Rafael Perini Biography & Facts
Richard Mille is a Swiss luxury watch company founded in 2001 by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille, and based in Les Breuleux, Switzerland. The brand specialises in ultra-high-end luxury watches.
After studying marketing in Besançon, Richard Mille (born 13 February 1951, Draguignan, France) started work at Finhor, a local watchmaking company in 1974. The company was bought by Matra in 1981 and Richard Mille rose to manage Matra's watchmaking business, which then included the brands Yema and Cupillard Rième. Matra's watchmaking activities were sold to Seiko, who Mille left in 1992 to start a watchmaking business for jewellery firm Mauboussin.
Following a disagreement about commercial strategy at Mauboussin, where he was a shareholder, Richard Mille left his position as General Manager of the watchmaking division of the Place Vendôme jeweller and decided to launch his own range of watches. In late 1998, he presented his plans to his friend Dominique Guenat, owner of Montres Valgine (Guenat SA - Montres Valgine), whom he met in 1988 while working in Besançon for Compagnie Générale Horlogère (CGH) and with whom he worked on watches for Mauboussin.
In early 1999, Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat drew up their plans and the basis for the Richard Mille brand, in partnership with Guenat S.A. Montres Valgine and APR&P (Audemars Piguet, Renaud et Papi). Over the next two years, they defined their brand concept, combining the worlds of cars, aeronautics and sailing with the high-tech aspects of innovation, resistant materials and accuracy. After this, they began designing the future Richard Mille watches. Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille then founded Horométrie SA – their operating company for the new Richard Mille brand – as equal partners, registered on 23 October 2001 in the Swiss registry of commerce (wholesale of watch and jewellery items). They then founded the Richard Mille watchmaking brand in collaboration with Swiss watchmaking manufacturer Audemars Piguet, which became a Richard Mille shareholder in 2007.After three years of research and prototypes, the Richard Mille brand presented its first watch, the RM 001 Tourbillon at Baselworld in 2001, the world watch and jewellery show held in Basel, Switzerland. This manually wound mechanism was fitted with a ribbed tonneau-shaped case that revealed the mechanism, the main features of the brand's visual identity, and included a tourbillon calibre, a power-reserve indicator and a torque indicator.Richard Mille soon made a name for itself in the luxury and ultra-luxury watch sectors thanks to its innovative materials and technology, joining the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in 2007.In April 2013, Richard Mille and Dominique Guenat acquired a 90% stake in Prototypes Artisanals SA (with former director Alain Varrin retaining a 10% share). Founded by Marco Poluzzi, the company became «ProArt» and moved to a 3,000 m² building in Les Breuleux built for the production of watch cases and prototypes. Following the sale of case supplier Donzé-Baume to Swiss luxury group Richemont in 2007, the Richard Mille company began to invest in machining its own cases and some of its watch components. ProArt thus began to operate as an exclusive subcontractor to the brand.In 2013, the French luxury world group Kering, controlled by François-Henri Pinault, made a proposal to take over the watch company by acquiring 51% of the shares, but the proposal was rejected: Richard Mille remains independent.On 27 September 2018, Richard Mille announced it would be withdrawing from the Salon international de la haute horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva after the 2018 edition, like its shareholder Audemars Piguet, as the show no longer corresponded to the brand's distribution strategy.In October 2018, Richard Mille opened its largest store in New York. It is the brand's sixth store in the United States.
At the end of 2018, the brand presented Richard Mille's first creation entirely supervised by a woman, the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman equipped with the new «CRMT1» automatic caliber house.
Richard Mille is a Swiss brand based in the town of Les Breuleux, in the Canton of Jura. It operates within the Montres Valgine company.
The Richard Mille Group
The “Richard Mille Group” comprises the following companies: Horométrie SA (distribution), Guenat SA Montres Valgine (conception and assembly), ProArt (components), VMDH (decoration) and Cercle d'Art (publishing).
In 2018, the Group employed 148 people.
Guenat SA - Montres Valgine
Dominique Guenat joined the Guenat SA - Montres Valgine (GMV) company in 1986 and took to the helm in 1991. In 1999, he teamed up with Richard Mille to create the “Richard Mille” watch brand.
All Richard Mille watches are developed and produced in Switzerland by the Guenat SA - Montres Valgine (GMV) Manufacture in Les Breuleux. Design and development are carried out in the old 1950s building in Les Breuleux, which was renovated in 1972, while assembly and quality control are performed in the building that was completed in 2007.
In 2018, Cécile Guenat – director of the Richard Mille women's collection, daughter of Dominique Guenat and the fourth generation to work at the Montres Valgine company – presented the first Richard Mille creation to be designed by a woman: the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman.
Richard Mille watch cases, as well as certain movement components, such as baseplates, bridges, screws and some wheels, are produced in their entirety by ProArt. This machining company belongs to the Richard Mille group and operates in an ultra-modern 3,000 m² building that was opened in April 2013 in Les Breuleux. Work to extend the ProArt site began in late 2017, with the construction of a second building intended to house the research and development offices as well as new machining workshops.
VMDH (Vital Morel Décalque Horlogère) is located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, just 25 km from Les Breuleux. It specialises in transfers and the decoration of watch movement components (galvanoplasty, electroplating, etc.). VMDH produces all the dials and flanges used by the Richard Mille brand as well as some of the hands, and is tasked with applying «Super-LumiNova» phosphorescent pigments. VMDH is chaired by Yves Mathys.
A large portion of Richard Mille's inspiration comes from racing cars and the study of shock-resistance, and give the watches very high shock-resistance.
Richard Mille decided to focus on lightweight and accuracy, with high-tech materials used in aeronautics, Formula 1 and precision surgery, such as grade 5 titanium, LITAL, Carbon TPT and graphene.
Richard Mille teamed up with North Thin Ply Technology, the world leader in the production of lightweight pre-impregnated materials used in sailing and Formula 1, to produce the RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal in Carbon NTPT and Quartz TPT.... Discover the Rafael Perini popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Rafael Perini books.