1 WATCH IN A COLLECTION
Most brands debut with a collection, but when Richard Mille opened in 2001, he launched with a single watch. RM 001 was conceived as the definitive timepiece. Mille constructed his dream watch with little consideration for production cost. Each piece sold for 200,000 euros. Fortunately this gamble paid off. Upon release, several hundred orders were instantly confirmed.
In 2013, Richard Mille gave the world its lightest tourbillion wristwatch—RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal. At just 19g, it weighs less than three pencils tied together. Created with grade 5 titanium and aluminium-lithium, the watch is designed to withstand accelerations up to 5,000g.
When a meteorite hit the Richard Mille factory and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage, they created a watch using the fragments of the meteorite and used it to pay for the damage. The team used the rocks to create a movement wheel for the RM 018 tourbillion. Thirty watches sold for $1,000,000, which covered the cost of destruction.
That’s the stratospheric price of the most expensive Richard Mille timepiece to date. The RM 56-01 sapphire crystal out-prices a new Ferrari by a neat margin. It is a quest for extreme transparency. Richard Mille developed a new material, Aerospace Nano, to complete this crystalline beauty.
Richard Mille watches are so highly coveted that they were stolen from Rafael Nadal twice. In 2008, the champion’s USD 525,000 (SGD 656,408) custom-built watch went missing from his locker during a match at the rogers cup in Toronto. And in 2012, his RM 027 tourbillon was stolen from his hotel suite in Paris the day after his win at the French open.