Mic Drop: The Latest Sales Figures Out of Richard Mille Should Make Its Competitors Nervous
Watchonista recently had the extraordinary opportunity to explore the innermost sanctum of Richard Mille’s manufacturing facility in the Swiss Jura, where we learned the brand’s latest financial and product-related numbers.
The Richard Mille manufacture in Les Breuleux, Switzerland, is where the secrets to crafting a new era of exceptional timepieces are kept. So, when Watchonista was invited to take a tour of the facility to delve into the meticulous artistry of the brand and shed light on its remarkable growth and continued success, we leaped at the opportunity.
Why? Besides all the reasons we just mentioned, with a robust annual sales of over CHF 487 million in 2022 (surpassing the CHF 450 million achieved in 2021), Richard Mille has silenced its critics and solidified its position as a leading luxury watch brand.
Expanding Workforce & Global Presence
Richard Mille’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its growing workforce. Located amidst the serenity and solitude of the Swiss Jura, the brand’s manufacturing facility employs 210 highly skilled individuals who meticulously craft each timepiece with the utmost precision and attention to detail. Additionally, its headquarters in Paris has a dedicated team of 33 professionals who handle everything from client services to marketing and communication.
As for its global reach, Richard Mille boasts an extensive global network of 39 boutiques. This wide distribution ensures that enthusiasts and collectors have access to the brand’s luxury watches in several key markets.
Moreover, top-notch pre-owned Richard Mille watches have become a hotter commodity by the day. Luckily, the brand’s exclusive program, backed by an official retailer network, offers buyers of pre-owned Richard Mille timepieces the ultimate security and a worry-free experience. And today, there are even 8 stores dedicated to the brand’s pre-owned program spread across the United States, England, Japan, and Singapore.
Sales Performance & Market Share
In an industry historically dominated by men’s watches, Richard Mille has made significant strides in capturing the attention of female watch enthusiasts. In fact, the brand’s latest figures reveal that women’s timepieces accounted for an impressive 28% of Richard Mille’s total sales.
This success can be attributed to the brand’s ability to seamlessly merge elegance and cutting-edge technology, creating timepieces that appeal to both men and women; the recently released RM 07-04 Automatic Sport is a perfect example of the brand’s success with women.
Average Price & Exclusivity
Richard Mille’s commitment to crafting exceptional timepieces is also evident in its average price point, CHF 261,000. And while a watch brand reporting that the average price for one of its timepieces is CHF 250,000+ will no doubt make some jaws drop, the brand’s dedication to producing expertly made, limited-edition models using rare and high-quality materials justifies the premium pricing.
Moreover, setting a high premium on its watches is a deliberate strategy by the brand. First, the pricing helps enhance the brand’s reputation for exclusivity. And second, it attracts discerning collectors and connoisseurs who appreciate the brand’s uncompromising commitment to quality.
Luxury watch pricing is a multifaceted subject, but when a brand is deciding a price for a luxury watch, there is one point of consideration that encompasses various other elements: time. And at Richard Mille, the laborious research and development process needed to perfect each of the brand’s timepieces is, by far, given the weight (not including the time it takes, to say, hand-decorate a movement or dial).
For instance, think about the 50-piece limited edition RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley. Without talking about the visual impact or considering the countless hours that went into designing and creating all the dial details for this timepiece, the brand-new, in-house Calibre CRMT7 skeletonized movement powering it took three entire years to develop.
Production & In-House Movements
In 2022, Richard Mille produced a total of 5,400 timepieces. But in 2023, the brand is aiming higher, with a production target of 5,600 pieces. That is because the brand needs to keep up with growing demand.
Of course, another thing that sets Richard Mille apart from many other luxury watch brands is its emphasis on in-house movements. After all, in an industry that heavily relies on outsourced movements, Richard Mille impressively produces 60% of its calibres in-house. This level of control allows the brand to maintain uncompromising quality standards and push the boundaries of watchmaking innovation.
With rising sales numbers, a global presence, and an undeniable growth in its influence on the secondary market, Richard Mille continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike. Beyond the numbers, Richard Mille’s dedication to innovation and exceptional craftsmanship sets it apart from its competitors, ensuring that its timepieces remain highly coveted and appreciated.