Why Are Richard Mille Watches So Expensive?

Why Are Richard Mille Watches So Expensive?

When it comes to high-end watches, Richard Mille is a name that often comes up. And for good reason – these timepieces are some of the most sought-after and expensive on the market. So, what makes them so special?

There are a few factors that contribute to the high cost of Richard Mille watches such as the scarcity, complicated movements, and the fact that they are 100% handmade in Switzerland.

Richard Mille watches are priced between $60,000 to $1.3 Million with the average timepiece going for around $200,000 (This makes a Rolex feel like a steal!). So why do these luxury watches cost a house and why do people pay this price? Let’s find out.

The History of Richard Mille

The History of Richard Mille

Obviously, one reason behind the price is the rich history of Richard Mille (pun intended?). In 2001 the luxury watchmaker was founded by Richard Mille and Dominque Guenat.

Mille studied marketing and worked for a local watch-making brand in 1974, this brand was later bought by Seiko who Mille left in 1992.

He meet with Dominuqe in 1998 which he knew for about 10 years at this point to discuss a partnership in creating luxury watches. They drew up their plans in 1999 and the first Richard Mille watch was released in 2001.

Richard Mille soon became a household name in the luxury watch space and today is one of the most popular watchmakers.

It’s Handmade

One of the main reasons that Richard Mille watches are so expensive is because they’re completely handmade.

With most other brands, there is some level of automation involved in the manufacturing process. However, with Richard Mille, each watch is made by hand from start to finish by a team of highly skilled craftsmen and women.

The case alone on a Richard Mille watch can take up to 1000 hours to make and every watch has hundreds of small moving pieces to create the luxury timepieces.

So look at it this way. If the watch is $60,000 and it took over 1000 hours to make? That is less than $60 an hour!

Still doesn’t seem cheaper, does it? I tried!

jay-z $2.5 million richard mille

Expensive Materials

Another big reason that Richard Mille watches are so expensive is because of the materials used.

To make a high-quality watch, you need high-quality materials and Richard Mille only uses the best of the best.

In fact, Richard Mille used materials that are not typically used in watchmaking and instead used for the aviation and racing industries.

Some materials include silicon nitrate and gold infused with carbon and quartz. Yes, these materials not only sound expensive but in fact are.

back of richard mille

They are Complicated Works of Art

The movement inside the watch is what tells time and with Richard Mille, these movements are extremely complicated.

The combination of materials and expertise it takes to build a Richard Mille is extremely complicated and can not be compared to any other watchmaker, it is that intuitive.

The accuracy a Richard Mille has is next to none and is the reason why people are willing to spend so much money on these timepieces.


Psychology 101 tells us that people want what they cannot have.

This is especially true when it comes to luxury items such as a Richard Mille watch.

Since each watch is handmade and there is a limited supply, this creates demand and drives up the price.

Not to mention, once a customer buys a Richard Mille watch, they become part of an elite group which further adds to the appeal and drives up the price.

If a millionaire wants a watch that is extremely hard to find then we can guess they will be willing to pay quite the premium. That is why pre-owned Richard Milles are actually worth more than brand-new ones.

odell beckham jr richard mille

Marketing Genius

For a brand that is barely over 20 years old, Richard Mille has made quite the name for itself.

They have been able to command a high price point for their watches because of their marketing strategy.

Richard Mille does not use traditional marketing methods but rather spends its money on sponsorship deals with some of the biggest names in sports, music, and entertainment.

Rafael Nadal has worn them in tennis matches, Max Verstappen was worn them in the driver seat of F1 cars during races, and Odell Beckham Jr has worn them in the middle of NFL games. It is truly a watch that is marketed as a “racing machine for the wrist” and it is easy to tell that is truly the case.


Richard Mille watches are expensive for a variety of reasons. From the materials used, to the scarcity, and even the marketing genius behind the brand, there are many factors that contribute to the high price tag.

While $60,000 may seem like a lot of money for a watch, when you compare it to other luxury items such as cars or houses, it is actually quite a bargain (When you have millions what else are you going to spend it on).

So the next time you see someone wearing a Richard Mille watch, you will know that they are not only wearing a luxurious timepiece but also a work of art.

Connor Goodale

Connor is the owner and chief editor of Archive Avenue, a website dedicated to fashion and lifestyle. Connor has always had a passion for style and fashion. He created this website to share his unique view of the fashion world.

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