Episode 01

A Work of Art for the Wrist

By Whitewall
Whitewall Presents, October 5, 2018
Chapter 1

An Exchange Between Artist, Designer, and Master Craftsman

The watch brand Richard Mille debuted in 2001, with a uniquely shaped signature case that today makes it one of the most recognizable timepieces. Mille has always been inspired by cars (especially Formula 1 racing), and he creates watches that highlight the engineering and technical feats of his team of master watchmakers. While the brand is known for collaborations and partnerships with athletes and actors, and for sponsoring international events like the Le Mans Classic, it has also been committed to supporting art and design.

RIchard MilleRM 12, courtesy of RIchard Mille.

For years, Richard Mille has been deeply dedicated to the creative fields. In 2007, they partnered with the designer Philippe Starck to create a watch for the annual Only Watch auction, held annually in Monaco to benefit the Duchenne muscular dystrophy charity.

More recently, the watchmaker collaborated with the artist Cyril Kongo to create the RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo watch, dubbed a “work of art for the wrist.” It was the first time an artist’s work was used in a watch movement. Kongo brilliantly used the tourbillon caliber as his canvas, making art more than just a decorative addition—it was integral to the design.

Richard MilleRichard Mille
Photo ©Wee Khim
Richard MilleCyril Kongo
Photo by Didier Gourdon

In all of these endeavors, Mille was encouraged by the exchange between artist, designer, and master craftsman—each pushing their own practice beyond its boundaries. A few years ago, Mille even carried his appreciation of art as far as acquiring the Parisian publishing house Éditions Cercle d’Art, founded by Pablo Picasso in the 1950s.

Courtesy of Richard Mille.

Chapter 1 — Noteworthy

RIchard Mille

The watch brand Richard Mille debuted in 2001, with a uniquely shaped signature case that today makes it one of the most recognizable timepieces.

Richard Mille

More recently, the watchmaker collaborated with the artist Cyril Kongo to create the RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo watch, dubbed a “work of art for the wrist.”

Courtesy of Richard Mille.

In all of these endeavors, Mille was encouraged by the exchange between artist, designer, and master craftsman.

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