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September 6th, 2021

Richard Mille: The Most Eccentric Watch Brands of the Modern Era

about richard mille watch

Richard Mille is today recognised as a leading trendsetter in the world of watchmaking. A Richard Mille watch exhibits the brand’s unique craftsmanship, innovation ability and idiosyncrasy. Every watch enthusiast today adores the watchmaker but cannot get hands on the brand’s timepieces quickly.

Undoubtedly, the watches are exceedingly impressive, but a Richard Mille watch price also astonishes its fans. You are most likely to have a glimpse of this brand’s timepieces on the internet and on the wrists of your wealthy friends. So let’s explore this luxury watchmaker in detail here.

Who is Richard Mille?

The man behind this innovative watch brand is Richard Mille. So if you want to comprehend the brand, you have to know about this man.

Richard Mille started his career in horology in the 1970s at the French watch company Finhor. However, the jeweller Matra bought Finhor in 1981, and this was when Richard Mille began to shine.

He took on a managerial role in Matra’s chronometer division, controlling the entire watchmaking process. However, he left Matra after nearly a decade and joined a new watch firm Mauboussin to assist it in setting up the luxury watch market. But Richard Mille wanted to push the boundaries of watchmaking beyond anything that persisted at that time. Thus, he decided to build his own brand at the age of fifty bearing a modern approach to horology.

In 1999, he established his eponymous company, Richard Mille SA that awes us today with extravagant creations. Interestingly, Mille started his venture by partnering with Audemars Piguet, a shareholder of Richard Mille.

Richard Mille produced the watch of his dreams in 2001. It featured a tonneau case with unique torque screws and a striking six-digit price tag. Interestingly, this masterpiece placed the nestling brand at its peak, cementing its position as a leading innovator of the luxury watch industry.

Why is Richard Mille Watch So Expensive?

Here are some of the significant factors contributing to the hefty price tags of a Richard Mille watch.

  • Craftsmanship & design

People can instantly recognise Richard Mille watches due to their distinctive design. The watches bear unapologetically unique and bold aesthetics. Moreover, all the timepieces are ergonomic and lightweight, offering sheer comfort.

One of the defining features of Richard Mille watches is the iconic tonneau-shaped case. This sandwich-style case is tough and complicated to make, which reflects the price tag. However, in the case of design, the watchmaker integrates everything in its watches to boost comfort.

All watches are hand-finished and feature functionalities that represent the highest level of technical artistry.

  • Ingenious Materials

Richard Mille makes its watches revolutionary and futuristic using innovative hi-tech components. The brand utilises cutting-edge materials that you will not find in the watch market. Instead, you will see these materials in the aerospace industries, racing yachts and Formula 1 cars. However, these elements are both radical and highly progressive in watchmaking.

Thus, the watchmaker invests millions of Swiss Francs in researching and producing such ingenious materials to create its timepieces. They bear a super solid silhouette but offer a featherweight feel on the wrist.

  • Rarity

Richard Mille produces its watches using a complex process, and it takes time. Nearly everything is done by hand. However, exclusivity is also a factor that plays a significant role in the scarcity of Richard Mille watches.

The watchmaker produces less than 5,000 models each year, ensuring that none of its timepieces loses the classic mystique. However, the demand surpasses the supply every year. The brand manufactures limited-edition models as well that elevate people’s cravings.

Which is the Most Expensive Richard Mille Watch?

Richard Mille watches have been manifesting their uniqueness and status for more than a decade. And they have been the watches of choice of famous athletes, film stars, scholars and business people. The ergonomic design, visually appealing lines and comfort make Richard Mille watches expensive.

Here are two of the most expensive Richard Mille watches.

  • Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire - £1.44 Million

Thanks to the tripartite sapphire case and the brand’s rebellious ‘cabled movement’ design, the RM 56-02 Sapphire is extraordinary. The watch comes with a grade 5 titanium baseplate and anti-glare protection case on the front and back bezels. Moreover, the Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire is water-resistant up to 30m. The timepiece retails for nearly £1.44 Million.

  • Richard Mille RM 65-01 - £1.34 Million

The Richard Mille RM 65-01 watch appeals to collectors with its pared-down purity, an exquisite case and precisely finished movement. According to some critics, the sapphire crystal on the timepiece looks like plastic, destroying the luxury essence. However, the truth is that the transparent look makes the watch extraordinary.

Is a Richard Mille watch a good investment?

The answer is yes. Although it is comparatively a young watch brand, the Richard Mille watch price far surpasses other watchmakers. They retain excellent resale value. It is primarily because of the quality of the materials and technology that the watchmaker uses to produce its timepieces.

Richard Mille manufactures their unique watch materials, including carbon nonfibers, titanium, anticorodal 100, TPT carbon, aluminium-lithium, and more.

Moreover, while the brand produces each model, not more than 200 pieces, their value increases with time. For example, the Richard Mille RM 52-05 is available only in 30 pieces and its value surges by an average of 10% every year.

How to Spot a Fake Richard Mille Watch?

Over the last few years, pre-owned watch sales have skyrocketed. This is because you can get your hands on the references that have a long waitlist. However, it also includes the possibility of buying a Richard Mille replica.

And your untrained eyes might not spot the difference between an authentic Richard Mille and a fake one. So how can you tell if a Richard Mille watch is real?

Here are some valuable tips –

  • Ask for documentation like the warranty card.
  • Check for the serial number that is unique to each Richard Mille timepiece. Serial numbers will begin with RM, and a series of numbers, letters and dashes will follow it.
  • Look at the font, colour, engravings, weight and movement.
  • Be wary of the models that have too low price tags.

Keep in mind –

When it comes to luxury watch brands like Richard Mille, buying from a trusted reseller or a professional dealer will be the best way to ensure you are getting an authentic watch.

Related: The History of Rolex in the Development of Wristwatches

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