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Why Is Richard Mille Brand So Expensive?

The latest Richard Mille watches, the RM 56–02 Tourbillon Sapphire costs over $2 million! Shocking right? Well, that is why we are here. Should we say that the curved surfaces, the triple-decker cases, and robust movements more than account for this price? A dive into the Richard Mille brand will tell us more. Generally, luxury watchmakers mostly have a record of technical feats and groundbreaking designs. Richard Mille watches also have theirs. Over time, the Richard Mille brand continues to make waves all over the luxury watchmaking world. This is even as it only came into the scene barely two decades ago. Truly, the Richard Mille brand is a relatively new member of the luxury watch industry. Yet, the dexterity the brand portrays evokes a sense of creativity and peculiarity. Hence, all over the world of high-end timepieces, these Richard Mille watches are very distinct. Moreover, the Richard Mille brand efficiently sets the defining boundary between luxury design and aesthetic brilliance. That is one thing you can see in their array of outstanding timepieces.  To get more insight on the brand’s view, check out Richard Mille’s own words. When asked about the content and motive behind the design of his watches, he says: “I want people who see my watches to go, ‘Wow!’ And the more they look at them, the more they go into it, the more I want them to say, ‘Wow!’ I work on a razor blade between gimmickry and amazement.” Considering this purpose, it’s no shock that Richard Mille watches carry this incredibly high price tag. With the low-end watches costing over $50,000. And it runs up to millions of dollars.

The Expensive Nature Of The Quality Richard Mille Watches 

A good example is the RM 35–2 Automatic Rafael Nadal. This timepiece retails for $135,000. Generally, the watch sets Richard Mille’s words into motion. The watch delivers both luxury elegance and durable output at the fore of the technical composition. As we mentioned earlier, another example is the new RM 56–02 Tourbillon Sapphire that costs over $2 million. The RM 56-02 comes with a case created from sapphire and the beautiful, lightweight quality of a tourbillon watch. Furthermore, the Richard Mille brand is quite well-known for its sports sponsorships. This stretches from men’s tennis to Formula 1. However, it’s not only about these celebrity endorsements. When you take a glance at the photos of these luxury Richard Mille watches, you can see them for yourself. The first is technical mastery. Then, there is the sense of style that shines through their structure and composition. Overall, what exactly makes Richard Mille watches this expensive? In this text, we take a close look at the process and components that justify the value of these luxury watches. 

Into The World Of The Richard Mille Brand

The Richard Mille brand is an eponymous watchmaking company. Therefore, to understand the man means you already know what the brand is about.  The journey for Richard Mille began in the 1970s with Finhor. Finhor was a French watchmaking firm at the time. Following the purchase of this local company by Matra in 1981, Mille climbed up the hierarchy. In no time, he was the Manager of the company’s whole watchmaking system. However, Mille left Matra’s watchmaking operations after its purchase by Seiko. This came a decade later. After his departure, he began to produce watches for Mauboussin. This is another jewelry company that only recently began to produce luxury timepieces. Another seven years later, Richard Mille eventually launched his own brand. He did this in collaboration with a popular watchmaker, Audemars Piguet.

Evolution Of The Richard Mille Brand

The description of the RM001 from the Richard Mille website reads thus: “In 2001 the RM 001 marked the beginning of a new era in watchmaking. Thus, the first Richard Mille watch was born, whose release revolutionized the world of fine watchmaking.” So, we can conclude that Richard Mille had approximately three decades of watchmaking experience. So, by the time he launched his own watchmaking brand, before the new millennium, he wasn’t a novice. The Richard Mille brand displays exceptional technical mastery and a good grasp of the luxury appearance. More so, Richard Mille introduced his first timepiece barely two years after launching his company. This was the RM001 released in 2001. The RM-001 is a tourbillon watch with a design that brings watchmaking to as far forward as the 21st century. Clearly, one aspect of the charm of Richard Mille watches is the high-profile endorsements it enjoys. The brand has celebrities like Jackie Chan and Natalie Portman, as well as athlete sponsorships. Also, there are Formula One drivers and even Spanish tennis star, Rafael Nadal. From 2001 till date, Richard Mille continues to release tons of watch versions. The latest $2 million watches even took the luxury world by storm only a few years ago. As it stands, many watch lovers wonder why Richard Mille watches are so expensive. Keep reading to find out.

The Major Components of Richard Mille Watches

Although the Richard Mille brand enjoys celebrity endorsements, that is not why their watches are expensive. The reason for the price tag of Richard Mille watches actually is in the major components of their watches. When you check out the styling, the materials, even the technical beauty of the movement, you will understand why. Richard Mille explains it this way: “I think the time is ripe for a return to the refinement of lifestyle that the pocket watch embodies. A personal pleasure that you know you have in your pocket, which requires an elegant gesture to use and show to others.”
  • Design Of Richard Mille Watches

One can easily notice a Richard Mille timepiece. Generally, if what you see seems like a blend between a Formula 1 race car and a high-end wristwatch, that’s it! Meanwhile, this peculiar appearance continues to assist the fast-rise of the Richard Mille brand.
  • Materials Used In Richard Mille Watches

Richard Mille is well-known for employing unusual case and base plate materials. You might find materials like hardened ceramic, carbon nanotubes, and gold fused with carbon. With all of these materials, the brand brings stability and durability to your wrist.
  • Movements Used In Richard Mille Watches

More so, Richard Mille watches commonly feature a tourbillon, a rotating cage. These two generate a fresh degree of ingenious refinement to the escapement. With these movements, you have a range of unique materials like a hybrid of titanium.

A Deeper Look Into Why Richard Mille Watches Are Expensive 

  • The Case of Richard Mille watches

Our first stop through the components of Richard Mille watches is the case. Here, we refer specifically to the tonneau-shaped case that helped Richard Mille establish itself.  When it all began, there were just three metals that helped in the production of cases. These were titanium, white gold, and red gold. Back then, there was close to zero difference in the cost of one watch featuring each of the metal options. To honor the homeland of Rafael Nadal, Richard Mille introduced the titanium skeletonized bridges. This element appeared in the Richard Mille RM 27-03 timepiece. It had a design that looks like the horns of a bull. And, the tourbillon signifies the head. Moreover, the sandwich-style Richard Mille watch case remains one of the most expensive cases. This case type is also difficult to produce. It combines three decks (the front and back bezels and the middle area. All of these are curved decks. More so, there are no flat coverings to make machining simpler. Plus, all these three curved surfaces must fit jointly to less than a 100th of a millimeter. That is the only way they can prevent moisture or dust from entering the wristwatch
  • The Presence Of Revolutionary And High-tech Materials In These Timepieces

Then, we stop next at Richard Mille’s iconic inclusions. The brand now uses case and base plate materials that are typically employed in the productions of Formula 1 cars. Some other materials help in sectors like aerospace and the production of racing yachts. Additionally, these materials used parade leading-edge technology. This is the same even in the industries that exist beyond watchmaking. Moreover, these metals and materials are not only new in terms of makeup. In fact, before now, that they are tools fit for use in watchmaking was unknown.  With the number of years and investments of millions of Swiss francs, Richard Mille’s efforts pay off. All of these help him to understand these materials and the best ways to use them in his timepieces.   In addition, this manufacturer takes cutting-edge technology into the very strap of Richard Mille watches. Presently, the latest Carbon TPT strap is only available as a part of the women’s RM 07 01. This timepiece features this exact material.  Meanwhile, the creation of this 200-part bracelet took 13 months. And, it has a total weight of just 29 grams. Other materials used include:
  • Silicon nitride
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Perfluoroelastomer 
  • Toughened ceramic
  • Gold fused with carbon and quartz
  • NTPT® carbon (used formerly for the sails of racing yachts)
  • Other alchemist fantasies
All of these come together to offer the timepieces a distinctive patina and remarkable resilience. Furthermore, a series of real-life crash tests performed on the watches by the brand’s stable of athletes adds to the prestige. Athletes like Bubba Watson and the Spanish heptathlete, Maria Vicente tried out these timepieces recently.  So, you can understand now why those zeros in the price tag are there. 
  • The Use Of 21st-century Revolutionary Movements

When we take away the cases, then, we consider the movements inside these Richard Mille watches. These movements usually go through extensive remodeling. More so, they come coated in materials that are unique in the world of high-end watchmaking.  The Richard Mille brand did not use elements from the classical world of Geneva stripes and perlage decorations. This watchmaker features movements that come coated in Titalyt or PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition).  Mostly, the parts of these movements are a mixture of titanium with additional materials. It is also true that these movements take Richard Mille’s committed team of watchmakers years to perfect. For instance, with a cost of $2.2 million is the high-tech wizardry loaded into the Richard Mille RM 56-02. This sapphire tourbillon watch reveals its elegance through the explicit sapphire crystal case that houses it. Also, this timepiece features a revolutionary cable-suspended movement.  Note: This timepiece is not a one-off. This is true even though 10 models vanished shortly after its release. Another instance is with the RM018 Boucheron. Here, the gear train features components of wheels. These wheels are products of a semi-precious gem. These gems sit pretty within a heated brass environment. Then, it gets fixed as the heat of the brass reduces.  Overall, the research that goes into the creation of these innovations takes years. It also requires the efforts of enthusiastic and committed teams of micro engineers and watchmakers.
  • The Similarity To Formula One Vehicles

Richard Mille watches carry a close similarity to Formula One vehicles. Check out their cutting-edge usage of material science and you will be stunned. The brand mixes hand finishing with outstanding mechanics. And, this ends with a necessary highly limited output. More so, the similarity Richard Mille watches shares with Formula 1 vehicles remains a major factor in its pricing. That likeness you see between a Formula One car and a Richard Mille timepiece is what excuses the expensive price tag.  We can say that Richard Mille watches are the most expensive racing machines you can wear on the wrist. That is another attribute these timepieces share with a Formula one car. You also find a lot of these similarities in the various parts of these timepieces you can find on Formula One vehicles. Richard Mille improves timekeeping with the best pattern of the technical and aesthetic mixture.


Richard Mille will remain that new kid on the block that takes the whole neighborhood by storm. This is one watchmaker that employs his wealth of experience in producing exceptional pieces. In the world of luxury timepieces, these Richard Mille watches are unique. Overall, we pointed out all of the reasons for the high cost of a Richard Mille watch. From all of these reasons, we can justify the price offered by the Richard Mille brand.  

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