When the Richard Mille team came to Qatar last Wednesday night to open a standalone boutique with leading retailer and partner Ali bin Ali Watches & Jewelry, it didn’t come empty-handed. To inaugurate the brand’s first boutique in this Gulf State identified by the IMF as the richest country in the world, it flew in with the new Richard Mille Automatic RM 07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire – the latest from a growing collection of stunning haute horlogerie timepieces made exclusively for ladies, including this year’s RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur and RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond Twister.
To celebrate the event, the brand hosted a glamorous reception and dinner at Nobu in the Four Seasons Hotel Doha, where 150 of Qatar’s most notable watch collectors, enthusiasts and prominent social figures witnessed the first public unveiling in the world of this first full sapphire-cased piece dedicated to women.
Welcomed by Ali bin Ali Group Chairman & President Adel Ali bin Ali and Vice Chairman & Executive Vice President Nabeel Ali bin Ali, and by Richard Mille, CEO & Founder of Richard Mille and Peter Harrison, CEO Richard Mille Europe, Middle East & Africa, guests enjoyed lounge music from French DJ Claude Challe of Buddha Bar fame, a rooftop cocktail before dinner, and a live presentation of the latest Richard Mille creations.
But the star of the show was the RM 07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire, with its pioneering case technology first used in the men’s RM 056 Tourbillon Sapphire. Crafted from solid blocks of pink sapphire, the three part 46.75 x 32.90 x 14.35 mm case houses the new automatic 50 hour power reserve CRMA5 caliber with diamond-set rotor, assembled on a skeletonized baseplate in 18K red gold decorated with hundreds of diamonds. With a centre dial in onyx and diamonds, hour and minute hands and hour markers in 5N red gold with luminous filling, upper flange and crown in 5N red gold, and a white alligator strap, this timepiece is as feminine as it is technical. Priced at CHF 950,000 Swiss francs excl. VAT, it is not a limited edition as such, but will be limited due to the complexity and time involved to manufacture each one.
For Richard Mille Europe, Middle East & Africa CEO Peter Harrison, “having the worldwide premier of the RM 07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire in Doha with our partners and friends at Ali bin Ali signals our intention of providing the new boutique with a global prominence marked by exclusivity, luxury and excellent service” and reflects “the Richard Mille program in the Middle East to cater for clients with a tailor-made brand experience”.
Located in the Porto Arabia precinct of “The Pearl – Qatar” — a man-made Venice-like community of exclusive islands with luxury residences, dining outlets and shopping facilities to match, the comfortable, spacious and elegant boutique will welcome clients in a country where 14 percent of the households are dollar millionaires to discover the range of sport, women’s, lifestyle, limited edition and tourbillon timepieces.
The boutique follows those of Dubai and Abu Dhabi with new openings foreseen for Beirut and Jeddah in 2016.