Come chill and hang out like how Richard Mille himself would
Addressing guests at Richard Mille’s spanking new and cavernous boutique at St. Martin Drive fringing the Orchard Road district, Alexandre Mille cuts a figure of mischief and excitement. “My dad wanted this boutique to be a reflection of what goes on in his head. But then, we thought that it would be too much,” he half-jests, referring to his father, Richard Mille, the man behind the wildly coveted independent watch brand.
Instead, the younger Mille, who is the company’s brand director, adds that his team decided to refine the idea a little, and offer a sense of Richard’s private universe; a slice of homely luxury that can switch from calm to party modes in a manner of a few paces.
What goes inside
Enter a pristine courtyard and push past the boutique’s heavy wooden doors, one is transported to a chill-out joint par excellence. Mille says the concept is derived from that of a speakeasy, where frontages are designed to be deliberately deceptive. “It makes you wonder what the next surprise will be,” says Mille.
The 700sqm boutique lives up to the promise. For a brand who has constantly disrupted the watch business with its ultra-high-mech timepieces since its founding in 2001, the space, too, is nothing like what you’d expect. The Richard Mille St. Martin boutique’s concept is also unique to Singapore, offering guests a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
For one, there are no overt arm-twisting to see Richard Mille’s watches. Though the watch gallery graces the frontage, guests are invited to experience the rest of the space before perusing the timepieces. And en route to the artfully constructed vitrines, one passes a pristine watchmaking workshop, where customers can send their watches for a repair or tune-up.
As for the rest of the expansive space, it is all about immersing guests in art, wine and music “so that we can really spend the time to connect” says Mille.The boutique comprises numerous thoughtfully carved out spaces. Entering the boutique, one immediately gravitates to ‘The Hub’, a central spot lined with books, paintings and an olive tree centrepiece designed by visual artist William Amor, from which guests venture to other rooms. There is a sports bar to the far end of the room, a dining area that will soon be helmed by renowned chefs for exclusive events, a wine cellar stocked with grand cru vintages, a hidden library, and a Moroccan-style outdoor terrace.
“My father has an insatiable curiosity, an incredible capacity for openness, even though his extremely generous and humane personality is also very complex. His many passions, which permeate all the brand’s worlds are highly discernible whenever we talk about our watches, the events we are part of, or our relationships with our friends and partners. The idea was to sum up this multi-faceted personality in one place,” says Mille.
The brand explains that almost 30 specialists from interior designers and artists were enlisted to do up the boutique and, adding to that over 250 different types of materials used in its construction. Certainly, similarities between the fastidiousness behind the space’s construction and that of Richard Mille’s watches are not lost on us.