Richard Mille was nine years old when he took his first watch apart. At the time, he already had a fascination for all things mechanical, including watches, cars and aircraft. But it was when he became the CEO of a jewellery and watch company that he decided to start his own business. His frustrations at always being occupied by numbers, finance and marketing strategies instead of technique became a compelling reason for his taking the leap. While he wasn’t a watchmaker in a strict sense, he had a very clear idea of what a high-performance watch should be, and with the right partners he was able to set up his eponymous brand.
BRAND PHILOSOPHY Richard Mille watches are strongly conceptualised and highly technical in structure, movement and material. Mille says that he spent a lot of time reading technical books relating to watches, cars and aircraft which led him to visualise watches with a focus on rarity, quality and creativity.
One of the company’s releases for 2014 is the RM 36-01 Sébastien Loeb, named for the French rally driver. The watch is the first of its kind; it’s equipped with a G-force sensor, which measures the force that race car drivers experience at very high speeds. The 47.7mm tonneau case comes in extremely strong anthracite polymer injected with carbon nanotube for the case middle, and the rest in titanium.