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When you see a triple-decker case, robust movements, and curved surfaces, you have a Richard Mille RM-011 FM wristwatch. All of these features are pointers to how special the Richard Mille timepiece is.

The questions that continue to linger are:

  • What is special about the Richard Mille RM-011 FM wristwatch?
  • Why is this timepiece so expensive?

The latter became a prominent question on the back of Thomas Perkins’ public statements. Perkins was the winner of the 2006 Perini Navi Cup sponsored by Richard Mille. Also, he was the former owner of the Maltese Falcon, the Perini Navi yacht.

He made certain statements openly on US television. According to him, he can get a tray of Rolex watches for the exact cost of a Richard Mille watch. There, the question to ask is: why do Richard Mille watches cost that much? What is special about these timepieces?

Shortly after, Richard Mille himself answered an interview question on CNBC in America. The question was if he sold every one of the 2 million dollar sapphire crystal wristwatches. His answer was yes. Then, he added that these watches are very specialized. 

The interviewer couldn’t come to an understanding of why any watch could command such a price tag. So he remained quiet. 

Then, you might want to ask what it means to have a specialized wristwatch. Honestly, the answer to this question is complex, but it justifies the price of the watch. This justifies why watch lovers are ready to spend millions of dollars to get a Richard Mille timepiece.

A Brief Backstory To The Richard Mille RM-011 FM Wristwatch

Back in 1991, after ten years of a discovery in the watchmaking industry. Watchmakers realized that mechanical watchmaking had to shift from helpful equipment to sought-after luxury. 

In this light, watchmaker Franck Muller did what will go on to defy generations of Swiss culture. He put together a fun mechanical timepiece. 

Note this! At that time, high-end watchmaking consisted mostly of classically developed watch cases.

Similarly, these cases housed common complications. None of these watchmakers ever considered giving a shot at individualism. 

Therefore, a watch from Vacheron Constantin appeared just the same as a Patek Philippe wristwatch. Also, this Patek Philippe wristwatch in turn appeared very related to a watch made by Audemars Piguet.

However, thanks to Franck Muller, all of these changed. This change, therefore, spurred an outburst of fresh brands. Then, there were new brands like:

  • Parmigiani Fleurier 
  • Roger Dubuis 
  • Urwerk

Richard Mille’s New Passion

These new offshoots sprouted an interest in the Richard Mille brand. What the brand noticed was an opening to affirm its devotion to excellent watchmaking. And that this must be done most definitively and practically. 

Therefore, the brand combined its passion with the owner’s liking for Formula 1.

Before this time, Richard Mille was not a watchmaker. So, he sought help from one of his friends, Giulio Papi. Guilio Papi was also the co-founder of Renaud et Papi. Renaud et Papi is a facility under the ownership of Audemars Piguet. This facility develops some of the most phenomenal movements in the world. 

This brand is a top brand that formulates and manufactures an entirely distinctive movement just for you. With Renaud et Papi, it doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man movement striving to break Audemars Piguet itself or the ultra-high-end industry. Also, they do this at a very competitive cost.

In this text, you will fully understand what makes this creation command such a price tag. We will do so by giving a breakdown of this Richard Mille RM011 in its different parts. From these parts, we can understand the peculiarities of this timepiece.

  • The Case Of Richard Mille RM011

The first part of this wristwatch we will look into is the case. From the case, you will discover the intricacies of the tonneau-shaped (barrel) case. Thanks to this case, Richard Mille established a niche for itself in the world of Swiss watchmaking.

In the beginning, to manufacture a case, only three metals can help. They include:

  • White gold
  • Titanium 
  • Red gold

Consequently, there was virtually no variation in the price of the same watch where any of the metals featured.

Then, there came the Richard Mille watch case with the sandwich design. This case turned out to be one of the most outstanding, luxurious, and tough cases to produce. 

The case is a product of three decks. Also, there are front and back bezels. And lastly, there is the middle section. Every one of these parts is curved. None of the faces are flat. This makes it easy to machine.

In addition to this, the three curved surfaces must match together. This symmetry must be within 100th of a millimeter. That way there is no room for dust to penetrate and it gets rid of moisture.

The RM 27-03 Tourbillon watch is a good example of this case. The titanium skeletonized bridges of the Richard Mille RM 27-03 watch will always stand out. The watch’s design creates a distinct resemblance. There is a resemblance to the horns of a bull. Then, the tourbillon is a semblance of the head.

  • The Presence Of Revolutionary And Highly Specialized Materials

The next component is the materials used by Richard Mille in the production of this wristwatch. The brand began to feature case and base plate materials. These are materials that are commonly featured in such domains as Formula 1 cars, racing yachts, and aerospace.

The materials employed are leading edge and specialized kinds. They remain revolutionary and highly technical even in other industries besides the watchmaking industry. 

First off, the metal or material featured in this watch is new as regards its composition. Again, the proficiency to utilize them in watchmaking is unfamiliar and unique. Thus, the brand commits years and spends millions of Swiss francs in this regard. So, they can understand the material and learn how to integrate it into this timepiece.

  • The Strap

The brand brings this cutting-edge technology into the production of the strap of this wristwatch. Now, the fresh Carbon TPT strap is only featured on a few watches from this brand. These watches mostly share the same material in their production.

  • The Bracelet

Also, there is the 200-part bracelet. A total of 13 months went into the development of this bracelet. In all, the bracelet only weighs 29 grams. 

Conclusively, some of the high-end materials used are: 

  • Perrfluoroelastomer 
  • Carbon nanotube
  • NTPT® carbon which formerly featured on the sails of racing yachts 
  • Silicon nitride
  • Toughened ceramic
  • Gold fused with carbon and quartz

These are only a few from the other alchemist fantasies utilized cooperatively to give the watches an unusual patina and remarkable stability.

Real-Life Crash Tests Of These Materials

There are real-life crash tests performed by the brand’s stable of athletes to confirm the top quality of the materials. 

The test is thanks to the brand’s team of athletes. Athletes like Bubba Watson. Also, more recently someone joined the list. This is Spanish heptathlete, Maria Vicente.

From these tests, you will begin to appreciate this wristwatch. You will also understand why some of the zeros in the price tag are relevant. The new Carbon TPT® strap mentioned above is the most recent addition to this RM 011 FM. 

The watch features 200 components in the strap independently. Plus, it comes with a total weight measurement of a mere 29 grams.

In addition to the timepiece made from sapphire crystal, a lot of time goes into its production. The Richard Mille RM-011 FM takes up about 40 hours of finishing. More so, the color of the wristwatch comes out brighter thanks to the bright addition it features.

Other Examples

For instance, the RM 07-02 Gemset and the RM056 series and Sapphire models stand out. In these editions, the case comes from sapphire crystal.

The brand took the extra step by seeking fresh means to polish crystal. That way, the necessary dimensions of the tonneau case come out perfectly. 

It can be easy to polish flat surfaces. But, it takes a lot more to polish curved and complex surfaces. They come with an entirely new set of challenges. The procedure demands the use of ultrasound in a pot of mud filled with dense diamond particles.

This comes in to ease the process of polishing the surfaces. Therefore, the impacts of polishing cannot be calculated.

On the flip side, this process comes with a high chance of failure rate. This is as the three components of the case must fit within the exact 100th of a millimeter space. 

Presently, the collection of Gemset Sapphire watches comes in various colors. Some of these colors are:

  • Blue
  • Green 
  • Pink sapphire crystal. 

There is a new addition of an additional dose of diamonds. However, the sapphire crystal takes about 40 days of finishing. Likewise, it requires twice the time to get the gemstones set. This is different from Carbon TPT or ceramic materials.

  • Contemporary And Innovative Movements

The uniqueness shown by Richard Mille is not restricted to the cases only. Also, the interior movements are not the regular types.

Often, the movements require a thorough remake. Not just that, they appear in coatings of materials newly introduced to high-end watchmaking. 

The Richard Mille brand never took a part in the classical realm of perlage adornments and Geneva stripes. The movement of this watch appears in Titalyt or PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coatings. 

The movement components are mostly a mixture of titanium with other substances. Most of these materials are products of Richard Mille’s committed team of watchmakers and micro engineers years of perfection.

Even at $2.2 million, this Richard Mille RM 011 FM watch features highly specialized additions in it. These incredible additions prove their worth right from the explicit sapphire crystal case. The impressive cable-suspended movement is another pointer in this direction.

Interestingly, this is not a one-off production. This luxury wristwatch brand continues to release various remakes of these high-end products. For most of these productions, years of research go into them. And, the devoted teams of watchmakers and micro engineers deserve equal accolades.

  • A Wristwatch Modeled In Similar Versions As Formula 1 Vehicles

This watch is in no way a model made to conform to the norms in the Swiss watchmaking world. Clearly, the Richard Mille brand never planned to make this watch that way.

Simply put, Richard Mille time tools are modeled in similar versions as Formula 1 cars. The brand employs its cutting-edge design of material science. They proceed to combine hand finishing with outstanding mechanics. In turn, what you get is a highly exclusive creation.

Richard Mille takes enough time to make a timepiece that can stand out in several ways. Check out the ultra-flat RM 67-02. This timepiece is a product specifically made for the brand’s recruit, Olympic high jump athlete Mutaz Essa Barshim. This production, which is a customized piece for the athlete, comes with a unique strap. Also, it weighs only about 32 grams. The functions and mechanisms speak volumes.

Again, Richard Mille recorded another milestone on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at the 2020 Roland Garros Tournament. The game featured Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic. In the game, the no.1 seeded athlete rocked his new RM 27-04 Tourbillon. This piece is a symbol to mark the brand’s 10 years of partnership with the tennis player. 

The case of this piece reveals an exceptional TitaCarb ®. This is one of the most resistant polymers you can find out there. The material comes with tensile stamina of 3,700kgs per cm2. With this 30 gram watch, even accelerations of over 12,00Gs cannot affect it. 

The game was a sort of test for the watch. Well, it did great as Rafael Nadal coasted through to land his 13th French Open Victory. This was also his 999th career victory. 


In all, this kind of concentrated application is what is present on the Richard Mille RM 011 FM wristwatch. The wristwatch is a blend between a Formula 1 car and a luxury tool watch. 

All of these features and perks perfectly justify the value of this timepiece. This Richard Mille wristwatch is truly worth the price tag it commands. It is an exceptional and special time machine for the wrist, just as a Formula 1 car is on the road. 

All of these superior inclusions and combinations of parts do not go unnoticed. They elevate this timekeeping tool to the highest level of technical artistry.



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