A very rare, unusual and charismatic limited-edition self-winding wristwatch of the Swiss watch brand Richard Mille, founded in 2001 by watch industrialist Dominique Guenat and entrepreneur Richard Mille. Limited edition launched in 2017. Bezel and caseback in blue high-tech ceramic, caseband in white quartz fiber composite TPT, dimensions 50 x 42.7mm, 13.95mm thick, skeletonised dial with white luminous and blue markings, luminous hands, sapphire caseback. Caliber RMAR1, partially skeletonised self-winding movement with a declutching rotor system, variable-geometry rotor with 18k white gold heavy segments, double barrel, power reserve of up to 55 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes, and seconds, date indicator in aperture at 7 o’clock, power-reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, declutching system status indicator at 12 o’clock. Richard Mille blue rubber strap, Richard Mille titanium triple spring-loaded folding clasp. Limited edition of 100 pieces.

Lot essay

The impact of the Richard Mille brand on the development of the luxury and collectible watch market cannot be overestimated. Already in the year of the brand’s foundation, Richard Mille watches were in the spotlight and mainly determined the trends in the development of the high-tech direction in the watch market. This applies both to the technical aspects of watch mechanics and to the special style preferred by this brand, including the external design and the design of the caliber. The brand positioned its collection very skillfully, maintaining a shortage of product supply. This was mainly due to the logistics of business development and limited production capabilities, but also to a large extent thanks to an artificial lowering of the supply. Despite a very high share of added value, perhaps the largest in the industry, Richard Mille watches are popular, including in the market of previously worn timepieces.

Many of the brand’s technical developments are unique and therefore represent significant value to collectors. For example, the caliber RMAR1, the present example’s movement, incorporates a complex winding regulation mechanism for forced disengagement of the winding wheel gear when the 50-hour power reserve is reached. At this point, the automatic winding stops transmitting energy to the two main barrels, and turns itself on again as soon as the power reserve drops to 40 hours. Thus, this system ensures the operation of the watch movement in a comfortable range of winding, which has a positive effect on both the resource of the mechanism and the rate stability. It is possible to check on the winding system status thanks to the indicator located at 12 o’clock, which keeps the user informed whether the rotor is operating in winding phase (on) or is disengaged (off).

The undoubted advantage of the present lot is the outstanding all-blue design, extremely rare for the brand and as a whole for the industry.

The present example belongs to a limited edition released in 2017. To our knowledge, reference RM 030 has only been executed twice in blue high-tech ceramic – once in this limited edition, and the second time in 2018 in a limited edition in honour of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club (the RM030 Blue Ceramic PSG Limited Edition; 100 pieces). Moreover, this limited edition features a caseband in white quartz fiber composite TPT (Richard Mille is one of the very few brands using this high-tech and highly decorative material), while the RM030 Blue Ceramic PSG uses a red quartz TPT caseband.

Reasons to bid

The Richard Mille RM 030 Blue Ceramic EMEA Limited Edition would appear to be an extremely attractive purchase for the collector who seeks to obtain an exquisite, stylish and rare mechanical watch of a branded design from a world-renowned Swiss watch brand, setting trends and rules of the game in the luxury high-tech watches market. The undoubted advantage of the present lot is the outstanding all-blue design, extremely rare for the brand and as a whole for the industry. The advanced technical characteristics of the caliber RMAR1, one of the few calibers of the modern watch industry featuring an intelligent mechanical automatic winding system, undoubtedly add to the attractiveness of this lot. The present watch will never lose its relevance, especially since the production of this design has been discontinued, and the number of pieces produced was small. Moreover, this is definitely a watch with a strong and distinctive character, and therefore it would also be an attractive daily wearer.