A relatively new brand in the luxury market, having been founded in 2001 by Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille alongside fellow watchmaker and designer Dominique Guenat, it’s fair to say that this remains a relatively unknown brand in relation to some of the bigger names on the luxury watch and accessories marketplace.
However, the underrated status of Richard Mille in the current market does nothing to downplay its success as a luxury brand – with the innovative development and top-level manufacturing of each watch citing Richard Mille as one of the best in the business. But how did such a brand come to be, and how has it become such a powerful player in the market in its relatively short history?
Who is Richard Mille?
Richard Mille is a company at the top of its game in the luxury watch market, built on its founding vision of becoming one of the most innovative, high-quality brands uniting technical excellence with the kind of timeless style that would make each watch a coveted status symbol around the world.
Its slogan, a racing machine on the wrist, was used as a tagline for its first official watch release – with the RM 001 quickly establishing itself as one of the most famous watches in the world. More on that later, but first to the history of the brand and how it all began.
Where did Richard Mille begin?
In a story that removes Richard Mille from the origin stories of many other luxury brands, Richard Mille as a designer brought plenty of experience from the luxury market with him – having worked for a boutique watchmaker in France before taking on roles at Matra and Mauboussin – until he ultimately branched out to launch his own company.
The Richard Mille brand name was first established and launched in 1999 though the first watch was not released until 2001 – one of the core reasons why the founding year is often cited as 2001.
Who is Richard Mille?
The man behind Richard Mille, a brand he named after himself, was a keen watchmaker determined to make it big in an industry that he knew well. Following roles in the chronology division of several brands, he set up his own business – and was quoted as saying:
“For a long time, I wished to launch my own brand. I wanted to create a new business model, far removed from traditional marketing strategies, something totally original.
My goal was to create a new, ultra-high-end luxury segment within the high-end watch business, and I was very eager to know what could come of it.”
How has Richard Mille changed over the years?
Interestingly, Richard Mille was not established for any other purpose than to allow the founder, Richard himself, to develop and bring to life the watch of his dreams. In a full history of the brand from the man himself, it is understood that the brand was designed as a way to breathe life into – and release – the iconic RM 001, which it did in 2001, followed by years of development and improvement which has led to more than 80 models available on the market.
What types of products does Richard Mille produce?
Richard Mille is a luxury watch brand, with collections which span sporting models, everyday timepieces, and those special occasion accessories that are best paired with a tuxedo or the finest evening gown.
In addition to its selection of watches, Richard Mille has expanded its brand slightly to include a fountain pen – the staple accessory for what it believes to be its core customer pool.
What are Richard Mille’s most famous watches?
We can’t look at Richard Mille’s top and most iconic watches and not focus on the RM 001 Tourbillon, which was the first model to be released and was the core reason why Mille established his own brand and manufacturing process in the first place.
The RM 001 Tourbillon was made to be the watch equivalent of the Ferrari and boasts many of the same innovative feats of engineering found in the formula 1 car. The initial seventeen watches which were released as part of this collection sold out instantly and started the Richard Mille journey towards becoming known as one of the most innovative, creative, and luxurious brands on the market.
Other famous watches include:
- Richard Mille RM69 Erotic Tourbillon – released as a limited collection of just 30 timepieces, this interpretation of the rise in erotic watchmaking was another instant sell-out.
- Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal – designed for the sports market and endorsed by Nadal himself.
What makes Richard Mille so unique in the designer watch market?
The standout feature of any Richard Mille watch is its attention to the intricacies of engineering, and the small details which elevate it far beyond any other piece on the market. With a focus on sport and specifically the innovation that inspires and drives Formula One, as evidenced by the first watch to be created and released, Richard Mille continues to release limited edition collections which become increasingly coveted and valuable with every new release.
Which celebrities wear Richard Mille watches?
Richard Mille watches are up there as some of the most luxurious and rare on the market, making them not just high in value but highly coveted in the celebrity world.
Some known owners of Richard Mille watches include Rafael Nadal, Pharrell Williams, Sylvester Stallone, and Margot Robbie.
Are Richard Mille watches a good investment?
As is always the case with a luxury timepiece, especially one with such limited collection numbers as Richard Mille, an authentic and valued watch in good condition can quickly become one of the best investment opportunities. When you buy a Richard Mille watch and retain its authentication documents and certificate, the same model can go on to sell for an incredible profit just a few weeks, months or years later – provided the condition is excellent and you have all the relevant paperwork for a proper valuation.
Visit Love Luxury to find out how best to sell your investment Richard Mille piece, or to browse our existing stock of luxury watches and see what’s available.