Richard Mille

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Coordinates: 47°12′41.3″N 7°00′04.2″E / 47.211472°N 7.001167°E / 47.211472; 7.001167

IndustryLuxury watchmaking
  • Richard Mille
  • Dominique Guenat
Area served
Key people
Richard Mille,
Production output
4800 (2018)
Number of employees
SubsidiariesHorométrie SA
Guenat SA Montres Valgine
Cercle d'Art

Richard Mille is a Swiss luxury watch company founded in 2001[1] by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille, and based in Les Breuleux, Switzerland. The brand specialises in ultra-high-end luxury watches.[2]

Company history[edit]


After studying marketing in Besançon, Richard Mille (born 13 February 1951, Draguignan, France) started work at Finhor, a local watchmaking company in 1974.[3][4] The company was bought by Matra in 1981 and Richard Mille rose to manage Matra's watchmaking business, which then included the brands Yema and Cupillard Rième.[5] Matra's watchmaking activities were sold to Seiko, who Mille left in 1992 to start a watchmaking business for jewellery firm Mauboussin.[6][7]


Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat, founders

Following a disagreement about commercial strategy at Mauboussin, where he was a shareholder, Richard Mille left his position as General Manager of the watchmaking division of the Place Vendôme jeweller and decided to launch his own range of watches. In late 1998, he presented his plans to his friend Dominique Guenat, owner of Montres Valgine (Guenat SA - Montres Valgine),[8] whom he met in 1988 while working in Besançon for Compagnie Générale Horlogère (CGH) and with whom he worked on watches for Mauboussin.

In early 1999, Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat drew up their plans and the basis for the Richard Mille brand, in partnership with Guenat S.A. Montres Valgine and APR&P (Audemars Piguet, Renaud et Papi[9]). Over the next two years, they defined their brand concept, combining the worlds of cars, aeronautics and sailing with the high-tech aspects of innovation, resistant materials and accuracy. After this, they began designing the future Richard Mille watches. Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille then founded Horométrie SA – their operating company for the new Richard Mille brand – as equal partners, registered on 23 October 2001 in the Swiss registry of commerce (wholesale of watch and jewellery items).[10] They then founded the Richard Mille watchmaking brand in collaboration with Swiss watchmaking manufacturer Audemars Piguet, which became a Richard Mille shareholder in 2007.[11]

After three years of research and prototypes, the Richard Mille brand presented its first watch, the RM 001 Tourbillon at Baselworld in 2001, the world watch and jewellery show held in Basel, Switzerland.[12] This manually wound mechanism was fitted with a ribbed tonneau-shaped case that revealed the mechanism, the main features of the brand's visual identity, and included a tourbillon calibre, a power-reserve indicator and a torque indicator.[13]

Richard Mille soon made a name for itself in the luxury and ultra-luxury watch sectors thanks to its innovative materials and technology, joining the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in 2007.[14]

In April 2013, Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat acquired a 90% stake in Prototypes Artisanals SA (with former director Alain Varrin retaining a 10% share).[15] Founded by Marco Poluzzi, the company became «ProArt» and moved to a 3,000 m² building in Les Breuleux built for the production of watch cases and prototypes. Following the sale of case supplier Donzé-Baume to Swiss luxury group Richemont in 2007, the Richard Mille company began to invest in machining its own cases and some of its watch components. ProArt thus began to operate as an exclusive subcontractor to the brand.[16]

In 2013, the French luxury world group Kering, controlled by François-Henri Pinault, made a proposal to take over the watch company by acquiring 51% of the shares,[17] but the proposal was rejected: Richard Mille remains independent.[18]

On 27 September 2018, Richard Mille announced it would be withdrawing from the Salon international de la haute horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva after the 2018 edition, like its shareholder Audemars Piguet, as the show no longer corresponded to the brand's distribution strategy.[19]

In October 2018, Richard Mille opened its largest store in New York. It is the brand's sixth store in the United States.

At the end of 2018, the brand presented Richard Mille's first creation entirely supervised by a woman, the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman equipped with the new «CRMT1» automatic caliber house.[20]

Geographic location[edit]

Richard Mille is a Swiss brand based in the town of Les Breuleux, in the Canton of Jura. It operates within the Montres Valgine company.[21]

The Richard Mille Group[edit]

The “Richard Mille Group” comprises the following companies: Horométrie SA (distribution),[22] Guenat SA Montres Valgine (conception and assembly), ProArt (components),[23] VMDH (decoration)[24] and Cercle d'Art (publishing).

In 2018, the Group employed 148 people.

Guenat SA - Montres Valgine[edit]

Dominique Guenat joined the Guenat SA - Montres Valgine (GMV) company in 1986 and took to the helm in 1991. In 1999, he teamed up with Richard Mille to create the “Richard Mille” watch brand.

All Richard Mille watches are developed and produced in Switzerland by the Guenat SA - Montres Valgine (GMV) Manufacture in Les Breuleux. Design and development are carried out in the old 1950s building in Les Breuleux, which was renovated in 1972, while assembly and quality control are performed in the building that was completed in 2007.

In 2018, Cécile Guenat – director of the Richard Mille women's collection, daughter of Dominique Guenat and the fourth generation to work at the Montres Valgine company – presented the first Richard Mille creation to be designed by a woman: the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman.[25]


Richard Mille watch cases, as well as certain movement components, such as baseplates, bridges, screws and some wheels, are produced in their entirety by ProArt. This machining company belongs to the Richard Mille group and operates in an ultra-modern 3,000 m² building that was opened in April 2013 in Les Breuleux. Work to extend the ProArt site began in late 2017, with the construction of a second building intended to house the research and development offices as well as new machining workshops.[15]


VMDH (Vital Morel Décalque Horlogère) is located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, just 25 km from Les Breuleux. It specialises in transfers and the decoration of watch movement components (galvanoplasty, electroplating, etc.).[24] VMDH produces all the dials and flanges used by the Richard Mille brand as well as some of the hands, and is tasked with applying «Super-LumiNova» phosphorescent pigments.[26] VMDH is chaired by Yves Mathys.


RM 030

A large portion of Richard Mille's inspiration comes from racing cars and the study of shock-resistance, and give the watches very high shock-resistance.

Richard Mille decided to focus on lightweight and accuracy, with high-tech materials used in aeronautics, Formula 1[27] and precision surgery, such as grade 5 titanium, LITAL, Carbon TPT and graphene.

Richard Mille teamed up with North Thin Ply Technology,[28] the world leader in the production of lightweight pre-impregnated materials used in sailing and Formula 1, to produce the RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal in Carbon NTPT and Quartz TPT, as well as the RM 11-03 McLaren.

Technical Innovation[edit]

  • Development of the first baseplates in carbon nanofibres, titanium and Carbon TPT®
  • Development of gem-set ceramic[29]
  • Invention of laminated sapphire crystal (RM 53-01)[30][31][32]
  • Invention of new watch complications: Oracle (RM 069),[33] mechanical G-force sensor (RM 036).
  • Invention of Quartz TPT® with NTPT®,[34] produce for the first time to the original RM 011 in Carbon TPT®.
  • Invention of the variable-geometry rotor[35] on RM 011.
  • Invention of the declutchable rotor.[36]
  • Invention of Quartz TPT with the NTPT company.[28]


RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat

The brand has designed its own manufactured automatic calibres, including a whirlpool movement :

Name of the caliber Richard Mille watch Designation
CRMA1 RM037 First in-house automatic caliber with hours, minutes, big dates and function selector.[37]
CRMA2 RM 07-01 Black Ceramic Automatic caliber with hours and minutes.[38]
CRMA3 RM 63-01 Automatic caliber with hours, minutes and twisting hours complication (Dizzy hands).[39]
CRMA4 RM 63-02 Automatic caliber with hours, minutes, seconds, big dates, function selector and universal time complication.[40]
CRMA5 RM 07-02 Automatic gold calibre with hours and minutes.[41]
CRMA6 RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat Ultra-flat automatic caliber with hours, minutes, date and function indicator.[42]
CRMA7 RM 67-02 Sebastian Ogier Carbon TPT Ultra-flat automatic caliber with hours and minutes.[43]
CRMT1 RM 71-01 First in-house automatic tourbillon caliber with hours and minutes.[44][45]


Accuracy of the RM 031[edit]

The RM 031 escapement beats at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. The RM 031 has a performance of +/- 30 seconds per month.[46] The RM 031 was limited to just 10 pieces.[47]


In 2004, Richard Mille launched the RM 006 Felipe Massa Tourbillon, which weighed just 48 grams (excluding the strap).[27]

In 2005, the brand repeated this feat with the RM 009 Felipe Massa Tourbillon, which set a world record of 29 grams (excluding the strap).[48]

In 2007, the record was reduced to 20 grams by the RM 027 Rafael Nadal (strap included), whose movement is made from titanium and LITAL, a lithium alloy popular in aeronautics that contains aluminium, copper, magnesium and zirconium.[49]

In 2013, the record was broken by the manually wound RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal Tourbillon watch (limited to 50 pieces), which pushed the concepts of lightness and resistance to the extreme. Developed with the tennis star, the watch weighs just 18.83 grams (strap included) and holds the record for the lightest tourbillon ever made thanks to its lithium aluminium movement and carbon nanotube case.[50]

In 2017, at the Salon international de la haute horlogerie (SIHH), Richard Mille presented the RM 50-03 McLaren F1, the world's lightest flyback chronograph weighing just 38 grams (strap included).[51]


The RM 27-03 Tourbillon can withstand impacts of 10,000 g – double that of the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 – due to its skeletonised unibody baseplate made from Carbon TPT®.[52][53]

On 25 July 2009, during his Formula 1 accident in the qualifying stages of the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa, one of the brand's "partners", was wearing an RM 006,[54] which emerged from the almost 200 km/h crash unscathed.[55]


Quebec City Clock[edit]

Porte-Bonheur Clock at Quebec City

Called the «Porte-Bonheur Clock», this project was launched in 2008 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. The Republic and Canton of Jura and the Richard Mille brand wanted to offer Quebec a symbolic gift symbolizing the friendship that binds the Republic and Canton of Jura to the City of Quebec.[56]

It was officially unveiled on 7 March 2014 in the presence of Richard Mille, Dominique Guenat, Élisabeth Baume-Schneider (President of the Jura government), Régis Labeaume (Mayor of Quebec) and Charles Juillard (Swiss Minister of Finance).[57]

For six years, in partnership with the technical college of Porrentruy (École des métiers techniques in Porrentruy) and the Neuchâtel Haute Ecole Arc, Richard Mille engineers have developed, machined and assembled this monumental clock. Assembled using 16 spline screws, it measures 3.5 metres tall, 2.5 metres wide and 1.3 metres deep and weighs 1,913 kg.

As the first clock to be designed and produced in accordance with the demands and conventions of very fine watchmaking, the Jura Clock required:[58]

  • 6,571 hours of development,
  • 5,451 components,
  • 3,952 hours of assembly and adjusting.

Starck and Only Watch[edit]

In 2005, Richard Mille and the French designer Philippe Starck made their first collaboration by presenting the creation of a unique interpretation "RM 005-1 Richard Mille by Philippe Stark". The piece was sold at auction in Monaco for €285,000, for the benefit of the association Only Watch, the highest price ever achieved for an automatic watch at that time.[59]

Two years later, the two men teamed up again for Only Watch 2007. The RM 011 Starck resulting from this collaboration is extremely complex, it comes in the form of a titanium "bangle" bracelet totally integrated into the case.[60] This coin led to a new auction record on 20 September 2007, raising €320,000 for the same charity.[61]

Planetarium Tellurium[edit]

It took 10 years of research and development to create the Richard Mille Planetarium-Tellurium. It was presented on September 4, 2007 at the Tempus Event 'The Hour Glass' in Singapore. The project dates back to 1998, when Richard Mille met Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel[62] during an assignment for Mauboussin. After founding their company Greubel Forsey in 2004, the men asked Christian Étienne, owner of the Swiss watch clinic in Porrentruy, to assemble the prototype of the Planetarium-Tellurium, while Richard Mille tackled the design and outer casing.

The Planetarium-Tellurium features a perpetual calendar with a rapid corrector that can make the necessary adjustments both forwards and backwards. It combines an extremely precise gear train and barrel for the planetarium with a detent escapement, making it the most accurate in the world today.[63]

Planet Earth (enlarged 109 times) weighs 91 grams and is in solid silver, as is its satellite, the Moon. The Sun is made from yellow gold, Mercury from pink gold, and Venus from natural stone. The planets are covered in different colours of enamel. The Planetarium-Tellurium weighs 44 kg, including its titanium encasing and protective glass. Its encasing was modified after the official presentation, as the original hid the front section.[64]

Sponsorship and endorsements[edit]

The brand sponsors various sports persons, and the company also sponsors sports events including the Le Mans Classic and Grand Prix de Pau auto races and the 'Voiles de Saint Barth' sailing regatta.


In 2016, Richard Mille launched a partnership with the private jet manufacturer, Airbus Corporate Jets. In commemoration of this partnership, Richard Mille released the "RM-50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph" in a 30-piece limited edition.[65]


In 2006, Richard Mille launched a partnership with Italian yacht manufacturer Perini Navi. The watch brand also became the official timekeeper of the Perini Navi Cup. To mark this collaboration, it launched the RM 014 Tourbillon Perini Navi watch in 2006 and the RM 015 Tourbillon Perini Navi in 2007.

Richard Mille has been the main partner of «Les Voiles de Saint Barth» (since 2010) with the "Richard Mille Maxi Cup".[66]

In 2007, Ian Williams, a British sailor, won the third edition of the Monsoon Cup under the colors Richard Mille, last round of the World Match Racing Tour in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, and became World Match-Race Champion.[67]

Cars and racing[edit]

Le Mans Classic

Richard Mille is also Chairman of the Endurance Commission of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).[68]

From its very beginnings, the brand has invested in events dedicated to the automobile and the competition, becoming in 2002 the partner of the Le Mans Classic.

Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille

In 2014, Richard Mille in association with Patrick Peter of Peter Auto, contributed to the creation of the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. it became one of the most prestigious automotive elegance competitions in the world.[69]

The Richard Mille brand has teamed up with drivers from Formula 1 teams, such as Alfa Romeo Racing, Haas F1 Team and McLaren Racing, and from Formula E (Nissan E-dams, Venturi Formula E). From 2021, Richard Mille is listed as a partner of Scuderia Ferrari - replacing Hublot.[70]

In 2017, Richard Mille and McLaren Automotive signed a 10-year partnership agreement.[71] The RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph – a limited edition of 500 timepieces jointly designed by McLaren design director Rob Melville and Richard Mille engineer Fabrice Namura – is the first product to arise from this union. The RM 11-03 McLaren watch enabled the 500 owners of the McLaren Senna, the first model in the Ultimate Series from the Woking-based manufacturer, to order a watch with a number that matched the chassis number of their supercar.[72] Furthermore, the McLaren Speedtail presented in October 2018 is the first car to incorporate Thin-Ply Technology (TPT) in automotive construction. It is used on the supercar's upper control system, steering wheel base, and gear-change paddles.[73]

Also in 2017, the watch brand became an official partner of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, and of the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet in 2018, where the “Tour Chrono” (race display board) was designed by the Richard Mille teams.[74]

In late 2018, Richard Mille announced a three-year partnership with Venturi, the team managed by Gildo Pastor in which Felipe Massa, the watch brand's historic partner, competes alongside teammate Edoardo Mortara. With more than 40 wins in his career at the time, Felipe Massa became one the first sportsmen to partner with the Richard Mille brand. Additionally, in commemoration of this partnership, Richard Mille launched the "RM11 Felipe Massa Rose Gold and Titanium."[75][76]

Tolman Motorsport's McLaren, carry Richard Mille on their cars as sponsors.

In 2019, Tolman Motorsport ran a pair of McLaren 570S GT4s with Richard Mille as a sponsor.

The watch brand is also a partner of:

  • The Spa Classic (in 2013), Belgium,[77]
  • The Suzuka Sound of Engine Richard Mille (since 2016),
  • The Nürburgring Classic (since 2017),
  • The Rallye des Princesses (since 2017),
  • The Rallye des Légendes Richard Mille (since 2018),
  • Rétromobile.[78]

Other sports[edit]

Since 2010, Richard Mille has sponsored Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis player. Richard Mille launched the "RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal" in 2017 to commemorate this partnership.[79]

Since 2013, Richard Mille has been sponsoring the Open de France Dames golf tournament.

In May 2011, Richard Mille created the Richard Mille Polo Team composed of Prince Bahar of Brunei, British player Max Routledge and Argentinians Pablo Mac Donough and Alejandro Muzzio.[80]


In 2014, Horométrie SA acquired « Éditions Cercle d’Art ». The publishing house decided to refocus on prestigious art books. In parallel, it now also publishes books about watchmaking, architecture, photography, design, gastronomy and cars.


Didier Drogba at Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille 2019
Nationality Name Profession
Spain Fernando Alonso Spanish 2x Formula One world champion.
Qatar Mutaz Essa Barshim Qatari track and field athlete
Jamaica Yohan Blake Jamaican sprinter: Blake wore a customised Tourbillon in Jamaica's national colours during the 2012 Olympic games in London[81]
Germany Jessica von Bredow-Werndl[82] German dressage rider
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi Swiss former Formula One racing driver. Currently races in WEC and Formula E.
United Kingdom Martin Brundle British former Formula One driver. Now works at Sky Sports F1 as a commentator.
Monaco Pierre Casiraghi[83] Vice president of Yacht Club Monaco
Hong Kong Jackie Chan Hong Kong action star: RM 057 Dragon-Jackie Chan Tourbillon
Ivory Coast Didier Drogba[84] Ivorian professional footballer
France Romain Grosjean[85] French former Formula One driver. Now races in Indycar.
United States Cristie Kerr American professional golfer
France Cyril Kongo[86] French painter and graffiti artist
Monaco Charles Leclerc[87] Monégasque Formula One racing driver
Czechoslovakia Ester Ledecká[88] Czech snowboarder and alpine skier
Ukraine Yuliya Levchenko[89] Ukrainian high jumper
France Sébastien Loeb French 9x World Rally Champion, currently competes in Extreme E
Italy Diana Luna[90] Italian professional golfer
Argentina Pablo Mac Donough[91] Argentino professional polo player
United States John Malkovich American actor, producer, and fashion designer
Italy Roberto Mancini[92] Italian football manager and former player
Brazil Felipe Massa Retired Brazilian Formula One driver: Richard Mille has developed three special-edition Tourbillon watches with Massa, including the RM 006, RM 009, and RM 056.
France Benjamin Millepied[93] American actor, producer, and fashion designer
Spain Rafael Nadal Tennis player
South Africa Akani Simbine South African sprinter
South Africa Wayde van Niekerk South African sprinter: gold medal and broke the world record in the 400m in the 2016 Summer Olympics[94]
France Sébastien Ogier[95] French WRC rally driver
France Simon Pagenaud[96] French professional Indycar and IMSA SportsCar driver
France Alexis Pinturault[97] French World Cup alpine ski racer
France Alain Prost Retired French 4x Formula One world champion.
Germany Mick Schumacher German Formula One driver.
United States Sylvester Stallone American actor
Belgium Nafissatou Thiam[98] Belgian athlete specializing in multi-event competition
France Jean Todt French, President of the FIA, governing body of Formula One and other motorsports.
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne Belgian former Formula One driver. Currently races in Formula E.
United States Bubba Watson American golfer: Watson won the 2012 Masters Tournament wearing a Richard Mille watch.
United States Pharrell Williams American music producer and singer-songwriter
Malaysia Michelle Yeoh Malaysian actress: Richard Mille developed the Richard Mille RM 051 Phoenix-Michelle Yeoh.[99]
Norway Johannes Thingnes Bø Norwegian biathlete[100]
France Julian Alaphilippe France Cyclist[101]


Watch sales figures[edit]

Sales of Richard Mille watches have grown by 15% on average per year since the brand was launched, with a total of 32,000 watches sold between 2001 and 2017,[102][103][104]

Number of watches sold by year


In CHF million.[105]


  • 2016 : Richard Mille and North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT) received the JEC World 2016 Innovation Awards prize in the “Luxury” category for the Quartz-TPT used in the case of the RM 27-02 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal calibre.[106]
  • 2017: Richard Mille received the 2017 Prix Gaïa award in the “Esprit d’entreprise” (entrepreneurship) category from the Musée international d'horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds.[107]


  • Borer, Alain (2006). Richard Mille (in French). Vol. 1. Cercle d'art. p. 240. ISBN 978-2-7022-0762-8.
  • Hottois, Gilbert (2009). Richard Mille, Individus techniques, individus humains (in French). Vol. 2. Cercle d'art. p. 200. ISBN 978-2-7022-0888-5.
  • Monsel, Philippe; Diehl, Théodore; Treton-Monceyron, Mélanie (2013). Richard Mille: Monographie 1 (in French). Vol. 1. Cercle d'art. p. 488. ISBN 978-2-7022-0964-6.
  • Mantoux, Aymeric (2017). Richard Mille: Monographie 2 (in French). Vol. 2. Cercle d'art. p. 521. ISBN 978-2-7022-1050-5.


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