Swiss watch brand, Richard Mille, opened their first United States watch boutique in November 2010. To celebrate this occasion, Richard Mille flew in from Brittany, France to attend a private cocktail party and dinner on Thursday, January 6, 2011. The cocktail party was held at the brand new 1,400 square foot boutique that is located in the Via Rodeo section of Rodeo Drive (also referred to as Two Rodeo). Via Rodeo is the newest section within the world famous Beverly Hills, California shopping destination — it features cobblestone streets, with elegant cafes, galleries and luxury boutiques (it was made to look like an elegant European avenue).
The boutique has an amazing design that matches the design of the brand’s contemporary timepieces. A mixture of glass, natural wood, dark leather, and stone give the boutique a very luxurious atmosphere. The architect and designer clearly used the space wisely, and once inside you notice it is very open, with a secluded private bar area and two intimate seating areas towards the back of the store. Overall, the layout, design, materials, art, and furniture have been expertly done and create a perfect environment to show case the Richard Mille collection.
The Richard Mille RM 011 Black Ti Flyback Chronograph (pictured above and below), was created exclusively for the Beverly Hills location, and accordingly, can only be purchased at this location. The RM 011 is the iconic timepiece that was designed in conjunction with Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa. This special 50 piece limited edition comes in a DLC-treated titanium case, that is both scratch resistant and ultra-light. The automatic winding movement, with variable geometry rotor, is fully skeletonized and features a chronograph with flyback function. The watch has a 60-minute countdown timer, 12-hour counter, annual calendar, and an oversized date and month function. Price is $90,000.
After the cocktail party, about 25 of us, including Richard Mille and John Simonian (pictured together below), walked a couple blocks from the boutique to the hot new Italian restaurant, Scarpetta. There a private room was reserved for the event, where we were served a delicious 5-course meal.
Richard Mille started this brand, after being a long-time executive within the watch industry and eventually getting tired of the corporate culture that hindered his creative thinking, and put too much of an emphasis on costs. In 2001, Richard Mille released his first timepiece, the RM 001, and at 200,000 euros, cost was clearly not a major concern.
He built the timepiece, independent of what the final cost would be. Many people thought this strategy was risky, but once he had several hundred confirmed orders, the rest was history. And now ten short years later, many call Richard Mille a marketing genius. After finally meeting Richard, I can definitely confirm that he is showman, which I’m sure is part of his brand’s phenomenal success, but he is also very humble.
The new Richard Mille Beverly Hills boutique is located at 222 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. If this location is not close to you, there are currently eleven other Richard Mille boutiques located in major cities around the world: Paris, Geneva, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Macao.