Company HQ: Les Breuleux, Switzerland
Core Activity: watchmaking
The first watch to carry Richard Mille’s name, the RM 001 Tourbillon, launched the millennium, literally as well as figuratively: the year was 2001, and the model marked the beginning of a new era in watchmaking. Today, the collection’s more than forty models point resolutely towards the future, while holding stead fast to the time-honored traditions of fine watchmaking. Like that landmark watch, the RM 001, Richard Mille’s success is founded upon three crucial elements: the best intechnical innovation, the best of artistry and architecture, the best of the heritage and culture of fine
watchmaking with hand finishing. From the very inception of the brand, Richard Mille endeavored to apply the techniques and materials found in the most innovative sectors such as in the domains of F1 racing car development and the aerospace industry to watchmaking, with the goal of creating an extreme timepiece, without compromise, without gimmicks.
Thus, the first Richard Mille watch was born, the RM 001, whose release revolutionized the world of fine watchmaking. That first model, the inspiration of several to follow in the ensuing years, was consciously meant to serve as the landmark for the brand, an embodiment of concepts that could define a vision of 21st century watchmaking. Within a short time, the terms “futuristic” and “High-tech” soon became the buzzwords, branded about by public and press alike when attempting to decipher the emotional attraction the RM 001 provoked. From avid collectors to specialized journalists, few failed to sense and immediately recognize that the philosophy behind this watch represented a critical rupture with the past, all the while demonstrating a deep respect for the culture, skills and traditions of fine watchmaking.
The source of inspiration behind the creation of the RM 001 can be found in concepts and materials associated with F1 racing car design and development. An inspiration that continues to be one of the foundations of the brand’s philosophy today. A holistic approach to the wristwatch is symbolic of Richard Mille’s methodology: “It is an expression of my love for all things technical, and for automobiles and aeronautics in particular. My watches are efficient and uncompromising, with no use of gimmicks.
A watch designed by Richard Mille is marked by the absence of the superfluous. Just as we find in the high speed racing cars of today, function dictates form and there is no use and no room for an approach driven solely by aesthetics. For Richard Mille, every screw, every pinion, lever and spring must fulfill its mission, meeting the highest standards of security and precision, exactly like a racing car; this notion is manifested not only visually but also throughout every design choice and every phase of the watch’s production.
Experimental research, using innovative and sometimes revolutionary new materials stringently adapted to precise technical objectives led to the creation of limited models such as the RM 012 with its tubular-architecture movement composed of miniscule Phynox tube or the tourbillon RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal, the lightest tourbillon wristwatch with its case created from composite containing large amounts of carbon nanotubes.
Richard Mille’s watches, these diminutive marvels of technology painstakingly produced in limited quantities, are designed specifically for those with a keen appreciation and love of fine watchmaking.