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Best Affordable Alternatives: Richard Mille

Everything about a Richard Mille watch is extravagant, from the complex design work, to the unique, cutting-edge materials used, to, famously, the price tag. I mean how many of us can really afford to get a watch that costs well over 6 figures? Seriously, there are places in the US where you could get a decent house for the cost of one of these timepieces.

Happily, if you love the Richard Mille aesthetic but don’t want to blow several years salary, there are affordable alternatives available to scratch that horological itch. Here are some of our favorites.

Glashütte Original Vintage Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date


Vintage most emphatically does not mean old-fashioned when it comes to the Glashütte Original Vintage Seventies collection. They are retro-modern and sophisticated, every bit as original and inspired as Richard Mille, with a sleek, aerodynamic appearance that pays homage to seventies timepieces. The 40mm x 40mm rounded stainless steel case has a sapphire crystal and sapphire crystal case back. The blue galvanized dial is packed with features, including  chronograph counters, panorama date, power reserve indicator, and Super-LumiNova inlaid hour markers and hands. Water resistance to 10 bars, and a 70 hour power reserve.

Zenith Defy Extreme Carbon


Richard Mille isn’t the only company invested in utilizing unique, even revolutionary materials to push the watchmaking envelope. The case of this Zenith Defy Extreme Carbon is crafted from carbon fiber and microblasted titanium—it requires high temperatures and exacting processes to work with, but the result is lightweight, scratch-resistant, and extremely durable. The 45mm case includes a transparent sapphire case back and anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal. The tinted sapphire dial features chronograph counters, central chronograph hand, rhodium-plated hand and indexes with Super-LumiNova, and a power reserve indicator. This watch is just as high-tech inside as outside, with a COSC-certified automatic chronometer movement. A sculptural black rubber strap completes the look.

G-Shock Master of G Casio Frogman “Poison Dart” 30th Anniversary


The watches of G-Shock’s Master of G collection are as tough as watches come—durable, precise, and superbly functional. The Casio Frogman “Poison Dart” 30th Anniversary edition is all that and so much more; it’s “extravagant” in every sense of the word. Start with the carbon glass case with engraved case back, multi-color carbon fiber bezel, screw lock crown, and sapphire crystal. The dial, black with striking orange accents, includes day and date indicator, tide indicator, analog time, luminous hands and hour markers, and world time indicator. A wealth of complications include 27 time zones, alarm, countdown timer, diving mode, mobile link, power saving, and much, much more. All that, and water resistance to 200 meters.

Bell & Ross Urban BR-X5 Carbon Orange


A brilliant exploration of alternative materials that rivals Richard Mille, the Bell & Ross Urban BR-X5 Carbon Orange utilizes a cutting-edge combination of carbon and titanium for the 41mm  rounded square case with screw-down crown and sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The precise, powerful BR-CAL. 323 caliber was designed by Kenissi. The black matt dial, with date indicator, power reserve display appliqué numerals and index, and Super-LumiNova coated hour markers and hands, makes a bold avant-garde statement that is accentuated by the equally bold orange rubber strap. 70 hour power reserve and water resistance to 100 meters.

Franck Muller Men’s Collection Vanguard Yachting


When it comes to innovation in watch design, you can talk about any number of things, including materials, design aesthetic, and technical precision. With this Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting, innovation starts with the case shape, a sporty nod to sailing, crafted in 18K rose gold. The wildly distinctive appliqué numerals are hand-polished and hand-brushed, and stand out against the deep blue patterned dial. The unique crown only adds to the sophisticated curvature of the design. The blue nylon strap is integrated inside the case, just one more innovative choice that makes this such a stunning timepiece. This gets my vote for the piece that looks closest to a Richard Mille.

Tissot Sideral S Powermatic 80


A captivating, audacious timepiece as bold and well-crafted as any from Richard Mille, the Tissot Sideral S Powermatic 80 features a 41mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel and black and grey marbled forged carbon case that pays tribute to its 1970s roots while firmly remaining a modern, technically flawless watch. The lively dial dances with graphic multi-colored luminescent animation, and the indices are coated with Super-LumiNova for enhanced readability. Equipped with a vibrant, brightly-colored, interchangeable perforated rubber strap for easy, on-the-go style changes. Water resistance to 300 meters.

BONUS! G-Shock Analog-Digital Casio Casioak Full Metal GMB2100GD-5A


The watches of the G-Shock Analog-Digital collection are made to last—durable, shock and water resistant, with features to rival those of Richard Mille. The rose gold ion-plated stainless steel case has a bracelet to match. Complications include 38 time zones, battery level indicator, Bluetooth smartphone link, alarm, countdown timer, full auto-calendar, hand shift feature, power saving, and stopwatch. The clean black dial has a world time indication, analog time, digital time, LED light, and month, day, and date indicator. Finally, the Casioak models are available in many other stylish colors.

Discover these and other luxury watches from Feldmar. Browse our online store or stop into our flagship location.

About The Author: Tom Roth


Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

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