In 1999, Richard Mille began creating a range of exclusive and expensive wristwatches that marked a total departure from the long traditions of watch making.
Approximate Cost: 374 000.00 GBP
Mille started afresh, and used computers — CAD — and explored new hi-tech materials, metallic and non-metallic alloys, ceramics, carbon nanofibre, silicium, and so forth, all to create a watch that would withstand being dropped on a hard floor, was water resistant, could withstand extremes of heat and cold, and went days without rewinding.
In my previous post/ article, I raised the subject of Wristwatches in order to begin some appreciation for such an everyday and commonplace object. Although most wristwatches are now cheap and electronically powered or operated, there exists a long tradition of clockwork wristwatches that have to be wound up in some way — some merely by the motion of being worn.
Hand made wristwatches such as a Roger Dubuis, Patek Philippe, Parmigiani, Girard-Perregaux, Chopard, Blancpain, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, or IWC are incredibly expensive and rare, and have the longest traditions and best credentials.
There is a long waiting list for such timepieces, so — even though these items are valuable and exclusive — Mille has shown that there is still room in the market for the new.