Richard Mille’s Marketing Director, Tim Malachard, on the brand’s special relationship with its women collectors
Richard Mille is a very masculine brand with a very loyal female following. What is it about the brand that women are attracted to?
The fact that we’ve really developed the ladies collection in the last four years, and that we’ve got such a wide selection of watches that they can choose from. Our watches are very comfortable to wear and they are all very ergonomic—even the chain link strap took three to four years to develop. We don’t [develop] our ladies watches half-heartedly; we are very dedicated. In fact, the very first in-house movement that we launched was for the ladies watches. Now, we’ve got six in-house calibers, of which two are purely for the ladies.
What are your female collectors looking for in their watches?
When they come to see the collection, they want to understand how we made those watches; why we use carbon or ceramic the way we have; and what’s in the movement. There is a certain level of savviness in the people who are buying our watches.
Richard Mille women are a special breed. How would you describe her?
I wouldn’t say that we’ve got a stereotypical lady because she is from very different cultures, backgrounds, and is an individual. But one thing that is true is that she wants to buy something very different. She wants to buy into a brand where the image is fun, technical and very modern. The ladies that visit our stores and look at our products are very much in tune: Rather than just buying it because they like [the watch’s] looks, they ask our store managers questions. You know they want to understand our philosophy and get closer to the brand. They want to be part of a club and that’s why we have all these events for our customers. I mean, we only make a thousand watches a year so we get to know our clients on a one-to-one basis; and that’s very unique in our business because most brands are making tens why w custom thous know and bec of thousands of watches a year. We are a very hands-on company and we are very serious in the way that we do our business, but we have a lot of fun doing it too. And that fun is shared with our clients.
Where do you think Richard Mille will be in ﬁve to 10 years?
I’ve only worked in the company for seven years but the strategy of the company hasn’t changed since day one [of the brand’s founding] in 2001: Very high-end technical pieces, and very original and innovative. We are not marketing-led. We are led by the ideas that come to our minds, the talent of our engineers and the research and development done in our factory. We work together and bounce ideas back and forth all the time. This has not changed for 16 years and I don’t think it’ll change in the next 10 years. What has changed is the success of the business and the fact that [we have faced] a very rapid increase over the years. I think we are going to get to the point where we have stabilised the business, obviously, with our global distribution. And, we will probably have around 40 to 45 Richard Mille boutiques in major cities around the world.
From top: Tim Malachard. Gold and diamond
RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch; carbon
TPT® and diamond RM 07-01; red gold and
diamond RM 07-01 open-link bracelet; white
gold and diamond RM 037, Richard Mille
BY CHARMAINE HO