What spurred you to create your own brand?
After years in the watch and jewellery business, I’d gained tremendous experience but felt there were no real challenges left. I envisioned creating a special watch, but never got around to it. One day I felt it was the right time to get started with that idea, and have never looked back.
Most important lesson you’ve learnt?
Relationships with clients are like love affairs; you have to make sure you prove your love to them regularly, and you also have to make sure they stay in love with you. A very nice challenge indeed!
What’s the key to Richard Mille’s success?
I offer watches with ideas, concepts, designs, and materials that no one else in the market offers. For that reason I occupy a unique position within the horological market.
Design counts among your many sources of inspiration. Architects you admire?
Santiago Calatrava, with his sensuous curving spaces, and Frank Gehry. I also admire Frank Lloyd Wright, who was such a visionary. Then there are French architects such as Jean Nouvel, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and Jacques Ferrier. These architects have a special relationship with curves – very much a part of my own design vocabulary.
What are you currently inspired by?
Aircraft design; new jets and planes as well as older models.
What do you think women want from the watches they wear?
A watch that is comfortable and easy to wear in all conditions, made of beautiful curves and the mechanical functionality that one expects from the finest haute horological execution. In short: they want the best of all worlds.
Who is the Richard Mille woman?
Singular, strong willed, contemporary, and someone who enjoys living life to the fullest.
What else would you love to design?
A race car, a sports car or a motorcycle.
If you weren’t a watchmaker, what would you have liked to be?
I am not a watchmaker in any way. I am a watch conceptor with an unlimited love for technique. So I am already what I want to be.
Your other passions in life?
Wine, women, and song!