Hands-On With Richard Mille RM033 With White Gold Case Men’s Watch
This is the second Swiss Richard Mille watch that I get to review and wear for several weeks – the last one was the RM011 NTPT last year, reviewed here – and on both occasions I have them on the wrist as much as I can, to gauge not only how it performs as a watch, but also to see what sort of reactions, if any, they attain in different parts of the world.
This is interesting because us, watch nerds, all know Richard Mille men’s watches to be extremely high-tech and unapologetically expensive. The thing is, though, these attributes we tend to think so much of do not completely (or often at all) define the wearability of the watch – both in the traditional and the “lifestyle” aspect of the word.
Over the last few weeks when I had the RM033 around, event invites and travel schedules worked out in a way that I ended up being on the road a lot and consequently meeting many new people – mostly journalists working in the watch or fashion industry, but also watch industry insiders. On these occasions, once everyone is past the “How was your flight?” round of petty small talk, things come to either complimenting the easily identified iconic watch of the person sitting nearby, or, if it looks interesting at all, the ever-green silence-breaker question arises: “So, What Watch Are You Wearing?”
With the RM011, I was hardly ever asked this question. In Hong Kong I was greeted twice with “Ooh, you’re wearing an expensive watch!” being shouted at me – and in other, more discreet settings, still everyone with anything to do with the watch industry knew more or less what the watch was. The Richard Mille RM033 is a completely different story.
Soon after starting his brand in the early 2000s, Richard Mille understood and with great discipline followed the (not-so-)secret recipe to luxury watch brand success: be bold and immediately recognizable. I mean, just look at any one of the most successful luxury watches ever made. Take the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak as a most fitting example: the Royal Oak was stupid expensive in 1972, but had an exterior unique enough that rich people consciously or subconsciously started (and very much continue) to gravitate towards it as they understand or at least sense how the Royal Oak, like no other watch at the time and still few today, exhibits excess wealth. For some fun reading on a related topic, check out this article on how the most iconic watches can be recognized just for their hand designs.
Richard Mille RM033 In White Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews
The RM011 with its trademark tonneau shaped, curved case.
Richard Mille made the unique-looking RM011 into its flagship piece. With its decidedly over-engineered, skeletonized dial and tonneau shaped case bent in every spatial dimension known to man, the RM011 became the 21st century Quint-Essential Ultimate Luxury Watch – the fact that it has since been copied across the financial food chain further proves the success of the design. It should go without saying, Richard Mille is smart enough to know that the recognizable design and stratospheric price tag has to be accompanied by cutting edge technological innovation – so the RM011, once you see, or even better, wear one, you’ll understand was designed from the get-go to be in its own little microcosm, safely guarded away from the competition. Its design, technical innovation and pricing rendered it largely incomparable to the deservedly famed old farts like A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron, or Patek.