortably on the wrist. A closer inspection offers an actual wow factor, with details popping like a candied cornucopia of color. Even certain crowns feel pulled from a candy jar.
At the end of the day, the swirls and drops and every other one of the 3,000 miniature sculptures only enhance the fact that these are mechanical watches—skeletonized in certain instances. There’s a satisfying swirl to the rotor, and the movement is stunning. Suffice to say, Richard Mille didn’t sugar-coat the products to turn attention away from shortcomings within. Rather, the opposite—the design exists simply to sweeten it that much more.
Some of the Bonbon Collection pieces on view at SIHH will be released in summer 2019, others shortly thereafter. Pieces will range from $122,500 to $158,000.
Images courtesy of Richard Mille