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Richard Mille

Richard Mille did not simply try to find his place in the watchmaking world – he carved one out for himself, constantly striving not to take anything for granted, and to make innovation and extreme technical prowess his driving forces.

About

Every Richard Mille timepiece is based on three tenets: the best of technology and innovation, a strong artistic and architectural dimension in a very comfortable watch and the very best of high-end watchmaking with hand finishing. The very origins of the brand are in Richard Mille's desire to use in the world of watchmaking materials and technologies from cutting-edge sectors like Formula 1 and aerospace, with the aim of producing an extreme watch without compromise or artifice.

Like with today's racing cars, function dictates form, without aesthetic artifice. For Richard Mille, each screw, pinion, lever and spring must bear its responsibility for the required security and precision.

Richard Mille timepieces are the visual embodiment of every detail and decision at every stage of its creation and production (even the screws used to fix the cases are the result of months of research and development work and investment, each requiring twenty different production steps). High-tech materials such as grade 5 titanium, Carbon TPT®, Quartz TPT® and titanium carbide find widespread use in the brand's watches. Experimental research into innovative and sometimes revolutionary materials for specific technical applications in watchmaking has led to timepieces such as the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal, the world's lightest tourbillon watch at 18.83g, the RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal tourbillon that can resist shocks up to 10,000g and the high-performance RM 031 - a mechanical watch whose going rate varies between just 0 and 20 seconds per month.

2001
Creation of the Richard Mille brand.
2002
Richard Mille becomes principal partner of the Le Mans Classic.
2007
The RM 012 is awarded the Aiguille d’Or at the GPHG.
2013
Presentation of the RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal, weighing only 18.83g.
2016
Announcement of a 10-year partnership with McLaren.
Philosophy

Richard Mille did not simply try to find his place in the watchmaking world – he carved one out for himself, constantly striving not to take anything for granted, and to make innovation and extreme technical prowess his driving forces.

Watches

Richard Mille ambassadors

Known for his daring, avant-garde watches, eponymous founder Richard Mille is credited with linking watchmaking to worlds beyond horology - a formula that’s worked wonders, if his enthusiastic sport ambassadors are any indication. Friends of Richard Mille include top athletes such as Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, golfer Bubba Watson and tennis star Rafael Nadal (all for whom Richard Mille has made limited edition watches). Mr Nadal in particular has been a big supporter on and off the court, with several watches to his name – one which has a price tag of $725,000 (to see just how supportive Mr Nadal is of the brand, watch a YouTube video, filmed in the Richard Mille Paris boutique, where Mr Nadal is asked to reply with the first thing that comes to mind when asked key words. For “luxury” his response was “Richard Mille”). F1 is another loyal partner, with the likes of Brazilian racer Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean both fans. But it isn’t all high octane sport (as the watches are indeed made to absorb the sudden movement of athletes); Chinese actor Jackie Chan and the brand have created at least three limited edition watches (with price tags a cool $500,000)

Carbon king

With a hint of rebellion at its core, Richard Mille has long used groundbreaking materials in his watches. He was an early pioneer of carbon, a material that he continues to experiment with, namely for the watch case and parts. Cue the watchmaker’s work with North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), a composite company based in Switzerland, for which Richard Mille has co-created different innovations. The NTPT material is found in the likes of the skeletonised movement black and white RM 055, the black and red Asia Ltd Edition RM 11-02 chronograph with an automatic winding movement or the fabulous diamond-set RM 037 with red or white gold prongs set on a black strap. Speaking of gold, the company continues to push the boundaries of carbon; gold NTPT carbon, for example, inserts layers of quartz tpt with gold leaf, while injecting a material known as carbon nanotubes into the case. The lightweight carbon nanotubes material is 200 times stronger than steel, making the case more shock resistant than carbon fibre, and protecting the movement and tourbillon in turn. The case of the Yohan Blake edition RM 59-01 (price $620,000 and limited to 50 pieces) for example uses carbon nanotubes, protecting the tourbillon movement during Blake’s high impact races.

Colour king

Cool rugged colours - from ceramic to sapphire – add flavour to the mix of materials. The iconic RM 035 comes in a range of robust finishes, from a gold and ceramic case to black carbon fibre. Or there is the Japan Ltd edition RM 11-02 flyback chronograph with an automatic winding movement, in an eye catching white ceramic material and blue finishes. White takes centre stage in the super chic, all-white ATZ ceramic skeletonized ladies automatic RM 07-01. Also for ladies is the RM 07-02 automatic pink sapphire on a white strap, and is not for the fainthearted, especially with a price tag of $980,000. And then of course there are the Rafael Nadal models, which come in zingy citrus finishes, such as the RM 35-02 Automatic Quartz TPT Red (price CHF 135,000).