We all love to exude a little class, right? And what better way to make a statement than to bedeck your wrist with an eye-catching, expensive watch by a luxury watch brand such as Richard Mille watches?
Richard Mille watches are sleek and stylish, and they include any number of cutting-edge features to boot. As for their retail price? You would be lucky to find one for as little as 80,000 dollars and as for the upper end of the spectrum: expect to be set back about $1,700,000.
Let's take a look at some of the most expensive Richard Mille watches with help from Ask Genie and answer the question: what is the highest Richard Mille watch price of all?
What Is a Richard Mille Watch?
Richard Mille is a household name among watch enthusiasts, but maybe not so much for the rest of us since even the lower Richard Mille watch prices are just slightly outside the average consumer's paycheck.
Richard Mille is a high-end luxury watch brand founded in 2001 by Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat. The very first Richard Mille timepiece, the RM 001 Tourbillon, shook the post-millennium market with an exclusive, limited run of just 17 watches.
Why Are Richard Mille Watches So Expensive?
Richard Mille watches are famously inspired by Formula 1 racing cars, with elements of F1 technology incorporated into their design. This Swiss watch company maintains a characteristic, pseudo-rectangular face shape with visible movement and spline screws.
Richard Mille watch prices begin at $80,000, but where do they end? Just what is the most expensive Richard Mille watch ever made?
The Most Expensive Richard Mille Watches Ever To Be Sold
Richard Mille 38-01 Tourbillon - Bubba Watson
The Richard Mille 38-01 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch had a limited run of just 50, making it quite the limited edition design.
Created specifically for professional golfer Bubba Watson, this timepiece features a minuscule G-sensor which records the force of a golfing swing.
Richard Mille 051 - Michelle Yeoh
It is quite easy to see why this timepiece makes it onto the list. Built with a baseplate of black onyx, a mineral believed to absorb negative energy and promote balance, and bedecked with glittering diamonds, the RM 051 is nothing less than a work of art. Designed in collaboration with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, this timepiece is all about elegance.
Positioned on the front of the RM 051 is a diamond-encrusted Fenghuang or Chinese phoenix. This majestic bird represents kindness, endurance, and timelessness. Between the wings of the Fenghuang, one can see the barrel and power reserve, along with the manual tourbillon movement.
Michelle Yeoh favours the number 18, which is why 18 of these expensive Richard Mille watches were made.
Richard Mille 052-05 - Pharrell Williams
This rose gold-coloured RM 52-05 watch features a simplistic astronaut design inlaid with gem-quality materials. This Richard Mille watch has a run of 30, with each presented in a case made from milled sapphire.
Designed in collaboration with musical artist Pharrell Williams, this timepiece is inspired by Williams' childhood fascination with the sky and outer space. The astronaut design is hewn from titanium, using red gold to indicate the planet Mars. Blue aventurine glass is inlaid to give a certain reflected-in astronaut helmet vibe.
Richard Mille watches are famous for their attention to detail, and the 052-05 is a keen example. The titanium baseplate and skeleton intend to present a sleek space shuttle feel, with a black sapphire crystal and two diamond embellishments in the helmet indicative of rocket floodlights. Even the rubber surrounding the crown is akin to a Mars rover tire.
Richard Mille 59-01 - Yohan Blake Tourbillon
Many of the Richard Mille watches on this list are forged of titanium, gold, or silver parts. The RM 59-01, in collaboration with Yohan Blake, however, bears a striking green or yellow rubber strap, green and yellow skeletal pieces, and crimson-tipped watch hands.
The carbon case is antique-brass coloured for an artfully weathered appearance or matte black for a sleek, modern look. This watch features a classic, manual winding mechanism that stores 55h of power, juxtaposing a traditional mechanic with the eye-catching, contemporary colour combination.
50 of these Richard Mille watches were put into production, designed in collaboration with the famous athlete and superfast sprinter Yohan Blake.
Richard Mille 27-04 - Rafael Nadal Tourbillon
Another manual winding tourbillon movement watch, designed in collaboration with a celebrity (anyone sensing a theme, here?), the RM 27-04 is next on the list of super expensive Richard Mille watches.
Stylized after champion tennis player Rafael Nadal, the limited edition timepiece is designed to resemble a tennis racket, with a thin steel cable crosshatched over the mechanism. The watch case and baseplate are built from a titanium, aluminum, and vanadium concoction commonly utilized in the aerospace industry.
The watch, inspired by Rafael Nadal, is built to withstand shock absorption so the wearer can play tennis while sporting this piece. This limited edition, 50-unit watch features a 38h power reserve.
Richard Mille 50-04 - Kimi Räikkönen Tourbillon
The Tourbillon split-seconds chronograph is inspired by racing car driver Kimi Räikkönen and the allusion to F1 is visible in the simple, striking aesthetic. The RM 50-04 is coloured after the C38 single-seater sports car, with the bezel and case back of the watch designed in striking, white Quartz.
A black internal movement is offset with red detailing and minimal green and yellow, a nod to the dashboard of a racing car. The rubber strap is also a vibrant, stereotypical racing car red.
So, why is the 50-04 so costly? Aesthetics aside, this timepiece is one of the more technical Richard Mille watches, boasting precise split-second timekeeping. It is also one of the most durable encased in durable Quartz TPT, made from 600 layers of altered silicone, so it could easily survive a high-speed collision.
A 30-unit limited run, the 50-04 is lightweight at just 7g. The carbon base plate is hypoallergenic, and the glass is resistant to UV rays.
Richard Mille 52-01 - Red Skull
The Richard Mille red skull, or 52-01 red skull sapphire tourbillon, is an Asian-exclusive variant of the 52-01 blue sapphire skull design. This expensive Richard Mille watch is a vibrant red, beset with a nefarious skull silhouette. Through the eyes of the skull, you can see a portion of the silver mechanism.
The skull design is one of the most famous Richard Mille-designed watches, with the 52-01 available in different colours and using different metals for the baseplate. The Richard Mille red skull is among the most costly due to its rarity. All 52-01 watch variants feature the manual winding tourbillon mechanism.
With a bold and eye-catching colour choice, this watch is not quite as sleek as many of the others on this list or even the more traditionally coloured 52-01 models. Sought out for its exclusivity, the red skull is one for collectors.
Richard Mille Panda 026-01
Let's start with the elephant in the room, or rather, the panda on the watch. Richard Mille released 30 panda watches featuring a glorious diamond and black sapphire encrusted panda, but only 15 of these are set in a diamond-studded bezel that catches the light with every check of the wrist. The other 15 still feature a sparkly panda but without the added bezel bling.
The first watch Richard Mille released with an extra work of art on the dial, the RM 26-01 panda is available with a sparkly diamond and silver bezel or brushed rose gold. The eponymous panda is surrounded by yellow-gold fused bamboo trees, beyond which the wearer will catch a glimpse of the subtle black, skeletonized dial. All this is set on a baseplate of black onyx.
Like all expensive Richard Mille watches, the 26-01 employs the manual tourbillon mechanic with a 48h power reserve. The off-center hour and minute hands keep time and are coloured to match the bezel. The watch boasts a simple black strap.
Richard Mille RM 56-01
The 56-01 model, or Tourbillon Sapphire, earns the second spot on this list of some of the most expensive Richard Mille watches for its purity, simplicity, and sheer rarity. With only five, yes five, of these pieces built, the 56-01 shook the high-end watch business when it was unveiled back in 2012.
The 56-01 case is constructed of three parts: the front bezel, the back plate, and the strap, all created from a single block of sapphire crystal. The watch mechanics are forged from sapphire crystal and aeronautics grade titanium, making this glass-like watch incredibly light and resistant to everyday wear.
So, why is the 50-01 so near the top of the list? Transparency. The sapphire crystal baseplate and strap are somehow soft to the touch but strong and created using nanotechnology not before seen in the watch industry. The crystal design is intended to catch natural light and reflect it, making sure that everyone knows when they are in the presence of a 56-01.
Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire
Alright, so the RM 56-02 is the sequel to the previous port of call on this list, but it ranks as the most expensive Richard Mille watch ever released. It shares most of the specifications with its predecessor and the same overall natural light-inspired design.
The reason it is the most expensive Richard Mille is that it has an entirely sapphire structure. This means it is 100% transparent, so the wearer can see right the way through to the mechanics and marvel at every little detail. A remastered version of the 56-01, this watch draws inspiration from the Rafael Nadal model by suspending the mechanic at the center.
So, what does this mean? It means you can see everything, every cog and gear, and screw! The sapphire case is beautifully clear but fiercely strong to protect the delicate movement inside.
The 56-02 sapphire is the most expensive Richard Mille watch ever made, and just ten of them were released.
Why buy a Richard Mille watch?
Many of the most expensive Richard Mille watches are modelled after celebrities, achieving a sort of star-studded status. Many are also rare, earning them a prestigious place in dedicated watch enthusiasts' collections.
More than that, they are a status symbol. Wearing a Richard Mille is like wearing a work of art on your wrist and telling the world that you have arrived.
Are Richard Mille watches reliable?
Richard Mille is renowned for reliability. Part of this is due to the manual watch mechanic employed, but it is also due to the high-grade materials used. Richard Mille watches are designed to withstand a Formula 1 collision or to take the swing of a pro-golfing club and keep on ticking.
Also, you're paying for it. If these watches were not reliable, the Richard Mille watch price would have to lose a few digits, right?
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