Richard Mille is a joint venture between Richard Mille, former President and CEO of Mauboussin Watch Company and Dominique Guenat, of Guenat S.A. whose company has been established in the watch business for more than 100 years, and Laurent Picciotto, the famous Chronopassion owner. Located in Swiss Jura region, the company was established in July 2001. Richard Mille is an ultra modern independent watch company that employs 25 professionals.
Richard Mille's Story
Mille’s love and passion to mechanics are the foundation of this company. “I wanted to carry out Formula One of the watch industry”, says Mille. As a result, the Richard Mille watch is a breakthrough in the watch-making concept. The sophisticated movement, the dial, fantastic functionality and elegant case were integrated in the cutting edge design concept of the watch. This design concept is also vastly ergonomical. In addition to that, he also creates a sophisticated tourbillon that can be thrown to the ground and survive the shock. Every little detail component was manufactured to the highest watch making standards.
“Our goal is to become a top brand in the Haute Horlogerie universe, by quickly creating a strong and unprecedented time piece with a very different conceptual approach in comparison with the very top watch brands, such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet”, said Richard Mille.
“The success created by the Richard Mille watch has been much higher than even our most optimistic expectation”, added Richard Mille.
The Making of a Richard Mille
The culture and love of mechanics in general, and of the automobile and aviation in particular, the passion for technical sophistication, have been at the origin of the manufacture of this modern, sophisticated, efficient, practical, powerful and reliable piece.
The radical style reflects a temperament dedicated to powerful performance. Glamour is absent, there is no embellishment, no extravagance, but rather the confirmed determination to define a new vision of extreme luxury, of top-of-the- range watches. It is a Formula 1, with all the qualities of use and of reliability of a great G.T.
Over and above the technical features, each movement, manufactured by Audemars Piguet/Renaud & Papi and each watchcase are hand-finished, in the tradition of extremely sophisticated timepieces. Deburring, satin-finishing, removal of all imperfections, superfinished angles and polished lock represent the hand-finishing operations of this piece.
Finally this watch, which is available in white gold, pink gold, titanium or platinum, has been extensively developed over a long time, made reliable, tested and adjusted. All the faults or weaknesses have been identified and the necessary modifications or improvements have been made.
The drive for innovation and the technical choices required thousands of hours spent on engineering design (120.000 operations), validation, tests and adjustments. Every detail has been painstakingly attended to, every material has been tested. It adds up to more than 20.000 mechanical operations performed for each movement, made up of 267 components. ARCAP ( an alloy with great mechanical properties in terms of stability over time and resistance to deformation), as well as titanium and ceramics have been used.
The design and execution of this watch testify to an integral approach to the movement/case/dial. This means that everything has been designed by starting from a clean sheet, according to an extremely precise and rigorous specification, with the aim of completely integrating all the elements, like a formula 1 car where the chassis and the engine are both developed according to a single specification. For example, no casing ring has been necessary. All this explains the exceptional quality of fabrication.
Very ergonomical, with characteristic lateral ribs of improved rigidity, a large-size and easy-to-grip hand-setting crown, an easy and useful time, power reserve and torque indicator display, everything in this watch has been conceived to make life easier for its user. Moreover, all the sapphire glass has been given an anti-glare treatment.
The component reliability has been especially studied and tested (flexible and very shock-resistant tourbillon and barrel train bridges, since they were designed to be shock-absorbing) , special, rapidly rotating spring barrel designed to balance the supply of driving power by improving the gliding of the spirals, strengthened mainspring, optimized wheelwork with the toothing of the spring barrel and the center pinion with a profile of involutes gears, reducing friction and improving the clockwork movement, a new-generation, modular handsetting block facilitating after-sale service due to its easy access, requiring no complete dismantling of the hands and the dials, stiffened plate structure, particularly around the train, as in the car engines, thus avoiding the twisting that often affects the working of mechanical watches. Finally, a ruby wheel located in the hour-setting module allows the hand-setting stem to be operated gently and precisely.
The titanium screws characteristic of this watch allow phenomenal screwing/unscrewing torque, thus avoiding any damage to the screw that frequently occurs with a conventional screwdriver. The particular shape of the screwhead means only specialized approved retailers, who have the proper tools, can dismantle the watch. A copper washer under each screw allows optimum tightening without marking the bridges or plates. At the critical points, such as the crown wheel, wear-resistant washers, hardened and precision-ground, have been placed to protect the functional components. Thus, when being taken for servicing, these washers can be replaced as soon as any major wear and tear is noted.