Richard Mille RM88 Smiley: What makes it so special?
If you look closely, the RM88 features a bug smiley along with a sun, rainbow, clouds, pineapple and other objects. The watch took over three years to develop, and it has come out great from a design perspective.
Design of the watch
Setting the watch apart, there is a smiley drawn on the dial as well as the crown. The smiley is here to celebrate 50 years of the Smiley illustration drawn by Franklin Loufrani in 1972.
Overall the watch aims to showcase happiness inside its dial and around the watch. This is why you can see some myriad happy micro-sculptures. These sculptures have been crafted by Olivier Kuhn, who is a master of horological miniatures. The mini-sculptures include a blossoming flower, a pineapple, a cactus, warm sunrays, a pink flamingo and everyone’s favorite – a rainbow.
The center of attraction, of course, is the Smiley motif, which is micro-blasted and painted yellow gold. In order to make the watch even more playful, Richard Mille has put all of this inside a white case. The white case sits on a yellow fabric strap giving the whole watch a stunning combination.
The timepiece features a sapphire crystal with AR coating on both sides. It comes with a skeletonized dial and a water resistance rating of 50 meters.
Attention to detail
The dial of the watch has been crafted very carefully. Richard Mille 88 watch even takes advantage of gold to make some things in the dial pop. For instance, the cocktail glass that can be seen sitting next to the Smiley is made of four solid gold parts. There is also a gold flower above, which is mirror-polished and has rhodium-plated petals around it.
While the design of the RM88 Smiley Tourbillion is the major talking point, you should also know a bit about the specifications. Under the hood, the watch is powered by the CRMT7 calibre. It is a skeletonized automatic tourbillon movement that offers a power reserve of around 50 hours. The baseplate and the bridges of the watch are made of grade 5 titanium.
All of this has been placed inside a beautiful case made from ATZ white ceramic and red gold.
The watch also features a function indicator that lets you see the winding and hand-setting positions as the crown is pulled out.
Price and availability
Richard Mille has priced this beautiful piece of art at USD 1,100,000 (roughly AED 4,040,000).
As mentioned before, the watch is limited to just 50 pieces. This means that getting hands on this watch is going to be extremely difficult from the retail stores. So far, we have not seen it in the secondary market. But due to the limited availability, the price premium is going to be high once the watch gets listed in the second-hand market.
Should you buy the RM88?
The answer to this question depends on why you want to buy the watch. If you are passionate about watches and like Richard Milles, then you should definitely buy one. Also, if you are looking for a good watch investment, you should try to buy one at the retail price. If you get a chance to get hold of it at retail, you can wear the watch for a couple of months and then sell it for a good profit. On a limited watch like this one, your profit can range anywhere from 30% to even 200%.
It is also a safe bet. If not at a profit, you will be able to sell the watch at least close to its retail price.