There’s a new breed of watchmaker taking over the game and stirring up long established order. It’s the independent Swiss watch brand, Richard Mille.
In less than 2 decades, Richard Mille has joined the vanguard with Rolex, Patek, and Audemars Piguet, something the watch industry probably would never have thought possible. This innovative watchmaking company is making waves in the industry, and they are now top of mind when you think “haute horology”…So, being that we are South Florida’s renowned Diamonds By Raymond Lee, of course we have our hands on a few Richard Mille watches. And today, we want to talk about this avant-garde brand and two special references, the Richard Mille RM011-FM Felipe Massa and the RM61-01 Yohan Blake…PS. We have a pic of a Richard Mille with a Lambo because you know: “Richard Mille cost a Lambo!”
Brief History of Richard Mille
Richard Mille was founded in 2001 by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille. The company is based in Les Breuleux, Switzerland.
Upon debuting, this Swiss luxury watchmaking brand shocked the world with their pragmatic approach and avant-garde timepieces. And they’ve been doing so ever since. Growing drastically, year after year.
They are now regarded as one of the best watch brands in the world, not to mention, the most expensive too.
Since their very beginning, Richard Mille’s philosophy has been to apply the same advanced techniques and materials used in Formula 1 race cars and the aerospace industry to their watches.
The brands first slogan was “a racing machine on the wrist”.
They use extremely innovative, groundbreaking materials and designs never before seen in the watchmaking industry, which is ultimately changing the definition of “watch performance”.
However, even with their experimental, trailblazing, revolutionary methods, they have always shown immense respect for Swiss watchmaking traditions by creating exceptionally complex mechanical movements, all engineered, constructed, and finished by hand.
Richard Mille has earned tremendous respect in the industry, at lightning speed, and unlike any other brand in history.
They are now one of the most coveted brands of watches for collectors, the elite, and famous celebrities across the globe.
Richard Mille is not just brilliant at creating truly state-of-the-art watches, they are also marketing masterminds.
Richard Mille has many friends. They use an incredibly smart ambassador “program” that is varied and amazingly contrasted.
And not only do they collaborate with and sponsor famous friends, partners, and sporting events, they also create models specifically for certain prodigious people.
They have watches designed for and named after people such as Fernando Alonso (Spanish racing driver), Yohan Blake (Jamaican Olympian Sprinter), Jackie Chan (Hong Kong action star), Didier Drogba (Pro football player), Diana Luna (Italian pro golfer), Felipe Massa (Brazilian F1 driver), Rafael Nadal (Pro tennis player), and many more.
Two of these special, affluent people’s RM watches are featured in this article!
And it’s not just about how they utilize ambassadors, sponsorships and endorsements either, the way they price their watches and their scarcity tactics are pure genius too.
Richard Mille Watch Price
The entry price of a Richard Mille is $85,000 and it escalates to models that surpass $2M.
Hence the “Richard Mille cost a Lambo”.
You could also say “Richard Mille cost a Mansion”.
How ever you want to call it, Richard Mille watches are very expensive. So much so, that most people find it astonishing. Some people simply don’t get it. Nevertheless, for the watch connoisseur and elite, they understand that owning a Richard Mille is the ultimate status symbol…The no-words-needed signifier of extreme wealth.
By owning a Richard Mille, you will instantly be entered into the “secret billionaires handshake” club.
And while this might not be what everyone wants in life, for those who can afford it, why not declare your spending power?
Richard Mille is the definition of PRESTIGE, and Richard Mille watches are recognizable from a mile away. It’s hard not to love that.
Rappers, singers, celebrities, and athletes can’t get enough of RM
From Kanye West and Jay Z to Ed Sheeran and Chris Brown to Kevin Heart and Terry Crews to Odell Beckham Jr and Neymar da Silva, many the biggest names all own and revere Richard Mille.
That’s no easy feat on Richard Mille’s part, as “haute horology” usually goes hand-in-hand with “long history”.
RM quickly became the brand of watch rappers want to rap about these days.
Let these rap lyrics prove this point:
Drake: “Richard Mille cost a Lambo”
Offset: “Bought a Richard Mille, quarter milli’ (Richard Mille)”
Chris Brown: “Richard Mille cost me ’bout an Aston-Martin”
Future: “Plain jane, Jackie Chan, Richard Mille You gon’ be the one bust it down, I can see it.”
…to quote but a few…
Drake’s “Richard Mille cost a Lambo” definitely being the one people recite.
Now, a question we ask ourselves is, “would Richard Mille be nearly as immensely coveted as they are if it wasn’t for their production numbers?”
The Scarcity Principle
The scarcity principle is an economic theory that states “a limited supply of a good, coupled with a high demand for that good, results in a mismatch between the desired supply and demand equilibrium”.
Simply put, people place a higher value on an object that is scarce. And with the demand growing, and the supply remaining the same, this only increases the effect.
The desire for Richard Mille watches will only continue to grow.
That’s how Richard Mille is able to sell 3,000 watches each year, with an average price of six figures.
And needless to say, Richard Mille only produces 3,000 watches a year.
Here in the USA, we only receive 800 of those.
And it’s not like those are 800 of the same model. Most references are only produced in the double digits. Even less with some limited edition Richard Mille watches.
So, of course, demand is outstripping production. Big time.
Richard Mille Review
Today we are presenting two versions of the Richard Mille RM011-FM (Filipe Masa) Flyback Chronograph.
We have the Richard Mille Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph RM011, which has a titanium/white gold case and a white strap. And, we have the Richard Mille RM 011 Flyback Chronograph Felipe Massa Carbon limited edition, which has an all black carbon case and a black strap.
We will also feature the Richard Mille RM 61-01 Yohan Blake.
Let’s first have a close look at the titanium RM011-FM.
This is the ultimate elite timepiece, both the watch itself and the wrists it embellishes.
The watch consists of a combination of grade five titanium flanks, and sapphire and white gold cladding.
This watch is part of a pedigree of brand expounding models, the RM 11s, which had a production spanning from 2007 to 2016. Many consider the RM11-FM, the face and image of Richard Mille.
Now, let’s explore what makes this watch so enchanting.
The Richard Mille Felipe Massa Case
The timepiece takes form in the shape of a tonneau. However, this is not a tonneau that relates to Franck Muller, Patek Philippe Gondolo or Vacheron Constantin Malte collections…
Not to put those incredible watches down, but the RM011-FM tonneau case is on another level, both figuratively and literally.
The RM011-FM’s case is bodaciously sculpted, with intense architecture, almost like a high-tech exoskeleton.
It offers out of this world wrist presence, yet it is the opposite of difficult to wear.
For one, the white gold base plate shadows and curves perfectly along the contours of the wrist. Not to mention, it is extremely lightweight. This makes the RM011-FM unbelievably comfortable as it faithfully anchors itself to the wrist.
And the timepiece, although appearing to be massive at first glance, is not as big as you’d think. From lug to lug, it’s only 50.2mm, and 41.6mm from 9 to 3 (not including the crown or the chronograph pushers).
Moreover, it’s not as thick as it looks either, with its 16.2mm height…ok, so that is colossus by most standards, even for some Richard Mille watches, but the actual dimensions end up surprising most people. This is because the form of the case somewhat exaggerates its actual size.
The titanium flanks display a vertically striated, pillar-like form, giving the case an intensified 3D spatiality.
As for finishing, the top of the plate, which is held on by 5-point star-like spline screws, uses a satin finish while the bevels use an obviously hand-made high polish finish.
The flyback chronograph triggers are labeled for no confusion and they function with ease to avoid any nonsense.
The large round turbine style pushdown crown is as unique as every other element on a Richard Mille.
It has a polymer ring around it and it is water resistant down to 50 meters. It’s not the watch to go diving with but it is more than capable of handling surface play.
RM White Rubber Strap
The white strap displays a magnificent amount of articulation all the way around. The first thing you will notice is the ventilation spaces, which allows moisture and perspiration to permeate through the strap. This is essential for those hot days, and for athletes like Odell Beckham Jr who like to wear their Richard Mille watches during game time.
On the wrist, the strap wraps around the wrist as if it was part of your anatomy. It’s extremely comfortable and it does a perfect job of balancing the case…
As for the clasp, it is a Richard Mille titanium double deploying clasp. It uses a leaf spring structure that moves through the underside, enabling it to hold itself shut. When clasping it, it uses a snap action to grab, pull and hold itself shut once you move past the neutral point. In other words, it is extraordinarily secure.
Moreover, it’s surprising low profile for such a strong claps mechanism. It’s so slim that it actually looks like a conventional pin buckle from the side when it is on the wrist. Plus it does have a pin buckle built in for easy adjustability.
All in all, this isn’t your average rubber strap and metal clasp, not by any means…If looks aren’t enough for you to see that, as soon as you touch it, you will instantly recognize. Its feel and function scream “highest quality, ever”.
Moving to the face of the watch, you’ll see there are two sapphires. These are cambered sapphire, as is the display caseback, which is incredibly expensive. There’s no cutting cost with Richard Mille, everything is grandiosely ordained.
Moving in beyond the first layer of cambered sapphire, you will see a carbon fiber composite outboard, which holds luminescent indices and a tachymeter scale.
From there, the next layer of cambered sapphire is the foundation for all the numerals and the sub-registers for the chronograph.
Take note of the 60 minute sub-register, you gotta love that special touch from Richard Mille.
Furthermore, there is a double digit skeletonized date display and there is an annual calendar with the month placed in-between the 4 and 5 o’clock position.
All in all the dial is incredibly deep and stunningly open. The face is absolutely transparent, allowing you to see just how technical Richard Mille is. And as with the tonneau case, the skeletonize dial is utterly and iconically Richard Mille.
The movement is completely open for everything to see the mastery of Richard Mille.
The plates and the bridges are grade five titanium, the rotor bearings are ceramic, at the variable geometry winglets are white gold, and the outboard comprises of a tungsten carbide mass.
Something incredibly special that we want to touch on is how the winglets of the variable-geometry rotor automatically alter their position based on your activities. Essentially this allows it to be able to increase or decrease winding efficiency. Thus, it can make the movement geared towards boardroom dwellers or the person of action.
What’s more, the complete skeletonization of both the rotor and bridges allows you too see way more of the movement than other automatic calibre exhibition casebacks.
All in all, it’s clear Richard Mille has nothing to hide and everything to show. They make it clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are the next level in haute horology.
Note: The RM011-FM has a 50-55 hour power reserve.
RM 61-01 Yohan Blake
Designed for Olympic medallist and the second fastest man in the 100m and 200m sprint, the RM 61-01 Manual Winding Yohan Blake is the non-tourbillon version of the flagship Yohan Blake watch.
They call it the “Baby Blake”.
The colors represent the Jamaican flag, which is the country where Yohan Blake is from and who he represents during races.
RM 61-01 Case
It has a black carbon case, with a green inner bezel, a yellow upper flange made from anodized aluminum, and 2 yellow and green bridges that cross over the skeletonized dial and movement.
The case is created from black TZP ceramic. This ceramic is incredibly tough and it has a low density, so not only is it extremely scratch-resistant, but it is also ultra-light and it has a low thermal conductivity coefficient.
The TZP has a striking finish, with its blasted and hand polished anglage coupled with a caseband crafted from lightweight and highly resilient Carbon TPT®.
The tonneau case has an asymmetrical, aerodynamic shape. And although its distinct look is sublimely cool, it also has purpose…it prevents the crown from rubbing against the sprinter’s wrist.
You’ll also notice the watch has large crown protectors, giving the watch complete security during sports and other high impact activities.
Inside the RM 61-01 Yohan Blake, and completely visible from the front and back, is the calibre RMUL2, which is the same movement utilized in the RM055 Bubba Waston.
This fully skeletonized manually wound machine posses 55 hours of power reserve thanks to a double barrel system that increases torque stability through the reduction of pressure and friction on its gears.
The thin bridges create an opening to show every single technical element of the movement, which weighs a mind-blowing 4.3 grams.
And while the movement is profoundly light, it is the opposite of fragile.
What’s more, the calibre RMUL2 highlights Richard Mille’s standard superlative finishing:
- Bridges and baseplate made in grade 5 titanium and coated with black PVD.
- Hand polished bevelled angles.
- Straight grained finish on steel parts.
- Wet sanded by hand finishing on titanium parts.
- Burnished pivots.
- Screw slots and screws bevelled and polished.
The movement appears to be uber-modern and technical, which it is, but it also employs traditional haute horology, just with a wonderfully modern rendition.
Where to Buy Richard Mille Watches in Boca Raton?
See our full sales listing for the Richard Mille RM011-FM – (price: $140,000…because, you know, “Richard Mille cost a Lambo”).
If you are interested in purchasing the RM 61-01, contact us for pricing.
Also, feel free to ask us about other Richard Mille watches that we have available.
What’s your favorite Richard Mille watch? Let us know in the comments below.