Richard Mille has always been synonymous with creativity and technique, taken to the extreme to a point that has always been the right one for fans of the genre.
This year’s challenge was the Watches & Wonders where, accustomed to pieces with absurd complications, the use of highly technical and valuable materials and the brand’s symbolic extravagance, we should have expected something very special… and so it was.
A colorful stand, full of sweet surprises, was the scene of the presentation of the brand new “Bonbon Collection” , a series of ten models inspired by the classic candies that all of us, during our childhood, at least tasted.
“The Fruit Line” is a tribute to six different flavors of candy.
RM 16-01 Strawberry
RM 16-01 Lemon
RM 07-03 Blueberry
RM 07-03 Litchi
RM 37-01 Cherry
RM 37-01 Kiwi
“The Sweets Line” consists of real candies (to wear of course).
RM 07-03 Cupcake
RM 07-03 Marshmallow
RM 16-01 Réglisse
RM 37-01 Sucette
Our new childhood is enclosed in cases of Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT. Materials widely used by the maison for their lightness and resistance. The gradient coloring is emphasized by bright enamels or black chromed titanium, without forgetting the introduction of the new color: turquoise.
The real show though is inside.
The more than 3000 candy miniatures have been developed together with some of the most competent and talented artisans in the industry and are painted using acrylic colors and lacquered strictly by hand.
The sugar, which makes everything more realistic, is nothing more than a particular effect created using powder glazes and fine sand.
The beating heart of the RM 16-01 is the self-winding manufacture movement of the same name, while the 37-01 have the same caliber as the 37-02 .
These new watches to be savored (with the eyes) will be produced in only 30 pieces per model and available inboutiques starting from spring / summer 2019.
Why Richard Mille Value is so expensive?
The young brand Richard Mille was born quite recently – in 1999, but today his name is known to every connoisseur of fine watchmaking.
The company produces some of the most expensive watches in the world! The average cost of one chronometer is 170,000 US dollars, which is a lot even for famous Swiss manufactories.
The founder of the company, Richard (Richard) Mill, emphasizes that his brand is unique and has practically no competitors in the chosen pricing policy.
Surprising is the fact that the new models of the manufactory are not produced in single copies: in just a year the company produces about 5000-6000 chronometers!
The incredible demand confirms that even the fabulous value does not stop collectors from purchasing a Richard Mille.
However, what is the reason for such high price tags? Unique calibers? Original design? Secret details?
We will discuss in more detail further on.
Unique features of watches from Richard Mille
In 2006, Thomas Perkins, a famous capitalist and American businessman, participated in a telecast where he stated that he bought a Rolex chronometer at the same price as he would have bought a Richard Mille watch.
In this regard, he had a question – why the works of the young brand are the same as the chronometers of the famous brand with a long, successful history?
In response to this, Richard Mille himself gave an interview on CNBC, where he said: “You must understand that this is a very complicated watch in technical terms.”
The owner of the manufactory stressed that the entire sensational collection of models with an innovative sapphire case quickly found their buyers, despite the fact that the retail price of the watch was 2,000,000 US dollars. What is the complexity and uniqueness of the Swiss chronometers from Richard Mille?
A peculiar concept
Since the beginning of his activity, Richard Mille has declared that the price of his products will not depend on the material used.
For example, titanium options without gemstones can be much more expensive than chronometers in rose gold of the highest standard, set with diamonds.
This is a truly unique approach that emphasizes the cult of invaluable ideas that cost much more than the materials for their implementation.
This is exactly the case when the buyer pays for the brand, uniqueness and human labor, and not for inanimate pieces of metal.
At the same time, Richard Mille demonstrates how, even from relatively inexpensive materials, to make unique little things that require careful attention and professionalism.
For example, the sandwich-shaped watch case – the hallmark of the brand – is one of the most difficult to manufacture.
It consists of three ultra-thin bezels with curved surfaces that connect to each other with millimeter precision to prevent moisture and dirt from entering.
Using avant-garde, high-tech materials and completely new processing methods
Richard Mill was one of the first to use innovative metals and alloys, which are used to make space rockets, racing yachts and Formula 1 cars.
He was not afraid to get acquainted with advanced technologies that no one previously imagined suitable for the watch industry.
No one could have predicted how new materials in composition and characteristics would behave in the chronometry industry, but the result exceeded all expectations.
Carbon nanotubes, hardened ceramics, NTPT® carbon (originally developed for racing yacht sails), silicon nitride, carbon-quartz alloy, perfluoroelastomer and all sorts of other alchemical combinations give the watch a unique patina and impressive resilience.
Add to that the actual crash tests performed by famous athletes working with the brand, and you begin to understand at least some of the zeroes in price.
For the series RM 056 and RM 07-02 Lady Pink Richard Mille decides to make cases from sapphire crystal.
This required many months of research and experiments, the result of which was the emergence of a completely new way of polishing the crystal to give it the necessary shape and preserve its natural strength.
And if polishing smooth parts like the front and rear windows is quite simple, then working with rounded corners, which should be absolutely identical to each other, requires incredible care and a special approach.
First, the surface is ground using ultrasonic waves using diamond particles, after which the result is manually polished to perfection.
Mechanisms to anticipate tomorrow’s developments
In addition to the extraordinary external design, chronometers from Richard Mille are distinguished by high-quality, revolutionary watch calibers. Richard Mill goes against the accepted rules here too, rejecting the traditional marking with the “Geneva pattern” and the installation of mechanisms on precious stones.
The calibers of his watches are coated with special PVD and Titalyt solutions, which guarantee the durability of the parts and their flawless performance.
The material for gears and other parts is usually a titanium alloy hybrid with secret components that the company’s specialists have been developing for years.
In every chronometer of the brand, you can see stunning solutions that have no analogues in the whole world. For example, for the RM 018 Boucheron, a gear train was made of semi-precious stones, which were placed inside a heated brass space.
Watches made like Formula 1 cars: advertising and charity
Finally, the marketing side of the issue cannot be ignored. The comparison between the famous Formula 1 racing cars and the Richard Mille chronometers is what justifies their high price. The Richard Mille watch is the most expensive racing car for the wrist, combining hand-finished work with exemplary mechanics. It cannot be said that their design can fall in love with any watchmaking connoisseur, but it is impossible to deny the fact that there are simply no other such chronometers in the world. It is almost impossible to find watches from Richard Mille by visiting a watch pawnshop or a thematic auction – they remain forever in the collections of famous personalities, and become a profitable investment that will certainly be justified in decades.
The brand actively collaborates with many famous athletes and cult personalities – Rafael Nadal, Natalie Portman, Felipe Massa, Jean Todt, Babba Watson and others, who are happy to advertise innovative accessories and add them to their collections. Richard Mill is also known as a philanthropist: for example, 20% of the sale of the Richard Mille RM 59-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake watch, designed for the Jamaican sprinter Johan Blake, went to a charitable foundation supporting children from disadvantaged families.