It took Richard Mille, a person who not outside the ranks of French jewellery making, to turn himself into one of the most well-known and avant-garde ultra-luxurious watchmakers of this generation. The independent luxury watchmaker can be comfortably placed next to top-tier brands like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Omega, and Cartier. This tale of Richard Mille’s success does not end here. As far as heritage giants like Tissot, Breitling, and IWC are concerned, the exuberant watch manufacturer is a miles ahead.
A Brand That Was Destined To Be Limitless
The brand just marked its 20th anniversary of its first wristwatch, the RM 001. Richard Mille is himself in his 70s now and has gradually begun to hand over the reins of his empire to his business partner, Dominique Guenat.
Smart, classy, and eloquent, and utterly unapologetic, that is how one should describe Richard Mille as a watch brand. Richard had been working in the watch industry for many years. He would usually experience being held back from crafting watches that had the ability to redefine boundaries. In the end, he could never create the timepieces he truly wanted to make.
In order to work with new possibilities, contemporary technology and design, and new methods for newer and better movements, one needs to have the courage as well as the freedom to explore uncharted territory. As a result, Mille set out to create a watch that broke all the known rules of Haute Horlogerie. His creations became three-dimensional objects possessing otherworldly features and outstanding aesthetics.
From the Ground to the Skies
Dominique Guenat, friend, business partner, visionary. Both Mille and Guenat worked together in the 1990s. He was the first one to join Mille in this beautiful rollercoaster of a journey. Guenat dealt with case creation and watch assembly activities.
Among the people who helped the Richard Mille brand to skyrocket its way to success, Giulio Papi and Fabrice Deschanel from APR&P were of great help. They enabled Mille in turning his sketches of the RM 001 into tangible reality.
Watch Designs – The Curious Case of the RM001
Like all unique and iconic watches, the shape and design of the RM001 also sprouted from the movement of the watch. The shape of the watch followed the path of a rather natural design evolution. The watch’s creator, Richard Mille was actually thinking of a rectangular design, similar to the RM 016. However, when more parts and features were added to the calibre, the design organically expanded.
Mille found the classical two-dimensional tonneau shape to be a bit old-fashioned. He felt the need to completely re-create it with enhanced ergonomics, something that has become a truly integral part of luxury watches these days.
A Success Story That Couldn’t Be Scripted
Here’s a thing about success stories. They cannot be scripted, no matter what. Success stories are written with blood, sweat, and tears. It is what it is. The brand’s trajectory has been near perfect. Starting from the original RM001 to the latest RM17, everything that the brand has done was in the right direction.
One of these steps was definitely coming out of the shadows and being visible to world through the big screen. Sylvester ‘Sly’ Stallone is one of the biggest ambassadors of the brand. He has been seen sporting his Richard Mille watches at multiple occasions.
A Success Story That Couldn’t Be Scripted
The RM 001 surrounds itself around the brand’s core philosophy in every way possible. Every detail and every minute component of the watch explicitly entails the watchmaker’s ideology. Right from the finishing touched on the bezel down to the smallest screws, everything has a purpose. Although most of the recently produced watches look a tad different from the ‘OG’ RM 001, the guiding principles are the same even after 20 long years.
It goes without a saying that Richard Mille possesses a unique position in the Swiss watchmaking ranks. Despite the fact that the brand is a major player in the luxury watch industry, it operates completely outside the normal realm of how watch companies usually function. This is, in fact, the key to Richard Mille’s strength. It adds to the fascination and the intrigue which compels people to check out a Richard Mille timepiece more than once.