Richard Mille made a high-octane entrance into the luxury watchmaking industry in 2001 with a goal to create a timepiece that would be “a race car for the wrist.” To accomplish that, the brand uses innovative materials known for their unbelievable lightness and strength, such as carbon nanofibers. It brings that up-to-the-minute technology together with a sleek architectural design and elements of traditional luxury watch elements, like pave-set diamonds in the cases and dials of many ladies watches.
Given the brand's commitment to elite levels of precision and performance, it was inevitable that Richard Mille watches would become a favorite among top-performing athletes. Over the years, Richard Mille has developed relationships with some of the world’s most high-profile athletes, who have in turn lent their names to limited-edition Richard Mille designs.
Drawing inspiration from Formula One and the automotive and aerospace industries, Richard Mille set out to craft luxury watches from the most innovative, high-performance materials available. One way it does this is by carefully choosing components known for their unbelievable lightness and strength. For example, the Richard Mille RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal Tourbillon watch weighs less than 19 grams, making this timepiece the lightest tourbillon wristwatch in the world.
Most Richard Mille watches feature cases with a distinctive tonneau shape. While visually appealing, the tonneau shape is also designed for maximum ergonomic comfort during even the most rigorous athletic activities. Other classic features on many Richard Mille watches include visible spline screws on the surface and a skeleton movement that allows the wearer to admire the movement’s elegant complexities.
Although Richard Mille always keeps an eye to the future, it also retains many of the historic Swiss traditions of excellence in watchmaking. This can be found not only in the impeccable quality of each watch, but also in the traditional luxury elements, such as pavé-set diamonds in the cases and dials of many ladies watches. Above all, innovation never comes at the expense of readability or the inclusion of useful features such as flyback chronograph functionality.
Top-ranked tennis star Rafael Nadal not only plays wearing a Richard Mille timepiece, but also considers it his “lucky RM Charm.” Nadal’s collaboration with Richard Mille has inspired a line of limited edition watches, including the automatic RM 35-02, which is capable of withstanding an impact of 5,000 g-forces.
Another collaboration with professional golfer Bubba Watson inspired the RM 055 Bubba Watson ceramic watch. The design of this timepiece seeks to replicate the zen of Watson’s focus on the golf course, while the double-barrel system of the movement allows the watch to better absorb the shock of a powerful stroke. Meanwhile, Brazilian Formula One Felipe Massa also relies on Richard Mille for a timepiece that is light and yet resistant to the g-forces of a Formula One race.