WHO IS BEHIND THE BRAND RICHARD MILLE
Richard Mille says that he was 12 when he completely disassembled a watch his father gave to him as a right of passage. He couldn’t put it back together. Mr. Mille can be forgiven for gathering up the bits and pieces never to be returned his son again. He couldn’t have known then the love and passion for timepieces that young Richard would come to know later on.
Following his business school education, Mille entered the watch industry and has worked in no other. Mille says that while he enjoyed working in the watch business, he often felt frustration over not being involved in the concept or creation of the timepieces. Not that he was a watchmaker by profession, but neither was Enzo Ferrari schooled to be an automotive engineer, as he sometimes likes to recall.
In the early 1970s, Mille began selling wristwatches for a company based in Eastern France. In 1981, Matra purchased this company and Mille was appointed head of the watch segment. A year later, this segment was then sold to Seiko upon which Mille launched a watch division for the jewelry brand Mauboussin and remained there until 1999 as head of the watch and jewelry divisions.
Mille departed Mauboussin to launch his own watch and collaborated with Audemars Piguet, Renuad and Papi for its development. This watch would be built similar to a Formula 1 car, which for Mille meant possessing a powerful engine encased ergonomically to provide the best protection and functionality of its components through the totality of its design including the case, dial, crystals and easy to use crown without any concern for price.
Mille strongly believes that his timepieces must be conceived in its totality and not just a sum of its separate parts. By this I mean, Mille would never consider starting with a raw ebauche, or base movement to which other components are added to provide the timing functions, such as a chronograph module, for example. He believes everything from the first screw to the final calibration must be in perfect harmony, to be absolutely coherent in design and function and that no superfluous function or component be added to provide his watches with legitimacy.
With prototype in hand, Mille attended Baselworld 2000, simply walking the hallways to show off his concept. The following year, the watch brand Richard Mille became a reality upon delivering more than 15 new watches at a price of well over $100,000 each.
Today, the eponymous brand sells annually more than 3,000 timepieces primarily through its 40 Richard Mille boutiques worldwide.
GLEN B BOWEN, COPYRIGHT 2017
FOR RICHARD MILLE, THE PERFECT TIMEPIECE MUST BE A TRUE EXERCISE IN THE CREATION OF COMPLEX, HOLISTIC RELATIONSHIPS THAT UNITE THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR OF THE WATCH.
The exterior issues of comfort offered by the ergonomic design approach and visually striking lines are important; yet they represent only the beginning of a long process in the creation of a timepiece. The interior of the watch, the entire movement, right down to seemingly inconsequential details of the shape and finish of screws, the architectural way the interior space of the case is utilized for the movement layout (which must also be a work of art on its own) is an aspect of equal importance to me. This is perhaps the essential heart of his approach – a view of watchmaking in which every detail in a timepiece is of crucial importance and easy solutions are not part of the working vocabulary. It is only when a complete unity of approach has been planned and executed in this manner that one can attempt to define and achieve perfection. These are core principles that define every timepiece within the Richard Mille collection.
MENS // LADIES // LIMITEDS // MASTERPIECES
21ST CENTURY TIMEPIECES
The first watch to carry Richard Mille’s name, the RM 001 Tourbillon, was launched at the millennium, and that first model was immediately heralded by the press as the ‘dawn of a new era in watchmaking, a revolution.’
Today, many of the guiding concepts and principles established by Richard Mille at that time have found their way into the mainstream of the industry, as witnessed by the fresh waves of inquisitiveness invigorating the present approach to visual and movement design, and the use of new materials in watchmaking.
However, past accomplishments are never a reason to sit still, and the Richard Mille collection has been able to surprise everyone each year with new innovations and designs that continue to push watchmaking to the edges of the possible, challenging norms on every level.
Today’s collection offers everyone the watch of their dreams from unique and highly complex mechanical tours de force created for land, sea and air, to the most exquisite jewelry creations imaginable – and everything in between.
Richard Mille’s success is founded upon three crucial elements: the best in technical innovation, the best of artistry and architecture, the best of the heritage and culture of fine watchmaking with hand finishing.
To experience the full glory of the timepieces, we invite you to visit our Boutiques or official retailers worldwide, who will happy to welcome you to the world of Richard Mille’s creations.
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