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What Is a Richard Mille Watch and Why Is It So Expensive?

You'll need at least P4 million to be able to afford their entry-level timepieces.
What Is a Richard Mille Watch and Why Is It So Expensive?
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
You'll need at least P4 million to be able to afford their entry-level timepieces.

Over the weekend, Sen. Bato dela Rosa faced public scrutiny after he sported what was allegedly a luxurious Richard Mille watch. Netizens posed the question on social media: "How could he afford such a timepiece on a senator's salary?"

He has since denied the allegations and said that his watch was a more affordable replica from a brand called Invictus.

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Regardless of whether it was or it wasn't, the timepiece brand has piqued our curiosity. It’s no secret that a single Richard Mille timepiece can cost you a fortune. With entry price points at $85,000 (approximately P4.32 million) to more high-end variants going upward of $2 million for its famed RM 56-02 tourbillon (P101.7 million), these watches are the cream of the crop. But for a young brand that’s only two decades old, what makes Richard Mille worthy of its hefty price tag? We break it down for you:

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The Brand

The timepiece brand is relatively new in the industry, having launched in 2001, and doesn’t boast of a rich history like Cartier or Rolex. It was merely born from Richard Mille’s designer to start an ultra high-end watch brand that delved away from the usual. The brand’s namesake possessed a passion for technology and married it with his knowledge on racing cars, which explains its very technical aspects and industrial design.

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The Inspiration

The Richard Mille design philosophy was always that function preceded style, but that doesn't mean the watches aren't pretty. "Even the famous spline screws, highly visible on the watchcase exterior and used throughout the movement, are the outcome of months of study and investment," the official website reads. Every single screw is the outcome of around 20 operations. With its value for science and technology, every new release from Richard Mille is equipped with the latest technological breakthroughs.

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"I think the time is ripe for a return to the refinement of lifestyle that the pocket watch embodies. A personal pleasure that you know you have in your pocket, which requires an elegant gesture to use and show to others," Mille has said in the past

The Material

A Richard Mille timepiece isn’t made of your typical steel or metals. It’s composed of materials such as carbon nanotubes or gold fused with carbon and ceramic for its case and baseplate. Behind the face is a complex yet sophisticated tourbillon system, which is a staple in some of the luxury wristwatches. Because of its popularity in the world of horology, the tourbillon is usually exposed in a watch’s design.

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Who Wears Them

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These luxury timepieces count various high-profile celebrities as its loyal patrons. Margot Robbie, Natalie Portman, Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, Kevin Hart, Terry Crews, and Jackie Chan represent the artists, reports The Jewellery Editor. Among the athletes, unofficial ambassadors include F1 drivers, tennis stars such as Rafa Nadal and Alexandre Zverev, and golfers like Diana Luna and Bubba Watson.

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