3 Most Droolworthy Richard Mille Watches You Will Probably Never Afford

It doesn’t get more exclusive than a Richard Mille timepiece. The Swiss watchmaking brand usually creates watches that are as beautiful and high-performance as they are expensive, with an almost painful attention to detail, exquisite materials and plenty of wow factor.
The  Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond Twister can sell for $1 million, depending on the cut of the diamonds on it 12 photos
Photo: Richard Mille
The Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond TwisterThe Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond TwisterThe Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond TwisterThe Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond TwisterThe Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond TwisterThe Richard Mille BlueprintThe Richard Mille BlueprintThe Richard Mille RM 052 Tourbillon Skull in titaniumThe Richard Mille RM 052 Tourbillon Skull in titaniumThe Richard Mille RM 052 Tourbillon Skull in red goldThe Richard Mille RM 052 Tourbillon Skull in red gold
Many Richard Mille watches are limited edition and even more come with a price tag that is, in itself, limiting. That puts them in a category all of their own and makes them outstanding. And, while personal taste is never up for debate, Richard Mille has been able to position itself at the confluence of exquisite taste and high-tech performance.

So let’s go through 3 of the most droolworthy offers from RM, which we will probably never afford unless we start saving about 10 years ago.

The Richard Mille RM 51-02 Tourbillon Diamond Twister

The Tourbillon Diamond Twister, for short. A watch so impressive that it has the world “whirlwind” twice in its name. Released in 2016, it made headlines again in October 2019, when a thief stole one off a Japanese tourist’s wrist while he (the tourist) had stepped out for a cigarette in Paris, France. Men can’t even have a smoke in peace these days – at least, not when they’re wearing $830,000+ watches.

Only about 30 pieces of the Tourbillon Diamond Twister were ever made, which means the thief could have made better choices: given its specs and its value, the Twister is notoriously difficult to sell off. As its name implies, its covered in diamonds, from the dial to the bezel and the crown. Depending on the cut of the diamonds, whether you choose a men or women’s version, or the type of case (red gold or white gold), the price for the Diamond Twister can skyrocket to $1 million.

The Richard Mille RM 51\-02 Tourbillon Diamond Twister
Photo: Richard Mille
The Diamond Twister is not the most legible piece of horology, but it’s definitely impressive, with its diamond whirlwind on the dial and the combination of diamonds and black sapphires on the case. The black onyx baseplate, the visible movement, and the titanium elements make this timepiece even more sophisticated.

“The spray of diamonds emanating outwards in 14 rays from the tourbillon escapement at 6 o’clock can also be associated with the spiralling vortex one perceives in the Milky Way, or as an allusion to the whirlwind or tornado, or the spiral patterns of organic growth exhibited by certain sea creatures, plants, trees and animals,” RM says of its choice to put diamonds all over the timepiece.

The Richard Mille Blueprint

If there’s a chance you could raise $1 million for the Diamond Twister watch, you will never ever get your hands on the Blueprint. Not only does it cost more than twice as much, but only one of it was ever made – and you will find it in the personal collection of one Jay Z.

The Richard Mille Blueprint
Photo: Instagram / Insane Luxury Life
Richard Mille makes expensive watches, but Jay’s takes the crown as the most expensive ever made. It was a custom piece made to honor the iconic rapper and his biggest album to date, 2001’s “The Blueprint,” and is believed to have cost $2.5 million. RM never released any actual details about the exclusive timepiece, but luxury jewelry broker Alex Todd did: he says on social media that the Blueprint took more than 3,000 hours to make because it’s made entirely out of actual sapphire. Not sapphire glass, sapphire.

RM has worked with sapphire before, but never to this extent. It is one of the most unforgiving stones and requires a level of precision and amount of work that hardly justifies mass production, even in limited numbers.

The Blueprint is actually the RM056 Tourbillon split seconds chronograph, but made entirely of blue sapphire. Jay Z debuted it at the NAACP awards in early 2019, on the red carpet with his wife Beyonce.

The Richard Mille RM 052 Tourbillon Skull

This is one of the most complicated skull timepieces ever made, because it doesn’t just use the skull motif: it fully integrates it into the timepiece. Released in 2012, only 21 pieces of the Tourbillon Skull were ever made: 15 of titanium and 6 in red or white gold, with prices starting at $500,000.

The Richard Mille RM 052 Tourbillon Skull in titanium
Photo: Richard Mille
The Tourbillon Skull is impressive in its aesthetic and construction, consisting of 4 bridges that connect the movement to the case and that are arranged in a skull-and-crossbones pattern. The hour and minute hands form the crossbones, while the upper and lower jaws hold the ruby of the tourbillon cage.

Water-resistant, with sapphire crystal in the front and back, titanium or gold case, the Tourbillon Skull “represents the fullest expression of liberty and nonconformity and as such, very much typifies the philosophy of the brand,” RM says. “Extreme technique, high performance, the highest level of aesthetic and hand-finishing: the RM 052 Skull is true Haute Horlogerie.”
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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