Con­fu­cius Days

Singapore Tatler - - STYLE WATCHES -

Ni­co­lette Wong traces Richard Mille’s foot­prints in the Asian con­ti­nent

t is not hard to spot a Richard Mille—its ton­neaushaped time­pieces are typ­i­fied by their ex­trav­a­gant aes­thet­ics and com­pli­cated con­struc­tions, and are not meant for the faint of heart (or of pocket). The brand’s strik­ing wrist­watches have un­sur­pris­ingly found a de­voted au­di­ence in the Asian con­ti­nent, which has a dis­tinctly ad­ven­tur­ous ap­petite when it comes to horol­ogy. Richard Mille has also spared no ex­pense in fan­ning the flames of fer­vour, cre­at­ing Asia-ex­clu­sive watches, part­ner­ing with big-name celebri­ties, and open­ing an im­pres­sive 12 mono-brand bou­tiques through­out the con­ti­nent. It is pres­ence, in this case, that makes the heart grow fonder. Richard Mille Asia cur­rently op­er­ates three bou­tiques here in Sin­ga­pore, two in Hong Kong, and one each in Malaysia, In­done­sia, Viet­nam, China, Ma­cau, South Korea and Taiwan. For ad­her­ents to the cult of Richard Mille, step­ping into the new Taipei bou­tique—the largest in the world at 261sqm—is al­most a re­li­gious ex­pe­ri­ence. A 1.5 tonne sculp­ture of the clas­sic RM 033 time­piece dom­i­nates the space, which is ren­dered starkly in translu­cent glass and glossy black pan­elling. A floor-to-ceil­ing wine cel­lar houses some 200 vin­tages, next to 100 va­ri­eties each of teas and cigars. Forty-five show­cases dis­play the brand’s watches as if they were pre­cious pieces of art—which they are. The bou­tique it­self also seems to make a com­men­tary on the brand’s po­si­tion in the watch in­dus­try. It is housed in the or­nate premises of the Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Taipei on Dun­hua Road, whose stone arches and stucco-dressed walls contrast greatly against the moder­nity that awaits past the Ro­man col­umns of the Richard Mille door­way. How­ever great the bou­tique, it means noth­ing if no­body is cu­ri­ous enough to step into the par­lour. To that end, Richard Mille has em­ployed the use of star power to pull

DOU­BLE TIME Hol­ly­wood stars Michelle Yeoh and Jackie Chan (left) de­liver a star power-packed punch for Richard Mille

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