05.10.2022 - Richard Mille

Unravelling Richard Mille: How the young brand has risen…

Everyone knows a Richard Mille watch when they see one… it’s the brand that pushes watchmaking beyond limits.

But few people know the brand has only been around just over two decades – unlike some of its main rivals.

High profile celebrities like Rafael Nadal, Bubba Watson and Natalie Potman endorse Richard Mille and it’s easy to see the allure. 

But with those eye watering prices and limited productions, how is Richard Mille still top dog in the horology world?

How it all began 

When he reached age 50, Richard Mille decided to create his own brand that would bring a new contemporary approach to the world of watches.

And in 2001, he launched his first watch – the RM 001 Tourbillon, with a series of 17 watches. It was a revolutionary timepiece with the entire production of 80 timepieces selling out immediately. 

As well as being aesthetically and visually unique, the RM 001 turned the tourbillon – which was extremely fragile – into something to be used inside a sports watch. 

And like a true showman, he proved it was durable by throwing his own RM 001 on the floor in front of Baselworld buyers to prove it would still work – and it did…perfectly.

But just what is it that makes Richard Mille watches so desirable?

Incredible innovations

The Tourbillon RM 002 soon followed his little brother, making a world debut with two incredible features – a titanium movement baseplate and a function indicator with wind, neutral and hand-setting positions.

Just two years after launching his first watch he introduced the RM 004 Split Seconds Chronograph, which was more than five years in development.

Now the brand was on fire and catching the eye of many a celebrity with other top finds including the prototype RM 056 which sold for £1.2 million at Christie’s in 2017 – and contained the most complicated movement in an RM watch to date.

Pioneering technology

Richard Mille creates watches that are beyond concepts in dreams. There’s the shock resistance and the incredibly lightweight materials to name a few. 

As the brand states it’s a racing machine on the wrist’.

The watches being designed were well advanced for the time. With incredible construction and well thought out movements and complications, no one could compete.

Limited productions 

Fewer than 5,000 Richard Mille watches are made every year. For a fairly young brand, that is a lot of pieces but demand still outstrips production.

But collectors and fans of the brand are roped in by the allure that they are limited items and are desperate to get their hands on one. Prices obtained at auction prove this trend.

The style statement

Nicknamed the ‘billionaire’s handshake’, some of the world’s most famed faces wear these watches because they are so unusual, with ambassadors like ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa and tennis ace Rafael Nadal, adding yet more backing.

The watch Mille designed for Massa (RM 006) weighed less than a credit card and remained unscathed when Massa hit a tyre barrier and suffered serious head injuries. 

Nadal wanted a watch he could wear for matches. He wore the RM 027 when he won his first US Open.

Want your own Richard Mille?

Luxe Watches can help you find your perfect watch. Our team would love to meet you so pop along to our Epping boutique.