Richard Mille, founder of his eponymous watch brand, says the company is rapidly increasing production and will make around 4600 timepieces next year, an increase of 30% units in just two years.
The number may seem small, but this is a watch brand that made 70 limited edition McLaren F1 RM 50-03 (pictured above) and priced them at $1 million each. They sold out before their official on sale date.
The RM 50-03 tourbillon split seconds chronograph ultralight McLaren F1 weighs less than 40 grams – including the new strap – which Richard Mille claims is the lightest mechanical chronograph ever made.
On average, every new Richard Mille sells for around $185,000, and there are three customers chasing every watch it produces.
That makes this year’s output of 4000 watches worth around $740 million at retail.
Mr Mille says in an interview with US-based business news channel CNBC that the complexity of his watches makes it impossible to satisfy demand.
“Unfortunately, I make some enemies,” he says. “But I have no choice because the watch is complex. It’s a long development. Each niche I enter with a watch, I want to be the best.”
Mr Mille says he typically sells one third of his watches in the Americas, a third in Europe and the Middle East and a third in Asia.
The company’s biggest boutique in the UK is in the Harrods Fine Watch Room, which is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion.