In the world of automobiles, cars that have immense performance, but appear near stock and hence rather unassuming on the outside, are called sleepers. Well, if there has ever been a “sleeper” Richard Mille, Richard Mille replica watches with white gold hands are definitely it.
This is the second 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 the delicate Richard Mille fake 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. Richard Mille copy watches with Swiss mechanical movements are 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.