Richard Mille is a Swiss luxury watchmaking brand founded in 2001 by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille, and based in Les Breuleux, Switzerland.
After studying marketing in Besançon, Richard Mille (born on February 13, 1951 in Draguignan, France) started working at Finhor, a local watchmaking company in 1974. Matra bought the company in 1981 and Richard Mille got up to manage the watchmaking business of Matra, which then included the brands Yema and Cupillard Rième. Matra's watchmaking activities were sold to Seiko, whom Mille left in 1992 to start a watchmaking business for the jewelery firm Mauboussin.
After a disagreement about the commercial strategy in Mauboussin, where he was a shareholder, Richard Mille left his position as General Manager of the watchmaking division of the jeweler Place Vendôme and decided to launch his own range of watches. At the end of 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. watches for mauboussin. The professional relationship between the two men soon became a great friendship, fueled in particular by a love shared by automobiles, aeronautics and mechanics. Then they decided to partner to improve and launch their plans for a new watch brand with the support of Lucien Tissot, a lawyer specializing in the watch industry.
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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 jewelery fair held in Basel, Switzerland. This hand-wound mechanism was equipped with a grooved barrel-shaped case that revealed the mechanism6, the main characteristics of the brand's visual identity, and included a tourbillon gauge, a power reserve indicator and a torque indicator. The strap was made of leather and mineral crystal glass, and had a water resistance of up to 50 meters.
In April 2013, Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat acquired a 90% stake in Prototypes Artisanals SA (with former director Alain Varrin holding a 10% stake). Founded by Marco Poluzzi, the company became «ProArt» and moved into a 3,000 m² building in Les Breuleux, built for the manufacture of watch cases and prototypes. After the sale of the carcass supplier Donzé-Baume to the Swiss luxury group Richemont in 2007, the company Richard Mille began investing in the machining of its housings and some of the components of its watches. ProArt began operating as an exclusive subcontractor of the brand.
In October 2018, Richard Mille opened his largest store in the world in New York. It is the sixth store of the brand in the United States, with an area of 390 m² and is located at 57th Street, at 432 Park Avenue, in the highest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. The facade is almost 10 m high, and reveals a glass sculpture formed by 24 individually engraved panels representing the tourbillon movement of the RM 008. The entire structure weighs 16,700 kg.
Richard Mille is a Swiss brand based in the city of Les Breuleux, in the canton of Jura, at an altitude of 1,038 meters above sea level. It operates within the company Montres Valgine.
The characteristic shape of the Richard Mille box is now the main element of the brand's visual identity, ensuring that the watches are clearly recognizable, as well as the visible slot screws both in the box and in the interior of the movement.
However, even models that do not adopt this barrel shape, such as the RM 016 Automatic and RM 017 Tourbillon rectangular watches or the RM 025, RM 028, RM 032 and RM 58-01 round clocks, undoubtedly embody the essence of brand. and they are instantly recognizable as Richard Mille's creations.
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