The concept of the Evil Eye, also known as Ayin Harsha in Arabic, Mauvais OEil in French, Dhristi in Hindu and Ayin Ha’ra in Hebrew, is recorded in every culture from early history. This universal symbol of foreboding summons suffering and misfortune to whoever is exposed to its power. The Evil Eye knows no bounds except those imposed on it by various protective talismans, such as the Eye of Horus amulet, the Jewish red string or the Irish four leaf clover, to name just a few. Today, a new talisman to protect against these negative energies in the 21st century has been developed by a visionary of contemporary watchmaking.
Nonconformist by nature, Richard Mille seized on this imagery as inspiration for the new RM 26-02 Tourbillon Evil Eye in much the same way as he did when creating the earlier RM 052 skull timepiece, recalling the spirit of Memento Mori with its remembrance of our personal mortality. Both of these technical masterpieces, born in the Swiss Jura, go far beyond the norm to bring timekeeping to inspirational and intriguing levels of expression.
The Evil Eye RM 26-02 Tourbillon was designed and brought to life by Olivier Vaucher, a renowned craftsman from Geneva. Fashioned from 3N red gold, the flames and eye have been hand-carved using chisels made specifically to perfect the tiniest details. The art of grand feu enameling is what gives the eye its striking depth and realism. In grand feu enameling, the motif is painted onto the gold dial using various rare oxides before it is fired at a high temperature between 800°C and 900°C several times under the extremely attentive eye of the enameler in a process that leaves no room for mistakes. It is then finished with several more layers of transparent lacquer which are also fired in the identical manner. These multiple layers collectively create an exquisite visual depth impossible to achieve by any other means. To further enhance the realism of this piece, painstaking micro-lacquerwork is carried out by hand on the flames.
The Evil Eye is nestled at the heart of the tourbillon RM26-02 caliber, a manual winding movement with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours indicated by a red line on a differential-driven, rotating disk located between 10 and 11 o’clock. Assembled using a plate and bridges in PVD-coated grade 5 titanium, which is highly resistant to corrosion and remarkably strong, the tourbillon caliber movement beating at 3 Hz is insured a perfectly functioning environment. The extensive skeletonization carried out on the baseplate reveals the other side of the Evil Eye through the back of the watch, hidden at the heart of the movement.
The RM26-02 caliber is protected from the outside world by a black TZP ceramic case. The deep black of this high tech ceramic—worked at length to obtain a mat effect over the entire surface—plays with the light of the hand-polished chamfers to highlight the curves of the case, which showcases the colors of the Evil Eye’s flames. The case middle in 5N red gold features a torque limiting crown, which prevents the wearer from accidentally overwinding the tourbillon caliber. The tripartite case is water-resistant to 50 meters thanks to two Nitril O-ring seals, and is assembled using 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and washers in 316L stainless steel.
The RM 26-02 is produced in a limited edition of 25 timepieces in black TZP ceramic, which are available exclusively in the 25 Richard Mille boutiques located around the world.