The Appeal of Richard Mille Watches
Perhaps you’ve seen tennis great Rafael Nadal wearing one. Golfer Bubba Watson also sported one during his victory in the 2012 Masters tournament. No matter where you saw the watch, it certainly impressed you with its craftsmanship and style. That’s the beauty of a Richard Mille watch.
But why does it seem like only people who have Rafael Nadal’s money can afford Richard Mille watches? Well, simply put, when you purchase a Richard Mille watch, you’re getting what you’re paying for. Richard Mille watches come with decades of history, countless hours of craftsmanship, and oodles of sophistication. Watches like that don’t come cheap.
Keep reading to learn more about all the ingredients that go into making this timeless timepiece a luxury good.
The History of Richard Mille Watches
Richard Mille began his career in luxury watches during the 1970s with French company Finhor, which was eventually bought by Matra. Mille worked his way up the corporate ladder to run all watchmaking operations. Then during the 1990s, he decided to start his own company following a short stint with jewelry firm Mauboussin, which was looking to enter the luxury watches industry at the time. That company became Richard Mille. He partnered with Audemars Piguet, who is now a shareholder in the
company. As time passed, Richard Mille watches eventually became the mainstay of craft and sophistication they are today.
The Perfect Blend of Form and Function
Everyone notices the one-of-a-kind design of a Richard Mille watch, as it looks like something you’d find in a science fiction film. Yet somehow, this unique design is made for maximum comfort and is very lightweight. In fact, the typical weight of one of these luxury watches is 40 grams, or about the same weight as a credit card. That’s what Rafael Nadal liked about the watches, and he helped to design the RM 027. It doesn’t distract him or weigh his arm down during a match.
Richard Mille watches are designed for those who live life in the fast lane; their slogan is “a racing machine on the wrist.” Fittingly, Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa was the first professional athlete to partner with Richard Mille. He put the RM006 model through the rigors of a season on the Formula 1 circuit, and it sustained no damage. Immediately, Massa became a devotee of Richard Mille watches.
The Construction of a Classic Timepiece
The materials used to create the distinctive and hardy Richard Mille case are not cheap, which is another factor in how it’s priced. A Richard Mille case makes use of materials found in Formula 1 vehicles, the aerospace industry, and racing yachts.
Furthermore, these materials don’t only make the case construction very durable, but they also make the movement very precise and exquisite. The choice of these materials combined with the Richard Mille design process and craftsmanship make for a beautiful watch with beautiful movements you can watch in action.
The Joy of a Rare Watch
Obviously, any watch as lovingly crafted with such precision as a Richard Mille watch will have legions of devoted fans. But purposefully, fewer than 5,000 Richard Mille watches are made each year, which adds to their mystique and the demand for these fine timepieces. Under the economic principle of supply and demand, the price of an object will be higher when the demand for it outpaces its supply. These watches consistently see high bidding prices at auctions, a further reflection of that demand.
The Making of a Status Symbol
Since Richard Mille watches are both rare and expensive, they have become a status symbol. The nickname “Billionaire’s Handshake” has been given to those who wear these expensive watches. When people see a Richard Mille watch, they take notice. It’s almost like wearing the Hope Diamond on your wrist. Even people who aren’t normally into expensive watches know the name Richard Mille.
Richard Mille watches also benefit from savvy marketing. Everyone enjoys a good villain, and Richard Mille has become the villain in the traditional world of Swiss watchmakers. Just as the Japanese quartz watches of the 1970s and Hublot watches of the 2000s did before them, Richard Mille watches have completely changed the design and desirability of luxury watches. This brand has capitalized on those
who have become dismayed by the dull world of expensive watches, as no one else has even come close to replicating the unique look of Richard Mille watches.
When you add all these factors together – the history, the design, the materials, the rarity, and the marketing – it’s easy to see why Richard Mille watches command the prices they do.
How You Can Own a Richard Mille Watch: Turn to Joshua Kodner Galleries
Located in Dania Beach, FL, Joshua Kodner Galleries is a fifth-generation auction house. Our staff has plenty of experience buying, selling, and appraising expensive watches such as Richard Mille watches. Our gallery is located just 5 minutes south of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with easy access to both I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. We serve a range of customers from the Tri-County Area, including private persons, attorneys, insurance companies, banks, estates, and trusts.
We understand the great trust you have placed in us as a consignor or a buyer, and we take that trust very seriously. Our team will personally take care of your every need, and we hold auctions every other week throughout the year. Visit our website’s homepage to see the auction schedule. You can also sign up for our mailing list there to keep track of upcoming auctions. That’s the easiest way to find out if a luxurious Richard Mille watch will be crossing our block anytime soon and make arrangements to bid.
If you have questions about luxury watches such as Richard Mille watches, or if you’re interested in attending or showing at a future auction of ours, please get in touch with us today.