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|Founder||Richard Mille (age 69)|
Dominique Guenat (age 68)
Number of employees
Guenat SA - Montres Valgine
After studying marketing in Besançon, Richard Mille (born 13 February 1951, Draguignan, France) started work at Finhor, a local watchmaking company in 1974. 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. Matra's watchmaking activities were sold to Seiko, who Mille left in 1992 to start a watchmaking business for jewellery firm Mauboussin.
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), whom he met in 1988 while working in Besançon for Compagnie Générale Horlogère (CGH) and with whom he worked on watches for Mauboussin. The professional relationship between the two men soon grew into a great friendship, fuelled in particular by a shared love of cars, aeronautics and mechanics. Then they decided to go into partnership together in order to enhance and launch their plans for a new watch brand with the support of Lucien Tissot, a lawyer specialised in the watchmaking industry.
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). 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 and subjected them to reliability and precision testing. 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). They then founded the Richard Mille watchmaking brand in collaboration with Swiss watchmaking Manufacture Audemars Piguet, which became a Richard Mille shareholder in 2007.
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. This manually wound mechanism was fitted with a ribbed tonneau-shaped case that revealed the mechanism6, the main features of the brand's visual identity, and included a tourbillon calibre, a power-reserve indicator and a torque indicator. The strap was made from leather and the crystal from mineral glass, and it had a water-resistance of up to 50 metres.
Then, in 2002, Richard Mille presented the RM 002, a technological development on the first model and the first watch in the history of watchmaking to feature a titanium baseplate. This was followed later that year by the RM 003, a dual time zone tourbillon, and by the RM 004 flyback chronograph in 2003.
In 2005, the watch brand launched the RM 007, the first ladies' watch in the Richard Mille collection.
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.
In April 2013, Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat acquired a 90% stake inPrototypes Artisanals SA (with former director Alain Varrin retaining a 10% share). 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.
In 2013, the French luxury world group Kering, controlled by François-Henri Pinault, made a proposal to buy the watch company to acquire 51% of the shares. But the proposal was rejected. Richard Mille remains independent.
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.
In October 2018, Richard Mille opened its largest store in the world in New York. It is the brand's sixth store in the United States, with a surface area of 390 m² and is located on 57th Street, at 432 Park Avenue, in the second highest residential tower in the Western hemisphere. The facade is almost 10m tall, and reveals a glass sculpture formed of 24 individually engraved panels depicting the tourbillon movement of the RM 008. The complete structure weighs 16,700 kg.
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.
The Richard Mille Group
The “Richard Mille Group” comprises the following companies: Horométrie SA (distribution), Guenat SA Montres Valgine (conception and assembly), ProArt (components), VMDH (decoration) and Cercle d'Art (publishing).
In 2018, the Group employed 148 people.
Horométrie is the operating company of the «Richard Mille brand» created by Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat in 2001. It also coordinates global distribution via four partners, who operate 38 proprietary Richard Mille stores around the world as joint ventures or franchises, and 45 retailers distributed as follows :
- RM EMEA for Europe, the Middle East and Africa
- RM USA for North and South America
- RM JAPAN for Japan
- RM ASIA for South-East Asia
Guenat SA - Montres Valgine
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.
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.
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.). 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. VMDH is chaired by Yves Mathys.
The Richard Mille brand
The characteristic Richard Mille case shape is now the principal element of the brand's visual identity, ensuring that the watches are clearly recognisable, as are the spline screws visible on both the case and the inside of the movement. The movement is always visible in a Richard Mille watch.
The brand's most famous models are the Tourbillon RM 008 (chronograph tourbillon) and the sapphire split seconds (chronograph tourbillon) RM 056. The RM 008 combines a tourbillon movement with manual winding, a chronograph split-seconds, a torque indicator, and a power reserve indicator. Claimed to be one of the most advanced watches in the world, it is priced from €500,000.
The RM 056 split seconds (chronograph tourbillon) is distinguished by its three-part all-sapphire skeletal case. The RM 056 is completely see-through and is the first watch case to be completely built from sapphire, with a limited edition five pieces of the Richard Mille RM 056 Felipe Massa Sapphire priced at US$1.7 million. The RM 056 was declared best watch of 2012 at the Salon Internacional de Alta Relojería watchmakers' exhibition in Mexico City in October 2012.
A large portion of Richard Mille's inspiration comes from racing cars and the study of shock-resistance, the concrete applications of which have made it possible to improve the rigidity of the baseplate, reduce friction, and give the watches very high shock-resistance. The concepts and materials inspired by Formula 1, which provided the basis for the first Richard Mille watch (RM 001), are one of the cornerstones of the brand's philosophy.
Richard Mille decided to craft extremely lightweight and accurate watches from the best high-tech materials used in aeronautics, Formula 1 and precision surgery, such as grade 5 titanium, LITAL, Carbon TPT and graphene. Thus ARCAP – a material renowned for its physical qualities, including resistance to corrosion and magnetic fields – was used for the first time in watchmaking history in the RM 002.
Richard Mille teamed up with North Thin Ply Technology, 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. A Richard Mille Tourbillon can contain up to 1,000 components in a case that measures just 45 millimetres thick.
- Development of the first baseplates in carbon nanofibres, titanium and Carbon TPT®
- Development of gem-set ceramic
- Invention of laminated sapphire crystal (RM 53-01)
- Invention of new watch complications: Oracle (RM 069), mechanical G-force sensor (RM 036).
- Invention of Quartz TPT® with NTPT®, produce for the first time to the original RM 011 in Carbon TPT®.
- Invention of the variable-geometry rotor on RM 011.
- Invention of the declutchable rotor.
- Invention of Quartz TPT with the NTPT company.
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.|
|CRMA2||RM 07-01 Black Ceramic||Automatic caliber with hours and minutes.|
|CRMA3||RM 63-01||Automatic caliber with hours, minutes and twisting hours complication (Dizzy hands).|
|CRMA4||RM 63-02||Automatic caliber with hours, minutes, seconds, big dates, function selector and universal time complication.|
|CRMA5||RM 07-02||Automatic gold calibre with hours and minutes.|
|CRMA6||RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat||Ultra-flat automatic caliber with hours, minutes, date and function indicator.|
|CRMA7||RM 67-02 Sebastian Ogier Carbon TPT||Ultra-flat automatic caliber with hours, minutes, date and function indicator.|
|CRMT1||RM 71-01||First in-house automatic tourbillon caliber with hours and minutes.|
The RM 031 is one of the most accurate wristwatches ever created. With a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour, it features the most advanced regulation mechanism in existence and has a performance of +/- 20 seconds per month – a real feat in modern watchmaking. Limited to just 10 pieces.
In 2004, Richard Mille launched the RM 006 Felipe Massa Tourbillon, which weighed just 48 grams (excluding the strap).
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).
In 2007, the record was reduced to 20 grams by the RM 027 Rafael Nadal (strap included)52, whose movement is made from titanium and LITAL, a lithium alloy popular in aeronautics that contains aluminium, copper, magnesium and zirconium.
In 2013, the record was smashed 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 tourbillon 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.
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).
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, which emerged from the almost 200 km/h crash unscathed.
Quebec City Clock
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.
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).
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:
- 6,571 hours of development,
- 5,451 components,
- 3,952 hours of assembly and adjusting.
Starck and Only Watch
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.
Two years later, the two men team 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. This coin led to a new auction record on 20 September 2007, raising €320,000 for the same charity.
It took 10 years and 50,000 hours 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 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.
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.
Sponsorship and endorsements
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".
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.
Since 2013, Richard Mille has been sponsoring the Lacoste Ladies Open Golf Women's Open.
Cars and racing
From its very beginnings, the brand has invested in events dedicated to the automobile and the competition, becoming in 2002 the partner of the automobile event, now a must-see and a classic of its kind, the Le Mans Classic.
In 2014, Richard Mille reiterated his involvement, always in association with Patrick Peter of Peter Auto, and contributed to the creation of an event dedicated to historic automobiles which became, from its first edition, one of the most prestigious automotive elegance competitions in the world : the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille.
The Richard Mille brand has teamed up with a number of drivers from Formula 1 teams, such as Alfa Romeo Sauber, Haas F1 Team and McLaren Racing, and from Formula E (Nissan E-dams, Venturi Formula E).
In 2017, Richard Mille and McLaren Automotive signed a 10-year partnership agreement. 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. 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.
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.
In late 2018, just before the first leg of the 2018–19 Formula E season, 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.
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,
- 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),
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.
|Fernando Alonso||Spanish racing driver|
|Mutaz Essa Barshim||Qatari track and field athlete|
|Yohan Blake||Jamaican sprinter: Blake wore a customised Tourbillon in Jamaica's national colours during the 2012 Olympic games in London|
|Jessica von Bredow-Werndl||German dressage rider|
|Sébastien Buemi||Swiss professional racing driver|
|Jenson Button||British racing driver|
|Pierre Casiraghi ||Vice president of Yacht Club Monaco|
|Jackie Chan||Hong Kong action star: RM 057 Dragon-Jackie Chan Tourbillon|
|Didier Drogba||Ivorian professional footballer|
|Romain Grosjean||French Formula One driver|
|Cristie Kerr||American professional golfer|
|Cyril Kongo||French painter and graffiti artist|
|Charles Leclerc||Monégasque racing driver|
|Ester Ledecká||Czech snowboarder and alpine skier|
|Yuliya Levchenko||Ukrainian high jumper|
|Sébastien Loeb||French Rally driver|
|Diana Luna||Italian professional golfer|
|Pablo Mac Donough||Argentino professional polo player|
|John Malkovich||American actor, producer, and fashion designer|
|Roberto Mancini||Italian football manager and former player|
|Felipe Massa||Brazilian Formula One driver: Richard Mille has developed three special-edition Tourbillon watches with Massa, including the RM 006, RM 009, and RM 056.|
|Benjamin Millepied||American actor, producer, and fashion designer|
|Rafael Nadal||tennis player|
|Akani Simbine||South African sprinter|
|Wayde van Niekerk||South African sprinter: gold medal and broke the world record in the 400m in the 2016 Summer Olympics|
|Sébastien Ogier||French rally driver|
|Simon Pagenaud||French professional racing driver|
|Alexis Pinturault||French World Cup alpine ski racer|
|Alain Prost||Retired French racing driver|
|Margot Robbie||Australian actress|
|Mick Schumacher||German racing driver|
|Sylvester Stallone||American actor|
|Nafissatou Thiam||Belgian athlete specializing in multi-event competition|
|Jean Todt||French, President of the FIA, Formula One's governing body|
|Stoffel Vandoorne||Belgian professional racing driver|
|Bubba Watson||American golfer: Watson won the 2012 Masters Tournament wearing a Richard Mille watch.|
|Pharrell Williams||American music producer and singer-songwriter|
|Michelle Yeoh||Malaysian actress: Richard Mille developed the Richard Mille RM 051 Phoenix-Michelle Yeoh.|
|Alexander Zverev||German tennis player|
|Johannes Thingnes Bø||Norwegian Biathlon |
Watch sales figures
- Number of watches sold by year
In CHF million.
- 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.
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richard Mille.|
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- Monsel, Philippe; Diehl, Théodore; Treton-Monceyron, Mélanie (2013). Richard Mille: Monographie 1 (in French). 1. Cercle d'art. p. 488. ISBN 978-2-7022-0964-6.
- Mantoux, Aymeric (2017). Richard Mille: Monographie 2 (in French). 2. Cercle d'art. p. 521. ISBN 978-2-7022-1050-5.
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- "Richard Mille becomes an Official Partner of the Circuit Paul Ricard". Signe Magazine. 17 October 2018.
- "Venturi Formula E team partners with Richard Mille watch brand". Autosport. 14 December 2018.
- "Richard Mille, official partner of the Spa Classic". Wrist review. WatchMundi. May 2013.
- "Rétromobile 2018: Richard Mille and McLaren's stunning exhibition". The Watch Quote. 26 February 2018.
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- "Pierre Casiraghi: first decorated sailor to partner with Richard Mille". L'Officiel St Barth. Scarlett Ruggiero. 13 April 2019.
- "Didier Drogba and Richard Mille – Story of friendship". Watch I Love. Dan-Andrei. 12 March 2019.
- "Richard Mille partner Romain Grosjean wearing his RM 011 NTPT Lotus F1 Team-Romain Grosjean at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix!". news.cision.com. Beatrice Giusti. 23 May 2014.
- "Richard Mille welcomes latest partner, golfer Cristie Kerr". Eve's Watch.
- "Introducing the Richard Mille RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo – Specs and Price". Monochrome. Frank Geelen. 24 June 2016.
- "Charles Leclerc, Young partner of the Swiss watchmaker, wins again in Austria". Watchonista. 7 August 2016.
- "Ester Ledecká joins Richard Mille". FHH Journal. The FHH Journal editors. 20 December 2018.
- "New Richard Mille Brand Partner: Yuliya Levchenko". Calibre. 26 June 2018.
- "Richard Mille And Diana Luna: Feminine Power And The RM 007". Quill and Pad. Elizabeth Doerr.
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- "RM 11-01 Roberto Mancini Chronographe Flyback". The Watch Quote. The Watch Quote. 13 August 2013.
- "Los Angeles issue #30". Purple Diary. Olivier Zahm.
- Cara Barrett, Watch Spotting: Wayde van Niekerk Wins The Men's 400m (And Sets A New World Record) With A Richard Mille On His Wrist hodinkee.com August 15, 2016
- "Sébastien Ogier, New Richard Mille Partner". Watchonista. 21 January 2016.
- "Richard Mille New Partner Indycar Champ Simon Pagenaud". Watch World. 12 May 2017.
- "World Champion 'PINTU'! – Alexis Pinturault, a Richard Mille partner since 2014". Watch I Love. Dan-Andrei. 15 February 2019.
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- "Nafi Thiam, championne d’heptathlon, fait son entrée chez Richard Mille", February 28, 2018
- "Best Watches of 2012: Richard Mille 051 Phoenix-Michelle Yeoh", November, 2012
- "Richard Mille - Friends and partners". Richard Mille (in French). Retrieved 2019-12-17.
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- "Richard Mille, l'innovation au service de la montre de luxe". Entreprendre (in French). Isabelle Jouanneau. 21 January 2019.
- "Richard Mille: chiffre d'affaires en hausse de 20%". Tribune de Genève (in French). 13 December 2016.
- "The Innovation and Excellence Award". World Tempus. Press release. 17 November 2011.
- "Richard Mille laureate in the category Entrepreneurship". World Tempus. 2017.