Richard Mille

Tonie Ong

While women have their necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and brooches, men have watches. Through the years, one of the most luxurious pieces of jewelry a man has in his possession is a high-quality wristwatch. More than just necessity, it’s a status symbol of his wealth and power. While other people have multitudes of accessories to show how luxurious their lifestyle is, some only need an elegant wristwatch to prove that one is a member of the upper class. Watches have become such prized possessions that they’re worn, by many people, practically everywhere all the time by the wearer—a testament to its ultimate value.

Some of the most beloved jewellers in the last century have all dabbled into watchmaking. The likes of Cartier, Harry Winston, and Tiffany’s offer their own roster of quality timepieces that are worth every bit as their diamond-encrusted items. However, there are some brands whose main goal is to produce the best watches with the utmost quality for the upscale client. Their brand identity is all about timepiece and producing them to the pinnacles of sophistication and utmost elegance. One of them is Richard Mille, whose experimental touch on watches have made them stand out for a long time.

Richard Mille Watch Reviews

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A watchmaker’s journey

Richard Mille RM 011 RED TPT QUARTZ

Richard Mille is a French watchmaker who was born on February 13, 1951. In 1974, he started his career by working for a local watchmaker, starting out as an apprentice and learning all the tricks of his trade. He then got hired by Matra as a manager of their watchmaking business when they bought the local shop where Mille worked for. Matra was eventually acquired by Japanese brand Seiko, and Mille left the company in 1992. He then partnered up with jewelry firm Mauboussin to create a new watchmaking business, leading to the foundation of his eponymous company in 1999.

The company’s headquarters is in Les Breuleux, a small town in Switzerland known for the craft of watchmaking. Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet is the company’s technological partner, who helps develop the brand’s more technical and advanced products, of which they’ve become known for through the years. Although luxury watches are often all about clean faces and minimalist designs, Richard Mille items are all about presenting the inner workings of a timepiece. They present all the bits and bobs into what operates watches and push them into the forefront, replacing what is usually a timeless face into an interesting image of a watch.

Prominent products and relationship with sports

Richard Mille McLaren-Honda Formula 1
Richard Mille Announces 10-Year Partnership With McLaren-Honda Formula 1. Photo: abtw

Because of such a unique approach to luxury watches, Richard Mille has become some of the most famous brands in the business, coming up with best selling items that are still widely-popular to this day. Their first ever piece was the RM 001, a transparent face framed by thick silver metal and fine leather straps. It was one of the first times that a luxury watch presented the inner workings of such a gadget, instead of a diamond-encrusted face. Another of their bestsellers is Tourbillon RM 008, which was one of the first to feature the split-second chronograph on their outward designs. It comes available with blue sapphires for that elegant yet colorful look.

Richard Mille is also one of the many brands that have formed a special relationship with sports. With race car driving in particular, a lot of their technicalities and operatives in their watches are found in some Formula 1 cars. The brand has also sponsored numerous athletes in their sports endeavour, providing for them the very best timepieces in their roster. They sponsor Formula 1 drivers such as Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, and Stoffel Vandoorne, among many others. Sprinters Yohan Blake from Jamaica and Wayde Van Niekerk from South Africa are also sponsored by Richard Mille.  

Modern muses

Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph
Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph. Photo: Monochrome Watches

Richard Mille has one of the most star-studded rosters of muses for their advertising. More than just ordinary fashion models to endorse their items, they’ve gotten some of the most prominent names in the world.  For their Asian market, they’ve gotten the likes of actress Michelle Yeoh, action star Jackie Chan, and Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Prawit Wongsuwan. In Hollywood, they’ve got stars like Sylvester Stallone, Natalie Portman, and singer Pharrell Williams to front their campaigns. In an effort to prove that they really are embraced by the mega-rich, they’ve also gotten billionaires like Tom Perkins and  Russian oligarch Dmitry Peskov to put in a good word or two about their products.

Oftentimes, people forget that what makes a piece luxurious is the hard work that produced them, and this is what Richard Mille wants to remind through their timepieces. By showcasing the inner workings of a watch, they’re presenting the intricacies and technicalities needed to produce their high-quality items. However, they still incorporate luxury their own way, by inserting beautiful gemstones and diamonds to still make their watcher worth their hefty price points. Now, Richard Mille is one of the premier watchmaking companies in the world.

Richard Mille's boutique in Bal Harbour.
Richard Mille’s boutique in Bal Harbour. Photo: hauteliving

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