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why are richard mille watches so expensive

If there is one phrase synonymous with luxury in the watch industry, it’s got to be the words ‘Richard Mille’. Richard Mille’s timepieces hold the record for being amongst the most exciting, exclusive, and extravagant time-telling devices in the world.

The very raison d’être of these ultra-high-end timepieces appears to be to break world records, grasp the attention of elite collectors and sunder out millions from Hollywood A-listers and other billionaires. 

The watches, which are multi-million dollar creations foredoomed to wind up in specially guarded private collections, represent a perfect example of horological brilliance. 

Dubbed the ‘billionaire’s handshake’, Richard Mille watches are “racing machines on the wrist”, with staggering prices even by today’s ultra-luxury watch standards.

How on earth can a time-telling device cost over a million dollars? Why do celebrities, athletes, and watch aficionados with deep pockets even buy them? Why are Richard Mille watches so expensive, and are they even worth the money?

Find out answers to these questions and everything you need to know about this famous brand and its uber-popular timepieces below.

About Richard Mille Watches

Avant-garde watchmaking is often associated with a long-standing heritage, but there are always exceptional exceptions, and Richard Mille is one such. Although only founded in 2001, the Swiss luxury watch company has earned its place in the confined territory of haute horlogerie, or high watchmaking. 

Despite being a comparatively young contender, Richard Mille enjoys global fame in the ranks of other high-end watchmakers like Patek Philippe and Rolex. 

And no, this is not one of those sensational momentary successes and fame that is here today and gone tomorrow. Richard Mille watches are renowned for their avant-garde designs, exceptional craftsmanship, and use of cutting-edge materials and technologies. 

The brand combines traditional Swiss watchmaking techniques with modern engineering and contemporary aesthetics to create unique, high-performance timepieces.

One of the key features of Richard Mille watches is their lightweight construction. The brand utilizes materials like carbon fiber, titanium, and other advanced composites to reduce the weight of its watches while maintaining strength and durability. This lightweight design philosophy is inspired by the world of motorsports and aerospace engineering.

The watches are often characterized by their distinctive tonneau-shaped cases, which have become a signature element of the brand’s designs. The cases are ergonomically shaped to provide comfort on the wrist and are typically made from a combination of materials for visual interest and technical performance.

In addition to their striking designs, Richard Mille watches are known for their intricate movements. The brand collaborates with renowned Swiss movement manufacturers, such as Audemars Piguet, Renaud et Papi, and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, to create highly complex and precise mechanical movements.

The brand’s Commercial Director, Alex Mille, said, “If I have to describe our watches, I would say that we stop at no limit. There’s no compromise”. Apart from the state-of-the-art materials, the astronomical rise to the top in a very short period by the brand was possible due to the exclusive, futuristic designs of its watches.

Richard Mille watches are predominantly produced in limited editions and are often associated with high-profile individuals and athletes. The brand has partnerships with various sports figures, including tennis player Rafael Nadal, sprinter Wayde van Niekerk, and golfer Bubba Watson, who wear Richard Mille watches during their respective competitions.

Due to their exclusivity, craftsmanship, and innovative design, Richard Mille watches are considered highly collectible and command premium prices in the luxury watch market. 

The brand’s timepieces are sought after by watch enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate their technical prowess, unique aesthetics, and association with high-performance sports.

The History of Richard Mille

To understand the history of this watch brand, we must first unravel the man behind it. Entrepreneur Richard Mille was a man deeply fascinated by technology. He developed a prolific career in the watch industry and has decades of experience in diverse wristwatches and elite jewelry brands. 

In 1974, he began working at a small French watchmaking company, Finhor. Seven years later, Mantra, a French industrial conglomerate, bought it, and Mille ascended to a management position.

It was during his time at Matra Horlogerie that Mille gained valuable experience and developed his passion for pushing the boundaries of watchmaking. He also supervised a myriad of high-profile projects but moved on in 1992 to spearhead a watchmaking business for Mauboussin. 

Mauboussin was a fashion jewelry brand, and Richard Mille was a shareholder. Again Mille left his position as general manager to start up his own company. 

In late-1998, he revealed his plans to his friend Dominique Guenat, owner of Montres Valgine. A year later, Mille and Guenat began laying the foundation for the Richard Mille brand in partnership with Montres Valgine and Audemars Piguet.

Richard Mille’s philosophy was to bring the same level of engineering and craftsmanship found in high-performance sports cars and the aerospace industry to watchmaking.

By 2001, the RM 001 Tourbillon, the first Richard Mille timepiece, was released. The nearly indestructible watch features a barrel-shaped case with a profoundly skeletonized dial, state-of-the-art materials, and a very futuristic design. 

The bar was thus set very high from the onset, and the technical innovation and artistry propelled the dominance of the young Swiss brand in the industry.

Following the success of RM 001, Richard Mille continued to develop and release a series of groundbreaking watches. The RM 002 was launched in 2002 and incorporated a baseplate made of titanium and a crown mechanism integrated into the case.

A year later, we have the RM 004, which featured a split-seconds chronograph mechanism, also known as a rattrapante. In 2004, the RM 006, which was the first Richard Mille watch to incorporate a carbon nanofiber baseplate, providing enhanced strength and rigidity, was added to the RM collection.

The RM 008, which was the first Richard Mille watch to receive the prestigious Geneva Seal certification, was introduced in 2006. It featured a split-seconds chronograph and a tourbillon mechanism, combining two high-complications in a single timepiece. 

Richard Mille continued to innovate and introduce new timepieces that constantly pushed the boundaries of watchmaking with its technical prowess and avant-garde designs.

One of the brand’s most complicated watches is the Richard Mille RM 56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire. It has a movement made of grade 5 titanium. It is suspended within the sapphire crystal case by a system of cables and pulleys, eliminating the need for a traditional movement holder.

Today, Richard Mille continues to push the boundaries of watchmaking, constantly introducing new materials, technologies, and designs into their collection. The brand remains committed to creating exceptional timepieces that embody the fusion of art, technology, and high-performance engineering.

7 Reasons Why Richard Mille Watches Cost So Much

Richard Mille watches are often priced in the range of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Entry-level RM watches start at around $60,000 and can go up to several million dollars for the most complex and exclusive pieces.

The following factors contribute to the high price tags associated with the brand.

1. Brand Status

Richard Mille enjoys a prestigious and sought-after status in the luxury watch industry. The brand has gained a reputation for producing highly innovative, technologically advanced, and visually striking timepieces. The Swiss Marque’s reputation for exclusivity and innovation attracts many high-profile individuals. 

Mille’s clientèle are true connoisseurs of haute horlogerie timepieces, and celebrity endorsements and associations have significantly impacted consumer perception about the brand.

Several celebrities have been spotted wearing Richard Mille watches, including Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, American rapper and business mogul Jay-Z, musician and fashion icon Pharrell Williams, Jackie Chan, etc.

A Richard Mille watch on the wrist has come to represent an ostentatious lifestyle of the super-rich and extremely famous, almost more than any other watch in the world.

Since the majority of the brand’s clients are A-listers, this profoundly boosts the brand’s visibility and reputation. The exposure from these well-known and admired figures results in widespread coverage and publicity for the brand, reaching a larger audience than traditional advertising methods.

2. Research & Development

All Richard Mille watches are made by the Guenat SA – Montres Valgine (GMV) Manufacture in Les Breuleux, Switzerland.

It is here that all the secrets to creating revolutionary timepieces are kept. The Research and Development (R&D) process at Richard Mille involves a combination of traditional watchmaking expertise and cutting-edge technology. 

The founder embraces technological advancements to enhance the functionality and performance of their watches. For example, they use advanced computer-aided design (CAD) software and simulation tools to optimize the movement components and ensure optimal performance. 

They also incorporate innovative shock-resistant systems to protect the movement from external impacts.

Richard Mille frequently collaborates with renowned watchmaking experts, designers, athletes, and organizations from different fields to push the boundaries of watchmaking. Each watch undergoes a rigorous testing process to ensure reliability and performance. Various endurance tests, including shock resistance, water resistance, and accuracy tests, are carried out. 

The brand also collaborates with professional athletes and motorsport teams to test the watches in extreme conditions.

It is important to note that Richard Mille and his company have achieved several technical milestones and innovations in the luxury watch industry, but they have not necessarily invented entirely new mechanisms or movements. 

Their contributions primarily lie in the application of advanced materials, techniques, and design principles to create groundbreaking timepieces.

3. High-End Materials

Richard Mille incorporates materials such as titanium, carbon nanofiber, and ceramic into Its timepieces, making them lightweight, durable, and resistant to extreme conditions. Richard Mille watches also feature precious metals like gold and platinum and the brand hardly ever uses stainless steel. 

Many of the watches from the brand are constructed using bizarre materials which are seldom (if ever) utilized in the world of horology. They collaborate with leading material experts from various industries to develop and test novel materials, such as Graph TPT® (Graphene and Carbon TPT®), Quartz TPT®, and NTPT® Carbon. 

These materials offer exceptional strength, lightness, and resistance to external factors. They are also usually found in the aviation and racing industries and offer tremendous value, thus escalating the prices.

For instance, Felipe Massa, a Brazilian racing driver, crashed ahead of the 2009 Hungary Grand Prix and suffered a skull fracture. Mind-blowing fact: The Richard Mille watch on his wrist came out unscathed! That’s the kind of high-end material that commands six figures.

4. Assembly

Richard Mille claims it takes over 6,000 man-hours of around-the-clock machining to create some of its most exquisite models.

While the specific assembly process of Richard Mille watches is proprietary information, the process usually begins with manufacturing various components such as the case, dial, hands, movement parts, and screws. 

Highly skilled watchmakers meticulously assemble the movement, which includes tiny gears, springs, jewels, and other intricate components. Made of components like the middle case, bezel, and case back, the case is carefully fitted together and secured, often using screws or specialized techniques like spline screws. 

Sometimes the case may also incorporate elements like sapphire crystals, such as that of the RM 12-01 Tourbillon. The dial, which displays the time and other indicators, is carefully mounted onto the movement. The hands, responsible for indicating hours, minutes, and seconds, are also attached with great precision. Once the watch is assembled, it undergoes rigorous testing and quality control procedures.

5. Finishing

The finishing process in watchmaking refers to the final stages of manufacturing a watch, where attention is given to the details and aesthetics of the timepiece.

Richard Mille greatly emphasizes the finishing process by applying various techniques and treatments to enhance the appearance and quality of the watch. Skilled craftsmen spend considerable time meticulously finishing each component, beveling and polishing edges, and adding perlage or côtes de Genève finish by hand.

The watches often feature polished surfaces that exhibit a high degree of luster and shine. During polishing, imperfections are removed, surfaces are smoothened, and a flawless, reflective finish is created.

In addition to polishing, certain parts of the watch may undergo brushing techniques to achieve a distinctive texture. 

Brushing involves creating fine parallel lines or patterns on the surface using abrasive tools or brushes. This technique is often applied to areas like the case sides or bracelet links, resulting in a contrasting visual effect when combined with polished elements. 

The amount of time, meticulous craftsmanship, and attention to detail invested into each watch contribute to escalating the price.

6. Movements

The movement, or heart of a mechanical watch, is responsible for the accurate timekeeping and other functions of the watch. Richard Mille develops its in-house movements or collaborates with specialized manufacturers to create unique, high-performance calibers. 

Their movements often incorporate innovative features like skeletonized designs, tourbillons, and complex chronograph mechanisms. The brand also popularized the concept of skeletonized movements, where the internal mechanical parts of the watch are intricately exposed and visible through the dial or case back. 

This technique, which comes at a high cost, not only adds visual appeal but also allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the watch’s intricate mechanics. Another area where the brand dominates is in the making of Tourbillon watches. A tourbillon is a mechanism that compensates for the effects of gravity on the watch’s accuracy. 

In September 2018, the first international Horology Forum occurred in the heart of London. One of the trendy topics among A-list aficionados was their fascination with and desire to own a Richard Mille watch. 

Some of the leading watch manufacturers at the meeting said they would want to buy a Richard Mille watch because of the high quality of the movements.

7. Low Supply & High Demand

Richard Mille produces fewer than 5,000 watches for its global customers annually. There are only 41 Richard Mille boutiques around the world where new watches from the brand can be obtained.

The limited supply and the brand’s reputation for exclusivity and craftsmanship have created a strong global demand for Richard Mille watches. This holds for watches on the secondary watch market as well.

As a result, many of their models have long waiting lists, and some even have waiting periods of several years. Alex Mille reportedly complained that he doesn’t wear a Richard Mille watch himself because they’ve got hundreds of clients on the waitlist but have less than one watch per boutique in stock.

The scarcity of Richard Mille watches adds to the hype and prices of their timepieces. Again the watches are often produced in limited editions, further enhancing their exclusivity and desirability.

What’s The Most Expensive Richard Mille Watch?

The retail prices of Richard Mille watches are at the edge of the spectrum, even within the realm of haute horlogerie. Currently, the most expensive Richard Mille watch is the RM 56-02 Tourbillon Sapphire, with a retail price of around $2 million. 

There are only 10 models available, and it is crafted using a sapphire crystal for the case, making it transparent and providing a unique view of the intricate mechanical movements inside. Holding the title of the most expensive Richard Mille watch ever sold is the RM 56-01, which was sold at Christie’s in Geneva for a staggering $3,661,673.

What’s The Cheapest Richard Mille Watch?

The cheapest Richard Mille watch you can buy is the RM 016 Automatic Winding Extra Flat, priced at $60,000 MSRP. The entry-level RM watch has an extremely flat stainless steel and titanium case with a skeletonized automatic winding movement visible through the open-worked dial.

Are Richard Mille Watches a Good Investment?

Yes, Richard Mille watches are good investments. The limited production, high-quality with exotic materials, and complex manufacturing processes guarantee good value retention.

Richard Mille has gained a strong reputation for its innovative technology, avant-garde designs, and association with high-profile individuals, including athletes and celebrities. We all know how much brand reputation can influence the desirability and value of watches over time.

When considering a Richard Mille watch as an investment, you should note that the condition and authenticity of the timepiece are crucial. Mint-condition watches with original documentation and boxes generally have a higher value than those with signs of wear or missing documentation.

While most Richard Mille watches (especially limited editions) have seen significant appreciation in value over time, I advise you to consult with a professional financial advisor or expert in the watch market before making any investment decisions.

Don’t put your life savings into buying a Richard Mille watch as an investment. It’s best to diversify your investment portfolio across different asset classes so that the risk can be properly managed and gains potentially increased.


We’ve seen that Richard Mille watches can cost over a million dollars, and now we know why. It might still seem unnecessarily extravagant for regular folks like us, but remember that there are 2,640 billionaires and 56 million millionaires in the world right now. They need something special. Not some ‘cheap’ $30,000 time-telling device, so cut Richard Mille some slack.

Fake vs real richard mille

The fake watch industry is huge. In fact, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights estimates that nearly 1.9 billion Euros of annual revenue for legitimate manufacturers is lost to counterfeit watches and jewelry on the European market (nearly 13.5% of total sales for the sector), with counterfeiting causing an estimated 3.5 billion Euros worth of sales lost for the European economy.

It’s likely you’re even just as aware within your personal life that fake watches exist, so their proliferation in markets and social settings is common. Wear a branded watch, and you might get asked, “Is it real?”; Ask the same question to a peer, and the response, “It’s a fake…”, is just as likely. 

And with watches being increasingly present in the public consciousness today than ever before, it’s no wonder that their counterfeit counterparts are increasing in quality and numbers than ever before as well, copying brands the full spectrum from Seiko to Rolex and even Richard Mille.  

About Richard Mille Watches

Richard Mille is a Swiss high luxury watchmaker founded in 2001 by Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat. The brand is known for its innovative designs, cutting-edge materials, and high-performance movements with advanced technologies. 

Richard Mille watches are some of the most expensive watches in the world, with prices ranging from $100,000 to well over $1,000,000, and are worn by celebrities and world-class athletes the world over (You may have heard of Jay-Z, Michelle Yeoh, Kevin Hart, Drake, or Rafael Nadal for starters). 

With their unique designs, manufacturing, and celebrity endorsements, Richard Mille watches have come to represent among the highest tiers of achievement and attainment within the watch industry. Unfortunately, this popularity and status have also made them a target for counterfeiters.

Fake vs Real Richard Mille Watches: What to Look For

Counterfeit Richard Mille watches are often made with inferior materials and craftsmanship and may not even have the correct features or functions. As a result, it is important to be able to tell the difference between a real and a fake Richard Mille watch before you buy one. 

While this is not a “be all, end all” guide on how to spot a fake Richard Mille, these are a few helpful tips that can help you on your way, or at the very least raise a few immediate red flags to help you get out of dodge. Let’s jump in.

Watch Price

Is the deal “too good to be true”? Trust your gut; it’s probably a fake. If you see a Richard Mille watch for sale for a price that is too good to be true, it probably is; remember, the entry level pricing for a Richard Mille is nearly $100,000. 

If you see a watch at a fraction of the cost, ex: $20,000 for an RM 07-04, it’s likely a fake. Counterfeiters often sell their watches at a fraction of the retail price to lure unsuspecting buyers. This goes without saying that RM 11-03 on eBay for $450.00 is also…not legit.

Build Quality & Materials

Inspect the materials. Richard Mille watches are made from high-quality materials, such as titanium, carbon fiber, and sapphire crystal. If the watch you are considering buying is made from something technically “inferior” or low-tech, like steel or plastics, it is likely a fake. 

Additionally, look for flaws in the craftsmanship. Richard Mille watches are made with meticulous attention to detail and should be precise in execution. If you notice any flaws in the craftsmanship, such as uneven lines or misaligned screws, incorrect fonts, engravings, or even the wrong movement type (many fakes will use quartz batteries in place of mechanical movements), you’ll know it’s counterfeit.

Watch Weight

A watch’s weight can be a tricky tell for watch authenticity without experience handling many watches or understanding how weight should translate on the wrist; however, it can certainly be a factor when determining if one is real or fake.

In the case of fake Rolex watches for example, the legitimate watch will often feel much heftier and solid than the fake. However, due to their use of advanced materials, Richard Mille watches are inherently lightweight, so quite the opposite can be said.

If the watch feels too heavy, as if made of steel, etc., then it’s safe to doubt the authenticity. Indeed, watches such as the RM 035 “Rafael Nadal” are purpose-built to be as lightweight as possible for use on the tennis court, so be sure to do your research to gauge accordingly.  

Case Finishing

With pricing into $100,000 and beyond, it’s easy to understand that case finishing should be of the utmost importance for a manufacturer such as Richard Mille to meet the expectations of the prices being asked. 

On the other hand, manufacturers of fake watches are not going to be spending nearly as much time or effort in finishing their watch cases, as their intent is to pump out as many fakes as they can with as close to acceptable finishing as possible to maximize their profit margins. With a fake Richard Mille in hand, you may often find rough edges or surfaces that aren’t finished correctly (ex: brushed when it should be polished).


Is the watch ticking or does it have a visible battery? Unfortunately, that’s a fake. Is the movement finishing on par with the cost of the watch, or are there bare bridges, poor decoration, and missing jewels? 

All are tell-tale signs of a counterfeit watch (which isn’t to say there aren’t high-end quartz watches; rather, cheaply made quartz movements are often placed in fake watches). Do your research and get familiar with the functions of the particular model you’re aiming to buy. If it’s a chronograph, make sure the functionality is present. Oftentimes, a fake won’t be able to do it all.

How to Avoid Fake Richard Mille Watches: 

We’ve listed a few basics that should help you along the way. But even for the most hardened watch experts, it can still be difficult to tell a really good fake from a legitimate timepiece, particularly as the fake manufacturers continue to get better and better at what they do. It’s scary how close the counterfeits are getting these days, so what more can you do to ensure your safety?

Do Your Research

It goes without saying, but when spending over $100,000 on a timepiece (or any luxury purchase for that matter), do your research. A friend once told me you should be able to describe the face of the watch in perfect detail, at a minimum, before you even consider buying it. 

More than that, immerse yourself in the details of the watch; its dimensions, features, and functions, heck, make it your cell phone wallpaper so that you see it every day and know what a proper example should look like. When the example you’ve been waiting for comes to sale, do your research on that! This leads us to the next point…

Ask Questions

A legitimate and worthy seller should be willing to answer any question you have about the watch they have for sale. Ask to see the warranty card; every Richard Mille should have a unique warranty card with a holographic seal embedded. 

It should be signed and dated by a Richard Mille employee and should have a serial number that should match the serial number engraved on the bottom of the caseback of the watch. Ask about the history of the watch, its provenance, return policy, and more pictures of the details (ex: the movement, watch condition, etc.) as needed.

Take Your Time

Don’t be a victim of FOMO (fear of missing out); making a rash decision to purchase a watch without taking your time and due diligence can land you in a tough spot. You also shouldn’t feel pressured by the seller to make the purchase.

Get An Expert Opinion

Social media and local watch groups like Instagram and Red Bar are great resources for finding like-minded collector communities. Technology has brought us together in ways that can benefit you when making a purchase decision. 

You’ll find that, more often than not, people are willing to help. Reach out to other collectors or specialists, and they’ll be able to speak to a watch’s legitimacy or at least raise red flags if anything looks off. I’ve even personally saved a friend from being victimized by watch fraud when I noticed the URL of the watch he wanted to purchase was a fake eBay listing. 

Always Buy from a Reputable Seller

Which brings us to the final point: Always buy from a trusted dealer. There’s an adage in the watch community, “Buy the seller, not the watch”. A trusted, reputable dealer has nothing but their reputation and will go to great lengths to protect it.

They will do their due diligence to ensure a watch is legitimate, often with employed watchmakers on hand to confirm this, even down to the watch’s construction and movement analysis. They may even be certified to work on/with the brand, or at the very least, should be able to provide a post-purchase warranty and a flexible return policy, with authenticity guaranteed.

They should have experience dealing with watches of this caliber and be able to accommodate all of your questions and concerns detailed above. At the end of the day, your best ticket to guaranteeing an authentic watch is to purchase from a reputable dealer.


Richard Mille is a young brand, but it has quickly made a name for itself in the world of luxury watchmaking. The company’s watches are known for their innovative designs, cutting-edge materials, and high-performance movements. Its quick ascent has made it a target for criminal activity and the production of fakes. 

Purchasing a fake Richard Mille is costly. Not only will you be paying for an inferior product, but you may also be supporting criminal activity. By following the tips in this article and purchasing only from reputable sellers, you can help to ensure that what you’re getting is the real deal. Godspeed.

Richard Mille vs Rolex

In this article we’ll be comparing two true Icons in the timepiece and horology world. Rolex and Richard Mille are both larger-than-life brands that set precedents for current and resell markets as well as setting trends around the globe. For generations brands like these spark inspiration in children and adults alike.

Both a symbol of wealth and success, these timepieces have become a staple of both and are worn by celebrities, professional athletes, and entrepreneurs alike. Both brands of timepieces are extremely rare and extremely valuable. Both companies have legacies spanning years of innovation and design.

Brief History of Brands


Once just a dream has flourished into today’s most widely recognizable timepiece and timepiece producer Rolex was founded in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis, and Rolex was soon registered as the timepiece company’s name in 1908. This company began with a vision of a portable wearable form as timekeeping.

Today Rolex is renowned for its quality, and accuracy and everyone loves strong resell value when making an investment of this magnitude. As far as reasons why you may want to or already may own a Rolex are up to you, as a Rolex advocate and lover of quality timepieces in general I say you can’t go wrong with any Rolex you can afford.

Richard Mille

Seeded in a constant need for innovation and pushing the limits of what’s possible in the timepiece world Richard Mille was founded in 1999 and has risen to be the apotome of innovation while maintaining subtle class and wealth. Founded with the backing from Ademar’s Piguet has given Richard Mille the opportunity to catapult to the forefront of the most expensive and sought-after timepieces.

Quality coupled with Innovation and rarity all fuel the drive for Richard Mille timepieces. If you are one of the lucky few that can bless your wrist with one of these pieces of art only then can you truly appreciate the greatness that is Richard Mille.

What is more expensive a Rolex or a Richard Mille timepiece, and why?


This frequently asked question can begin to be answered by looking a little deeper into initial cost, resell value, and quality. The initial cost of your entry-level Rolex could run you about 5000 to 8000 depending on the model of course.

Not having the highest initial cost of ownership shouldn’t veer anyone away from purchasing a Rolex as their resell values have continued to skyrocket over the past years. The unsurpassed quality of Rolex watches guarantees you get what you pay for and retain the value it deserves in the long run.

Richard Mille

Richard Mille

Now let’s look at Richard Mille timepieces. These highly sought-after timepieces are extremely rare and are known for retaining value and reselling well above their initial cost of ownership. The initial cost of a Richard Mille is somewhere around 50000 to 70000.

These figures are not for the faint of heart but rest assured Richard Mille timepieces resell value thrives in the open market due to their constant innovations and precious materials used in assembly.


Richard Mille quality

Continuing on the theme of Richard Mille vs. Rolex lets next dig deeper into the movements of each. First up Richard Mille. What more can be said about the seamless construction and movements of R.M. timepieces other than innovation and dedication. Richard Mille is dedicated to making the most innovative designs and most efficient movements.

Richard Mille movements

Known for superior movements Richard Mille uses automatic, automatic tourbillon and an automatic flyback chronograph movement that is flawlessly paired with the highest quality building materials available.

Rolex quality

Rolex watches on the other hand have a lot of history on their side as some of the most reliable timepieces ever made. Only using the highest of quality materials in the construction of their movements

Rolex Movements

Rolex watches nowadays are usually either a self-winding automatic or a manual winding movement. Rolex movements are all painstakingly handmade by more than 2000 employees in house at the Bienne manufacturing site in Switzerland.

Origins of design elements

Rolex design origins

Rolex has a modern and vintage catalog that can be divided into two parts the Oyster and the Cellini design. The oyster design refers to any Rolex that has a sealed case invented by the company in 1926 and gets the name from the oyster-like shape and design of the timepiece and bezel.

Cellini in Rolex refers to the famous Italian goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini and his influence on the design of these highly refined timepieces. As for the materials used, the precious metals are all made at an in-house foundry. To ensure the quality you must vigorously inspect this means all Rolex are handmade and are rigorously inspected before leaving the factory.

Richard Mille design origin

Richard Mille design elements can be defined really in two words futuristic and innovative. Tonneau is a word for a barrel type shape and describes the shape of the most recognizable Mille’s. These extremely valuable timepieces can be made from anything including gold, carbon and even sapphire or emerald. The creativity and innovation that drive the innovative designs of Richard Mille are unapparelled and that is represented in the prices of these works of art.

Popular models

Rolex’s Submariner

Rolex Submariner

Always an interesting topic of discussion among friends is what is currently in what’s the current trend in popularity. Here will highlight a choice of the current and popular models of Rolex and Richard Mille on the market today. We will start by discussing a Rolex that remains synonymous with the likes of yachting and diving alike.

The Rolex Submariner remains at the top of a lot of collector’s lists. Considering the rarity and overall build quality its not surprising that I personally witnessed a 1-2 year waitlist for this watch and its no wonder it remains hot on the market.

Richard Mille Pharrell Williams Collaboration

Richard Mille has become a household name and wildly popular for many reasons, build quality, innovation, and of rarity drive prices of these timepieces on the open market through the roof. One Mille in particular ide like to highlight for numerous reasons is the 52-05. Known formally as the RM 52-05 manual tourbillion Pharrell Williams.

This collaboration with music and fashion mogul Pharrell Williams is truly out of this world featuring a wild view of earth from an astronaut on mars this timepiece remains at the top of both the most collectible and rarest watches in the world.

Resell Value 

Rolex and the resell markets

A question in everyone’s mind when investing in a high-end timepiece is the resell value or the value in which the timepiece increases after original or factory purchase. Watches such as Rolex and Richard Mille are highly revered in the high end resell market and with good reason.

Rolex with its long revered history not only in timepieces but sponsoring some of the biggest sporting events and teams on the planet, for over 40 years Rolex has sponsored events such as Wimbledon and even a history that goes even further back in yachting.

Richard Mille loves the resell markets

Richard Mille and resell value go hand and hand. Since 1999 RM has made some of the most expensive unobtainable watches on the market today. Richard Mille is so expensive and tend to not only hold and retain but increase in resell value on the secondary or open market because of their innovative technology and extremely limited numbers of each model produced, due to this the timepieces thrive in the resell market.


Rolex factory warranty

Something that should always be in the front of someone’s mind when buying a high-end timepiece, especially from the factory is a warranty. Rolex is known for its five-year guarantee of the proper function of its timepieces.

This of course excludes normal wear and tear so of course always be aware of your surroundings when wearing your prized possessions, but at the same time don’t be afraid to wear some wrist candy after all that’s what they’re made for and should be worn accordingly, in my opinion at least.

Richard Mille factory warranty

Richard Mille has a little more intricate warranty as they will cover all timepieces in unworn condition for 2 years, a secondary market used Richard Mille will most likely not be covered under warranty if sold as a used timepiece.

Just to reiterate, buyers should always check warranties from both the factory and secondary dealers before purchasing a high end timepiece just to properly protect your wallet and your investment.


Rolex’s overall timekeeping accuracy

Accuracy is something that is a staple of any high-end timepiece and is truly the sole purpose of a watch is precise timekeeping. Rolex watches are highly refined and extremely accurate, down to about 2 seconds either way per day as stated by a close friend of mine who deals in high-end timepieces.

According to the long-time timepiece dealer, collector his Rolex’s only lose about 5-7 seconds a month, either way, sometimes even less. This statistic beats the average standard of about 10 seconds lost or gained per month per Rolex watch.

Richard Mille overall timekeeping accuracy

Richard states that Richard Mille watches are accurate down to about 5-8 seconds per day. This is still extremely accurate considering they have a running standard of no more than a 30-second variation per month either way. This type of artisanship is why Richard Mille lives up to the hype. This proves that the extremely fashionable piece of wrist art does more than just amaze everyone not wearing it.


Rolex band options and origins

One of the first things I look at and like to test the feel of when trying out a new timepiece is the watch’s band. It’s interesting to think wristwatches weren’t a thing until about 1868 when an already established Patek Philippe made the first wristwatch under the commission of a countess of Hungary. It wasn’t until around the turn of the century when a newspaper ad in Germany depicted a pilot wearing a wristwatch which at the time was known as wristlet.

Soon after everything started to change in the watch world when “Wilsdorf & Davis, which ultimately adopted the trade name Rolex, began experimenting with wristwatches in 1905.” (, 2013) Then again in “1906 when the Hamilton company produced the first now flexible watch band.” (, 2013)

Richard Mille band options and origins

When choosing a new timepiece the band that comes on the watch can be a make or break. It’s important to know everything about your investment including different bands to personalize or sometimes raise the value. Richard Mille timepieces origins are deeply rooted in motorsports and sports in general.

This makes a proper rubber yet comfortable type material is a must. Richard Mille watch bands can range from simpler but pricey materials such as gold, titanium, and more complex materials such as sapphire, emerald, carbon composite, and carbon TPT.

Popular Features

Richard Mille features

To even begin to talk about the laundry list of features synonymous with Richard Mille you have to start with the materials used in construction that share lineage with both the racing and aviation heritage. For instance, silicone nitrate is almost completely exclusive in the watch world to Richard Mille as this material is primarily used in lightweight racecar parts.

Another intriguing material used seamlessly in the construction of Richard Mille’s is gold infused with carbon and quartz. These materials make Richard Mille timepieces extremely lightweight except for gold of course and make them extremely durable and shock resistant across their whole range of timepieces.

Rolex’s popular features

Rolex on the other hand has its own laundry list of timeless features. The materials used in crafting these works of art are nothing but the best, this can be proven by buying one of the Oyster steel masterpieces. This steel alloy that is specific to the brand is a quality standard other maker wish to achieve. Remaining on the topic of quality Rolex is known to take up to a year to make a watch meticulously retaining their own standard of excellence.

As large of a company as Rolex is they still take time to pressure test every single dive watch that leaves the factory to ensure the best product possible. These are only a few reasons Rolex’s a great investment in any market and retain value so well.

Who makes better daily wear watches? Rolex or Richard Mille?

Richard Mille and daily wear

As mentioned in the above topics discussed Richard Mille Rolex use only the best and most valuable materials in the construction of their timepieces. This is only one of many things that should be taken into account when choosing a daily wear watch.

Richard Mille watches are incredibly lightweight and shock resistant making them resilient to a hit from just about anything and light enough that you may forget you’re even wearing it with some units weighing less than 30 grams. Deeply seeded in sports and celebrities alike Richard Mille is quoted as saying “If our athletes and ambassadors don’t truly love wearing our watches every day, then the collaboration loses its true value.”

Rolex and daily wear

Let’s shift gears to a daily worn icon of celebrities and world elites like Rolex is known for being a tool watch. This essentially means that it is made to stand up to normal use and everyday wear and tear which makes it that much more bang for your buck.

With a little care and some maintenance from time to time, your Rolex will well outlive your everyday use and probably even the next person to wear it every day. This company is devoted to style, utilitarianism, and artisanship making them a fine choice for an everyday timepiece both to make a statement and keep extremely accurate time.

Brand Values

Rolex’s brand value

When you think of timepieces, there aren’t many that come to mind quicker than Rolex or Richard Mille. Some like Richard Mille have come to a long way value-wise in a short time. Rolex on the other hand has been a huge contender in a worldwide watch game for over 100 years.

Founded on the idea of precise timekeeping during a time when most watches weren’t very precise even in the early 1900s. Rolex as a company nowadays is worth roughly 8.5 billion dollars. It’s amazing to think that a dream of precise timekeeping could flourish into one of the most widely recognizable brands on earth.

Richard Mille brand value

Richard Mille founded in 1999 rose rapidly in popularity taking the world by storm with its first timepiece costing approximately 135000 USD. Forever making the company synonymous with elites and the super-wealthy.

The company works under its ownership company which is Montres Nalgene. Today Richard Mille is the flagship brand of this company and worth billions in its own regard and will continue to prosper with the innovation they were founded on.

Why are Richard Mille and Rolex so expensive?

Rolex investing 

When opening a conversation about watches one of the focal points is always watch pricing both factory and grey open market pricing. Two of the biggest players in the expensive game of high-end timepiece manufacturing Richard Mille and Rolex are not usually priced for the lighthearted or light funded for that matter.

Let’s breakdown some reasons Rolex’s cost brings now and will continue to bring into the future. First off Rolex has amassed a base of consumers and support but doesn’t meet the supply need for their watches. What this means is they have cornered the supply and demand aspect of their business model by fixing their new timepiece supply thus generating more and more demand, it’s genius really.

A more buyer-friendly reason for their great demand is the fact that a Rolex is more than a timepiece it’s a lifestyle more important economically a Rolex is a great investment and can pretty much guarantee an increase in resale price the longer you keep it and keep it maintained.

Richard Mille investing

Richard Mille and wealth go hand and hand, but most don’t understand innovation and artisanship. From the inside to the outside Richard Mille’s are built with the highest grade materials only. The movement inside a Richard Mille looks futuristic and seems to be crafted in the future.

Made of usually about 90% grade 5 titanium 6% aluminum and about 4% vanadium these futuristic materials had not been seen in watchmaking previous to Richard Mille’s designs. Along with high-grade materials comes lots of labor and hand-working hours of watchmaking. These are the factors that contribute to the overall scarcity of Richard Mille timepieces as a whole.

Richard Mille produces roughly 5000 watches a year which may seem like a lot they gain a ton of value because of very limited models most exclusive models are limited to 500 or fewer pieces with their rarest collection consisting of 1 of 1’s and extremely low number timepieces for only the best standing and wealthiest clients.

Pros and cons

Invest like a pro so you don’t get conned!

Pros and cons are a serious topic and should be weighed when investing in any type of luxury item. For me personally, when it comes to investing in timepieces it all comes down to your current means. I and every other so-called watch enthusiast would have an extensive collection if the proper means were available or presented themselves. This being said it begs the question of whether larger cost equates to a pro or con.

Is cost a pro when investing in timepieces?

In the high end timepiece world, its usually a pro. This thinking follows the theory of the more something costs you the more it will cost to the next guy or just generally in the future if kept in pristine condition.

Counterfeits and fakes 

On the flip side, an obvious con to all of this is counterfeits and fakes which are prevalent around the world. These fakes can be extremely well made but aren’t up to the standards of such elites as Rolex or Richard Mille for example.

Being waitlisted

Another con for high-end timepiece buying is long waiting lists at the authorized dealers of Rolex’s or Richard Mille’s. A lot of times it seems once put on these waiting lists if you ever get the chance to own one of these pieces of functional artwork you may not even get a choice in the matter of what model you are allowed to buy at that time based on availability to you personally not what’s fully in stock. This can make it even more challenging to break into the world of high end watch collecting.

Frequently asked questions

When making an investment, especially in the timepiece world make sure to ask as many questions as possible because if your product of interest and dealer or legit they will have no problem answering your questions. The buying side of timepiece collecting can be confusing and challenging while changing day to day.

Let’s go over a few frequently asked questions that everyone should ask when investing in a high end timepiece.

1. What is the movement inside the watch and how many gems does it use in the movement?

The answer to this question can right away distinguish a good or bad investment. Don’t be afraid to straight up ask the opinion of your own expert on the investment quality of a timepiece.

2. How do I know if my dealer is reputable and if my timepiece is real?

Real dealers that are reputable and associated with the watchmakers will be certified and will not be afraid to show you such certification. One easy way to certify an authentic watch is to identify a paper trail of purchase and connect the dots hopefully back to the factory of origin.

You may even be able to identify a serial number or marking and contact the company to confirm or deny if it’s authentic. You may need to send the timepiece to the factory to be authenticated.

3. How does this timepiece stay functioning?

It is important to do your homework on things about the timepiece you want to invest in. Always ask the dealer if the timepiece in question needs batteries, has an automatic power source or it may even be a manual wind.

4. How often do I get my timepiece serviced?

It is very important to have your timepiece serviced on the dates given by the authorized dealer. This servicing will significantly increase the life and overall timekeeping ability of any timepiece.

Franck Muller vs Richard Mille

When big names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Jay Z flaunt a high-end watch with pride, the world pays attention. From movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger to star sports players like Odell Beckham, Richard Mille and Franck Muller have become a go-to watch brand for celebrities who want to collaborate on designs and stylish timepieces.

As a rabid demand for Richard Mille watches continues to escalate among top figures, many watch enthusiasts are left disillusioned by the long waiting list, and shocking price. This has led many buyers to explore other high-end brands, one of which is Frank Muller.

Considered the original Richard Mille, Franck Muller has become the one brand that offers high-end, unique, and stylish timepieces that are analog to certain Richard Mille models such as the Cintrée Curvex which has a tonneau (or barrel-shaped) case with ergonomic doming. But is Franck Muller better than Richard Mille? This in-depth and insightful comparison & review will help you choose the right timepiece between these two.

Franck Muller vs Richard Mille: Brief history of Franck Muller

Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller was born in 1958. The brand takes its name from its founder who is a  trained master watchmaker from the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. His passion to produce timepieces unlike any other started after he graduated from Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève, a watchmaking school in Geneva.

He began by repairing top-quality complicated timepieces, which were mostly pocket watches from the collection of Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. In 1984, he designed his first tourbillon wristwatch, and following its success, he launched his watch brand in 1991 where he began designing limited ultra-complicated timepieces for private clients.

His collections immediately became famous in Europe and the United States and since its inception, the Geneva-based House of Franck Muller has shocked the watch world with a string of “world premieres” and many other intricate timepieces earning him the ‘Master of Complications’ titles. 

Today, the Franck Muller brand has become world-famous for its Luxury and Grand Complications produced with a quality skillset and watchmaking expertise. The brand’s headquarters, also called Watch land, is located in Genthod, north of Geneva with other production sites in Lajoux, Les Bois, Plan-les-Ouates, and Meyrin.

Richard Mille

Richard Mille

Just like Franck Muller, Richard Mille is relatively new to the luxury watch market. The brand was founded in 2001 by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille, in Les Breuleux, Switzerland, and is known for successfully using extreme luxury pricing. His watchmaking career began after he started working at Finhor, a local watchmaking company in 1974.

Finhor was bought by Matra in 1981 and Richard Mille rose to a managerial position which he held for about ten years until a disagreement about commercial strategy at Mauboussin, where he was a shareholder, made him leave his position as General Manager of the watchmaking division and launch his range of watches.

 Together with Dominique Guenat, he drew up plans and founded the Richard Mille watchmaking brand in collaboration with Swiss watchmaking manufacturer Audemars Piguet. It all started with Richard Mille dreaming of combining the worlds of cars and aeronautics with Haute Horlogerie.

From the use of extraordinary components like space-age materials such as Carbon TPT to grade 5 titanium and graphene, Richard Mille has blazed the trail in the watch world of innovation and Technology. Richard Mille is also the first watch brand to develop new movements for every model and utilize materials from the racing and aerospace sectors.

 From the unveiling of Its first watch, the RM 001 Tourbillon in 2001 was made from titanium and carbon nano-fiber to the RM 65-01 Automatic Split-Seconds Chronograph, a highly complex sports timepiece with a skeletonized automatic winding movement with extraordinarily shock-resistance, Richard Mille has made headlines in the luxury timepiece industry. You should also look for some of the Richard Mille Alternatives.

Unique Design: Franck Muller vs. Richard Mille

Franck Muller Watches

Both Franck Muller and Richard Mille have effectively incorporated the watch world of luxurious design with dazzlement that is uniquely attractive even to the untrained eye. The watches produced by these brands have unique designs that are far from conventional, but each has a distinct look and feel. Franck Muller timepieces are easily identifiable thanks to their Cintrée Curvex shape and sporty elegance. 

The brand is known to encapsulate artistic flair with unique aesthetics and beautiful designs of the numerals, crystallizing the glamorous culture of the late 1990s and the high-tech aspects of the 21st century. Inspired by automotive designs, Richard  Mille is world-renowned for producing high-end timepieces that are futuristic and revolutionary.

The brand has established the production of iconic tonneau-shaped cases that are unique yet classic in appearance as its main feature when it comes to unique designs but looking back at history, we see that unique tonneau-shape watches with large numbers and indices had always been a great representation of the Franck Muller’s central theme and design so both brands have similar watches, the only difference is the flair and technical twist that Richard Mille adds to his which ultimately increases the appeal of his timepieces.

Reputation: Franck Muller vs. Richard Mille

When it comes to reputation, it’s hard to generally put one brand ahead of another. Both brands have reputable careers in horology and have risen to global fame, but Richard Mille’s bold aesthetic details have positioned It among the most important brands in the world that are sought after by elite members of society. This is not the case with Franck Muller watches. 

Richard Mille’s high reputation among the rich is renowned, so much so that the term “Billionaire’s Handshake” has been attributed to those who wear Richard Mille’s timepieces. In addition to impressive design, engineering, and high-tech innovation, Richard Mille’s marketing strategy is pure genius. The brand produces less than 5,000 watches per year, making Its timepieces highly exclusive, which soars its reputation because more elites continue to crave it. 

Franck Muller on the other hand has been dubbed the “Master of Complications” in the watch world. A name that reflects confidence in the intricacy and ultra-complicated designs of the brand’s watches. He rose to fame when he produced the world’s most complicated wristwatch called the Aeternitas Mega ( a timepiece that houses 36 complications and was manufactured from a total of 1,483 components) but doesn’t use extreme luxury pricing like Richard Mille.

While Franck Muller’s appeal remains strong among watch enthusiasts, Its reputation has also faded a bit from the mainstream watch-buying segments. Wearing a Richard Mille timepiece today says things to other people about you in a way that no other watch brand can. Typically it indicates that you’re among the first class in society who is doing very well financially and that you have a level of good taste for luxurious items.

More recently, it also shows that you have connections with dealers and though Franck Muller is a rockstar in the world of Swiss unless you hang out with some hardcore watch enthusiast who knows about Franck Muller, his watches simply won’t have the same effect Mille’s watches have on people.


Franck Muller watches mostly use the modified ETA movements but they are exemptions. The Casablanca 5850 Chronograph for instance is powered by the manual-winding FM cal. 1870, which is based upon the Lemania cal. 1872  (Lemania was a historic Swiss ebauche movement manufacturer famed for their chronograph movements.

It is now called Manufacture Breguet) and some men’s watches come with mechanical in-house movements that are all tried and tested, making them strong performers. Richard Mille in opposition uses in-house movements for all Its timepieces. This means the movements are made by the brand themselves and everyone knows that in-house movements are generally of higher quality than any of the mass-produced movements that are being used by other watch brands.


Richard Mille’s watches are extremely popular and are also considered to be one of the most expensive timepieces in the world. As of the time of writing this article, prices for Richard Mille watches range from $80,000 to $2 million. The cheapest is the new RM 005, which costs around $80,000. The reason Richard Mille’s watches are so expensive is partly due to the manufacturing process being complex and very time-consuming in addition to the image and reputation that the brand’s watches bear. 

Unlike Richard Mille, Franck Muller’s catalog is immense, resulting in a wide range of prices. A simple women’s watch can be gotten for about 3,000 USD, while modest men’s models cost between 5,700 and 7,500 USD. Watches with diamonds or other precious stones, and those that feature a tourbillon in addition to a perpetual calendar cost around 70,000 USD upwards.

The more complicated the watch, the higher the price but they are relatively affordable, especially when you compare them to Richard Mille’s watches. When it comes to Franck Muller’s watches, only the highly complicated masterpieces like the Aeternitas Mega 4 typically demand some more cash beyond the two million USD mark.

Is Richard Mille and Franck Muller the same

No, but the two brands have a lot in common. Both Richard Mille and Franck Muller show off high-tech watches with amazing designs and movements that are typically out of this world. The unique tonneau-shaped watches with large numbers and indices were first introduced by Franck Muller and were a noble representation of the brand’s central theme and design.

Many of Muller’s first watches were quite unconventional, looked fun and quirky, and sometimes large and over the top but always fashionable and beautifully finished. Unfortunately, (as with all fashionable items), a new wave of fashion shadowed Franck Muller’s fame as similar timepieces with more technical twists and aesthetical appeal hit the watch market.

Guess the major competitor? Richard Mille! With his profound technical experience and progressive mindset, Richard Mille quickly gained global acceptance with the creation of revolutionary timepieces, high-profile endorsements, and marketing ingenuity.

Resale Value And Warranty

To people with an eye on investment, good resale value is critical in purchasing any watch especially when it’s a watch that costs tens of thousands of dollars. It’s very rational to ensure that your purchase will appreciate over time.

The good news is it is safe to purchase a Franck Muller or Richard Mille timepiece because both brands have a strong reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Both brands make high-end jewelry with some of the finest materials available, including gold, diamond, titanium, and platinum. 

Richard Mille watches hold their value well but not fantastically because they are rare and limited and unless you are in the inner circle of the billionaires club, selling them off when you’re ready might take a lot of time especially since the target market is niche.

The brand also offers a 3-year warranty plus an extra two years of free servicing which depends on if the watch owner had his watch adequately serviced within the first three-year warranty. Meanwhile, Franck Muller provides every owner with free services for their watch within the first two years of purchase.

Franck Muller Vanguard Vs Richard Mille

Though Franck Muller’s success has slowed a bit, all Its watches have remained over the top and complicated, especially the watches found in the Vanguard collection. The Franck Muller’s Vanguard collection sails in a sporty direction just like Richard Mille’s watches and showcases some of the Brand’s most extraordinary and groundbreaking timepieces. An obvious similarity shared by both watches is the resin-filled channel along the sides of the case and the tonneau shape. 

The finishing on the Vanguard timepieces is done to the highest possible standard and exudes sporting elegance but comes in a flexible design that can easily span the gulf between the beachside resort, boardroom, and anywhere in-between but Richard Mille’s watch concept of combining the worlds of cars, aeronautics and sailing with the high-tech aspects of innovation, resistant materials and accuracy to produce stunning timepieces makes us put the best collection of Franck Muller (namely the Vanguard), head to head with Richard Mille. 

When it comes to prices, you’ll see that prices for Franck Muller Vanguard timepieces cover a relatively wide spectrum. Starting prices begin from around 3,800 USD to over 100,000 USD depending on the material, watch movement, and added jewels and this makes it relatively affordable when compared to Richard Mille’s watches.

Let’s take a look at watches from the Vanguard collection and Richard Mille that both give a decent clear look at the in-house crafted mechanics within and put the tourbillon beautifully on display for a result that is both stunning and contemporary.

Vanguard V 45 Gravity

Wearing a Franck Muller watch is a statement in itself so fall in line if you’re tired of having your watch disappear with your outfit. Franck Muller makes two editions of the ref. V 45 T GR CS SQT BR (NR), both of which are stunning and recognizable, thanks to their intricately skeletonized dials that offer a beautiful view of the bold manual caliber and its tourbillon including the delicate finishing.

The tourbillon dominates the dial’s lower half, while the upper half features a set of conventional hour and minute hands. Among other features, what stands out is the tourbillon’s cage. Depending on the model, the cage comes coated with either red or blue lacquer.

Other profound accents worthy of being mentioned are the hands, minute scale, and of course the “Frank Muller” and “Gravity” that have been inscribed at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively. The two editions released in the ref. V 45 T GR CS SQT BR (NR), is water-resistant to 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft).

Concerning the case, the Gravity comes with a sapphire crystal case back that allows the wearer to observe the movement from both above and below. Its titanium case has a matte black PVD coating. A black alligator leather strap with matching red or blue decorative stitching keeps this timepiece securely on the wrist. The starting price for this model is around 95,000 USD on Chrono24.

Modern and futuristic design that stands out even to the untrained eyeDifficult to service
Healthy wrist presence
Nice sized thickness
Wears quite comfortably
Sleek, sporty, rugged style in a subtle black and yellow colorway
Affordable luxury watch
Comes with a warranty of up to two years

Richard Mille

RM 002 and RM 003

Released in 2001, the RM 002 comes with a distinctive barrel-shaped case that measures 45 x 38.5 mm and can be obtained in rose or white gold. Just like the Vanguard V 45 Gravity, a sapphire crystal offers an unimpeded view of the skeletonized movement below. The manual in-house caliber features a power reserve indicator at 10:30 and a torque indicator between 1 and 2 o’clock. A tourbillon spins at 6 o’clock to the left of a function selector while the dome-shaped sapphire crystal functions as a dial.

This display lets you know what mode the crown is in. “W” stands for winding, “H” represents hands (), and “N” for neutral indicates that the watch is ticking normally. When the display mode reads H, you can set the time yourself. You can also switch between modes using a button integrated into the crown.

The RM 002 comes in two versions namely the RM 002-V1 and the RM 002-V2. The former uses a plate made of grade 5 titanium while the latter has a plate made of carbon. Everything else is pretty much the same so the only difference is the material used for the base plate. RM 003 builds on the functionality of RM 002 by adding a second-time zone and is a great option for frequent fliers.

It does this via a sapphire crystal disc with printed black numerals. The numbers scroll over a small white insert at 3 o’clock, thus showing the time in another part of the world. You can reset this display using a button on the left side of the case at 9 o’clock.

Beautiful and interactive visual watchExpensive
Complex timepiece designed for everyday use and any situationUnavailable
The level of finishing and use of space is undoubtedly impressive
Extremely durable and lightweight

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Richard Mille Watches So Expensive?

Richard Mille Watches are expensive because of the complexity of design, innovative technology, and the image and reputation that they bear.

Are Franck Muller watches water-resistant?

Yes. Franck Muller watches are water-resistant up to 30 meters (3 bar, 98 ft). This might seem a bit less than typical for a sports watch but all their watches are of high quality.

Richard Mille vs Hublot

Hublot and Richard Mille’s watches are synonymous with luxury. Both companies manufacture limited edition watches targeting the very apex of the consumer spectrum. Highly skilled craftsmanship, coupled with an ingenious marketing model made these watchmakers stand out from the rest despite being in the watchmaking business for less than half a century.

As a comparison base, Rolex and Seiko companies had been operating for almost 100 years before Hublot came into the picture in 1980, followed by Richard Mille 21 years later. Despite their relatively young status, Hublot and Richard Mille companies command a lot of deference in the watchmaking industry for their revolutionary timepieces.

And their price points match this. It is not surprising to find custom pieces from both companies selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars! You could easily pay off your mortgage by selling a limited edition Richard Mille or Hublot watch. But, between the two companies, which one makes the better watch? To get to the bottom of this, we have to place these watches side by side and analyze them to find out what makes them tick and which one is superior to the other.

Brief History of Richard Mille and Hublot

Rolex vs Hublot style difference

When Richard Mille went shopping for a watch that would blow his mind about two decades ago, nothing seemed appealing enough. Despite the allure and wave of luxurious watch brands sweeping the watch industry (think of Rolex Daytona, Patek Phillippe Aquanaut, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watches) during this period, Richard wanted a timepiece that would be a first among equals.

Having spent his whole life as a watchmaker and having stepped down from a management position at a watchmaking company, he was ready to dive into the industry without a life vest – literally. He partnered with Dominique Guenat, another renowned and experienced watchmaker, and launched the Horometric SA Company.

The company was tasked with the production of the Richard Mille watch brands. But there are some great Richard Mille alternatives out there in the market. With an Audemars Piguet partnership, the first watch from the company, the Tourbillon RM001, debuted at Basel world in 2001. The success of this watch led to the creation of other models, including the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson we shall explore in this article.

Hublot is also a fairly new company when compared to the likes of Rolex and Seiko. It was founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco. Crocco, an Italian, wanted to take advantage of the advanced Swiss watchmaking technology to create a masterpiece that would make a statement in the luxury watch industry. And he did just that.

The Hublot Big Bang watch series was the most popular and successful series. In 2009, Hublot released the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang which remains the best-selling watch from the company to date. It was a wonderful watch (still is) with revolutionary features that gave other luxury watches a run for their money. This article compares the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang watch with the popular RM 038 Massa Flyback Chronograph model.

Why compare the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson with the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang?

Before we jump into the design and analysis of these watches, it is important to understand why we have chosen these specific models. Both are limited edition watches. Only 38 pieces of the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson and 77 pieces of the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang watches were manufactured. Both pieces were released in 2011 and both received a lot of acclamation and deference from the industry. 

Design and style analysis

Hublot and Richard Mille watches have beautiful and stylish designs. We shall explore these features, similarities, and differences.

Case style and Dimensions

The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a micro-blasted black ceramic casing. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is made of AZ91 material, an alloy of magnesium and Aluminum. Both materials are lightweight making the watch one of the lightest luxury watches in the world. Mille was inspired by the construction of fast cars and airplanes to use this lightweight alloy for the watch’s case.

The whitish color of the casing develops from treatment using the electro-plasma oxidation method. This creates a crystalline ceramic coating that improves the hardness of the case and protects the underlying alloy. It also protects the watch against corrosion and scratches. The case has 12 abrasion-resistant screws made of titanium and washers made of high-grade stainless steel.

Both Hublot and Richard Mille are large watches. The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a diameter of 44mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 57.3mm, and a thickness of 15.7mm. It has over 330 individual components enclosed in a stylish skeleton case. It comes in 3 versions; Gold ceramic, red gold diamonds, and tungsten.

The watch sits flush on the wrist because the lugs were designed to turn down at the edges. The RM038 case has a diameter of 39.7mm, a lug-to-lug length of 48mm, and a thickness of 12.8mm. The bottom plates of the case, the balancing cock, and the bridges are made of titanium (grade 5).


The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a micro-blasted black ceramic bezel with 6 H-pattern, highly polished PVD (physical vapor deposit) Titanium Screws. RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson has a sapphire bezel with antiglare treatment. There are 12 spline abrasion-resistant screws on the bezel. These are grade 5 titanium screws and 316L quality stainless steel.

Dial and Crystal

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a black skeleton dial with a sapphire crystal. The crystal has undergone anti-reflective treatment that enables the watch to reflect light uniformly. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson has a transparent tonneau-shaped dial. This is a skeleton dial protected by an anti-glare-treated sapphire crystal. The bridges and hands are the luminescent skeletons and the minute hand is crafted in white carbon fiber.

Strap and Clasp

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has white-lined rubber straps. The clasp is made of micro-blasted black ceramic and a black-plated stainless steel deployant buckle. The seatbelt buckle has a one-click deployment system that allows you to remove and change straps without using special tools.

The stainless steel clasp has a twin-trigger system that holds the watch in place preventing accidental pop-ups. The strap goes under the clasp, effectively hiding the excess (protruding) strap and eliminating the need for a minder loop. The strap on the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch is made of natural-grade rubber with a folding clasp system. It is a white strap with a pin buckle clasp.

Water resistance

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang is safe to use underwater up to 100m or 10 ATM. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is water-resistant up to 50 meters. It has 2 nitrite O-ring seals that enhance this resistance.


Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a HUB44SQ caliber, self-winding chronograph Movement. It has a 42 hours reserve. The RM038 has a manual winding tourbillon movement. The Tourbillon movement was invented in 1795 by Breguet. It is a mechanism that rotates the balance wheel inside the watch, the escapement, and the balance spring to counter the gravitational force imposed on the wheel and spring.

The fast-rotating barrel inside the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson caliber provides a decrease in periodic internal mainspring adhesion. This produces a higher power reserve/regularity ratio and increases performance. The 20 degrees pressure angle provided by the third-wheel pinion and the central involute profile allows for compensation of variations in the going train and promotes effective rotary motion. This results in excellent torque transmission and ultimately enhances the watch’s performance.


The RM038 watch was designed for the golfer Bubba Watson. The inspiration behind this watch was to create a timepiece that was comfortable to wear, shock-resistant, and light. Bubba Watson wore this watch while playing golf to showcase how agile the watch was and applicable to any situation. Excluding the strap, the watch weighs 29 grams. The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang weighs 15.84 ounces.

Power Reserve

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a 42-hour power reserve. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch has 48 hours of power reserve.

Which is the best watch: Richard Mille or Hublot?

Following the analysis and comparison we have done here, the ultimate question remains: What would you buy between a Hublot and Richard Mille? If all factors are kept constant, it all boils down to your tastes and preference. A Richard Mille’s watch is designed to make bold statements. It is designed to intrigue and prop the owner into a certain class and category.

Since most of these watches are limited editions, owning a Richard Mille watch speaks volumes about your social and financial status. A Hublot watch is also classy and offers great value for the money. They are certainly more affordable than Richard Mille watches but they do not command similar attention. That said, both Hublot and Richard Mille create wonderful watches. Both companies keep on innovating to dominate the luxury watchmaking segment.

Hublot and Richard Mille prices

The price of Richard Mille watch is approximately $60,000 to $1.3M. There are a lot of factors that come into play to determine this pricing. Some of them include the make of the watch, the watch edition, how complex the watch is, the material used, and the target clientele. Hublot prices are more moderate. You can pick a good Hublot from approximately $1,200. Price variation for Hublot also depends on the factors mentioned herein.


Is the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson still in production?

No. The RM038 watch was an experimental watch designed for the golfer. Only 38 pieces were manufactured. With the success of this watch, Richard Mille came up with the RM038-01 editions that had added functionalities (such as a g-sensor using the tourbillon mechanism), and only 50 pieces were manufactured.

Are Richard Mille watches good?

That depends on perspective. However, there is a reason why a Richard Mille watch commands such high figures among enthusiasts. You are likely to see these watches on the wrists of celebrities. The continued investment in research and innovation in the company enables the company to manufacture sensational yet highly functional and reliable timepieces.

Does Hublot have resale value?

Generally, most Hublot watches depreciate over time. However, there are some which hold their value and this depends on several factors;

The age of the watch – The older the watch is the more value it has to a vintage collector

The condition of the watch

Whether it is a limited edition or not – Hublot manufactures a lot of same-model watches in a year. This minimizes the possibility of these watches gaining value over time because they are readily available in the market

Design of the watch – Unless you own a uniquely designed Hublot (such as one with a gold case) your watch may not appreciate over time


Both Richard Mille and Hublot watches are elegant watches. A Richard Mille timepiece commands attention because people who can afford these watches (especially the limited edition ones) have a privileged social and financial standing in society. When a watch goes beyond the million-dollar mark and still sells out, you know the brand is respected and trusted.

Richard Mille has managed to keep their brand exclusive by releasing limited edition watches and employing ingenious marketing strategies. Noting that the two companies are less than half a century old, their achievement in the watchmaking industry is understated. They came to disrupt the industry with excellent timepieces that utilized innovative technology and carved a niche for themselves.

You will not be disappointed by any of the pieces you decide to buy from either company. If money is not a concern to you, I would advise you to go for a Richard Mille watch and get to share the sensation your favorite celebrity has when they are wearing a watch that could pay off your mortgage on their wrist.

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