Richard Mille vs. Rolex: Which is the Better Luxury Watch Brand?

Richard Mille vs Rolex luxury watch brand

Richard Mille and Rolex are both luxury Swiss watch brands. These brands are making fashion breakthroughs and technological successes using their pioneer watchmaking skills. Both are distinct from each other in terms of features.

Richard Mille’s uniqueness lies in its triple-decker case design, while Rolex is famous for its Oyster Case. This provides resistance to water while adding robustness to the Rolex watches. To figure out the better luxury watch brand, here are the top features of Richard Mille vs. Rolex.

Richard Mille

Richard Mille has had fame in manufacturing luxury masterpieces since 2001. It has crafted several editions, including RM 56-02 Tourbillion Sapphire worth $2 million, which became a catchy headline for the news.

Richard Mille uses advanced techniques for watch crafting and assembles the materials in such a way that it produces master watches. Though this brand is not very old in the market, its craftsmanship reveals the watches’ ingenuity to the world. The use of nanotubes for fabricating baseplate and case material is the uniqueness of Richard Mille.


Rolex presents an exclusive range of professional and classic watch models with a flawless combination of functionality and design. From outdated techniques to leading-edge technologies, Rolex has advanced its manufacturing.

These watches can bear temperature gradients, humidity, magnetic fields, and other harsh conditions without compromising the quality and operation. The founder of the brand, Hans Wilsdorf, has fulfilled his aim to provide accurate time and best movement through his watches.

Today, the quality of Rolex watches, embossed with the symbolic crown, still justifies this philosophy. Rolex produces 800K to 1 million watches in a year. According to data from Statista, Rolex amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020.  In the past, Rolex has been successful in listing above 500 patents.

Use of Unique Materials and Metals

Richard Mille, the founder of the brand, established the tonneau-shaped (barrel) case for his watches. The cases are made of titanium, white gold, and red gold, making the price of the overall watch variant. The other iconic watch case design of Richard Mille is its sandwich-style case.

It is the most expensive and challenging type to fabricate. It comprises of three levels, and each of them is curved. These three levels are intact within 100th of a millimeter so that no dust particle or moisture could enter.

The other unique feature that distinguishes Richard Mille from Rolex is that it uses materials for manufacturing cases used in aerospace, Formula 1 cars, and ships. Richard Mille has dedicated several years to comprehend the useful incorporation of such materials into his watches.

These materials include gold blended with carbon and quartz, carbon nanotubes, perfluoroelastomer, and toughened ceramic. Richard Mille has several friends and partners, including golf player Bubba Watson, tennis player Rafa Nadal, polo player Pablo Mac Donough, and athlete Maria Vicente.

They joined the Richard Mille family and became their brand ambassadors by wearing their watch at different sporting events.

Rolex brand is exclusively known for using oyster steel for manufacturing its watches. The oyster steel provides resistance to corrosion and attains outstanding shine when polished. Rolex uses several metals for fabricating the watch cases.

The platinum alloy mix with ruthenium provides robustness to the metal and makes watch cases retain their shine and radiance. The cases and bracelets made of gold and steel also hold captivating glare providing a subtle contrast of colors in a balanced way.

Rolex also has the dominancy among other brands as it has the credit of using Meteorites that reached earth from the solar system in some of its watch designs.


Richard Mille

Besides the complex case designs of Richard Mille, the inside movements of watches are coated in Titalyt or Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD).  The parts used in the movement are usually titanium blend with some other materials.

For instance, the movement in RM 009 was made using aluminum-lithium that was developed by Giulio Papi. It was used to make the watch ultralight. This masterpiece weighs about 30 grams without the strap. It was a limited edition, and only 25 pieces were manufactured.

Richard Mille’s other iconic watch was RM 027 Tourbillion, launched in 2010 and counted amongst the world’s lightest mechanical watches. To bring together one tourbillion movement, it takes six weeks.

Richard Mille is now designing their movements in-house and possesses eight calibers, rather than depend upon APRP and Vaucher, who previously manufactured the movements for them. The Calibre 3266 was the first movement designed in-house, and Calibre CRMT1 is the recent one released in 2020.


As the aesthetic and artistic value of Rolex is unbeatable, the actual value lies within the watches. The Perpetual movement of Rolex is world-famous for its mechanism. It is also well-known for its certified chronometric performance.

All components for Perpetual movement are made by Rolex; otherwise, Rolex was dependent upon external suppliers for movement components. This mechanical self-winding movement provides reliable precision, shock resistance, and makes repairs easier.

The main advantage of Rolex Perpetual pertains to the built-in components that make the movement of the watch parallel with the real physical watch movement. Rolex was the forerunner in providing technology for self-winding and has become the basis for all upcoming Rolex movement watches.

Rolex watches’ ambition is to emphasize reliability and durability, and the Rolex movement has proved itself for unparalleled precision among other brands.

Currently, every single Rolex watch has an automatic self-winding feature for mechanical movement. This feature automatically winds the watch automatically during the whole day with the help of the user’s arm’s movement.


The Richard Mille watches hold different water-resistant capabilities, and all the watches properly work when immersed in water. Watches show a maximum water-resistance of 50 meters. For example, their RM 03 shows water-resistance of 50 meters, whereas it is 30 meters for RM 016.

The Rolex Oyster watches and Rolex Submariner is among those watches that exhibit water-resistance up to 100 meters. Rolex Sea-Dweller possesses a water-resistance of 1,200 meters, and Rolex Deepsea, which was introduced in 2008, possesses 3,900 meters of water-resistance.


The price of Richard Mille watches starts from $80K to several million dollars for its more exotic watches. From the price of a single Richard Mille luxury watch, a tray of Rolex watches can be purchased. However, their prices are justified because of the triple-decker case, robust movements, and the material it uses.

The Oyster Perpetual watches of Rolex are available at the lowest price of around $5K. Currently, the Rolex GMT Master II is the most costly series, and their prices start from $485,350. Rolex’s most expensive watch is Newman’s Rolex Daytona watch having a worth of $17.8 million. This is the only watch in the world that is sold at such a high price.


Watches require proper attention and care for long-lasting life and operation. Richard Mille offers a 3+2 warranty concept. It means that Richard Mille provides every owner free services for their watch within the first three years of warranty.

After that, the warranty for the watch officially exceeds for a further two years. This will only happen if the owner has had his watch adequately serviced within the first three-year warranty.

Rolex offers a total of five years warranty on all of its watches. But it excludes damage due to loss, misuse, or wear-and-tear. Otherwise, it includes all kinds of services and repairs under its warranty period.

They offer electronic warranty cards that can reveal the buyer’s information so that Rolex can keep track of its owner purchasing dates.

Which One is Better? Richard Mille or Rolex?

It is a big decision to choose from Richard Mille and Rolex, especially if you want to buy a luxury watch for the first time. Both have attained a valuable place in the watch industry through their watch movements, the material they use to craft the watches, and the pricing strategy.

The design of Richard Mille watches is somewhat complex, having complicated movements using high-tech materials, which may not be comfortable for casual wear. It can be appropriate to buy Richard Mille if you are a businessman or a person who wants to look unique.

But if you want to have a casual-wear, reasonable, and decent looking watch, as most people prefer, Rolex can be a wise choice for you. You can buy a Rolex watch at a comprehensive price, which makes Rolex a more popular and easily accessible watch brand among buyers.