Recently, we had some time to join the Richard Mille brand in Chantilly, France, where we also got some one-on-one time with the founder of the 15-year-old brand and an extraordinary thinker, Richard Mille. While we did a complete interview on Haute Time, here, we bring some interesting excerpts.
Q: When you sign on a brand ambassador, is it a requirement that they wear your watches during play or competition?
RM: “Yes it is compulsory that they wear our watches. This is why we don’t work with basketball players for instance because they are part of team that won’t let them wear the watch. Sometimes, the sports star may be unsure if he wants to wear a watch, like Wayde (Van Niekerk), who wanted no metal or anything on his wrist. But then he wore our watch and set a world record with it, so now it is like a good luck piece. It is compulsory for them to wear a watch because in this way, we can prove the durability and reliability of the brand in a way no one else can. Of course, I also choose ambassadors not only based on their agreeability to wear the watch, but also based on their personalities. My ambassadors are very nice human beings. And I always work long term, plan for the ups and the downs. Sometimes when you work with a player and he has a broken arm or leg- you can do nothing, but you have to stay with them and show your support. By doing this I also let my clients know that we are there for the long term, through good and bad. And the customers think, too, if the brand is loyal with these partners, then they will be loyal with clients.”
Q: Many of your watches offer sleek, bold appeal that seem to be inspired by cars – your other passion. What came first, your passion for cars or watches?
RM: “I think they have a common thread throughout my life and I can’t say which came first because I think both those loves were developing all at the same time. When I think of a new watch, I think of a design that inspires me and that design is often from one of the cars in my collection. The same is true as I evolve a line. For instances, if you take a Porsche 911 from the 1960’s or ‘70’s and look at how it has evolved, it still has the same spirit and philosophy but the look is different. I work a lot like that. I adapt my lines but they have the same DNA. My watches are so much inspired by cars and so there is almost an osmosis of two of the best possible worlds-. It is a great balance of performance, design and other intense parameters.”