P. Diddy Slams Richard Mille

P. Diddy vs Richard Mille - the RICHARD MILLE ACJ RM 50-02 TOURBILLON SPLIT SECONDS CHRONOGRAPH X 2

A big shout out to Kanye West for enacting the formerly tongue-in-cheek show biz adage “For my next act, I will set myself on fire.” Meanwhile, P. Diddy is not impressed with Mr. West’s $2m Richard Mille ACJ RM 50-02 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph X 2 (above). In fact, Sean John Combs (a.k.a., Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy and Diddy) has nothing nice to say about Richard Mille’s ham sandwich-thick timepieces. The rapper positively slams the watchmaker. . .

“I’m not a hater, I’m a connoisseur of fly shit and I’m just telling y’all, y’all getting tricked by the Richard Mille.” Here’s the full commentary on @theshaderoom Instagram account:

 

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For those of you who can’t be bothered to listen to P. Diddy’s anti-Mille rant, here’s the unexpurgated transcript:

“The Richard Mille is like a Timex or some shit like that. Y’all, it’s not hot. It’s not hot. It’s not hot! I have, like, two or three. I never pull them out. They ugly. I don’t even wanna hate. I don’t even know Richard Mille but fuck it. I’m on some Black shit. Black men, save your money and go buy a house.”

Tim Mosso Puff Daddy ain’t. But the former player for the championship-winning Mount Saint Michael Academy football team makes some excellent points (in his own special way). Let’s fact check this P. Diddy vs. Richard Mille celebrity throw-down.

“Richard Mille is Like a Timex”

Timex Madeworn

The most expensive Timex (above) costs less than one percent of the sales tax on a Richard Mille. Any Richard Mille. New or used.

Timex are made in China in their millions. While I suspect the People’s Republic of China supplies some of the parts for Mssr. Mille’s “racing machine on your wrist,” they’re all assembled in Swiss Switzerland by Swiss workers paid in Swiss francs. According to Christie’s auction house, Mille cranks out just 5k watches a year.

Both watches are analogue, with moving parts. So there is that. But I reckon Mr. Combes is telling the world that Richard Mille’s watches have become passé amongst his peers. In other words, the brand has jumped the shark. If so, Mr. Mille has only himself to blame.

Alexander Zverev Richard Mille

Richard Mille’s ‘friends’ and brand ambassadors include athletes Wayde van Niekerk and Yohan Blake; golfers Bubba Watson and Diana Luna; F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean; tennis ace Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev (above); rally drivers Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier; actors Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Natalie Portman; celebrity chef Carlo Cracco; and choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

Pharrell Williams and friend

They all wear Mille watches for free. Which may also hold true for Pharrell Williams (above, to the right of Karl Lagerfeld), Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Seal and Chris Brown. Or it may not.

No worries. The French-born entrepreneur – whose ethnicity and early life is shrouded in mystery – banks billions selling watches to wealthy people who want to be as dope as celebs. It’s worked out really well for him.

Sean’s slam on Mr. Mille’s machines may mark the beginning of the end of the bling brand’s celebrity cachet. When a trend-setter like Diddy compares Mille’s $1m+ watches to Timex’s cheap-as-chips wristwear, it’s a seismic shift underneath Mille’s marketing misegos.

“I have like two or three”

Puff Daddy vs. Richard Mille tux

It must be nice to own so many hugely expensive watches that you lose track of how many hugely expensive watches you own. Or is it? For Puffy, clearly, the thrill is gone.

More than that, the fact that the rapper owns a brace or trio of Mille watches gives credibility to his diss. It’s one thing to say “Richard Mille watches are ridiculous” – which they are on many levels – and quite another to say “been there, done that.” Shouting the one-word death knell for many a luxury brand. NEXT!

“They ugly”

Richard Mille RM 70-01

Yes they are. Even the Richard Mille watches that aren’t as ugly as the ugliest are ugly. Mr. Mille’s watches are Medusa-class ugly, the horological embodiment of The Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s about time someone other than me and you said it.

“Black men, save your money and go buy a house”

Does P. Diddy vs. Richard Mille come down to a battle between a rich black man telling less-well-heeled black men to turn their back on conspicuous consumption and invest wisely, and a white man selling wrist-borne conspicuous consumption?

 

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Now that’s funny. P. “I’m a connoisseur of fly shit” Diddy is a poster child for extravagant spending. The nearasdammit billionaire sells expensive men’s clothing, vodka and water and bases his “brand” on living large. REALLY large.

If Mr. Combs had said “black men, save your money for F.P. Journe,” that I’d buy. If I earned a fraction of P. Diddy’s income. Which I don’t. Who does?

Will the people who do start looking for another watch brand for their red carpet/golf club horological stunting and flossing? Count on it. It’s been a wild ride Richard. If you haven’t already, sell your company and buy an island. And good on you Sean, for telling the truth about watches.

7 comments

  1. I have no idea what is on his wrist, but for his audience I suspect that “like a Timex” means not the ubiquity but that they are analog and having moving parts.
    Beyond people not being able to reach an agreement on Richard Mille’s names, I was unaware that he is of mysterious origins a la Tommy Wiseau.

    1. I meant to write “…reach an agreement on *pronuciation of* Richard Mille’s names…”

      I can still remember when Aston Martin made about a car per week. I know that the number of top tier wealthy clientele is increasing, but this 5K/yr RM production seems so high for something allegedly exclusive and outrageously priced. That’s more than the number of Rolls Royce cars, or Hermes Birkin bags made in a year.

      1. To expand on this, as a “connoisseur of fly shit” I am sure Sean Combs has no idea about the current hipster Timex watches like the “authentic” faux aged watch in this article and the 34 mm watches with Chinese mechanical movements. Watches that lack the “fly” part of Sean’s phrasing.

        To him the idea of a “Timex” is likely a late ‘80s / early ‘90s Ironman, which he quite likely had before he made it. A watch that, with its rubber strap, squarish plastic case, and exposed screws around the bezel, bears much more than a passing resemblance to a Richard Mille.

  2. Sean Combs might be getting out ahead of the preppy revival curve. It never really goes away, but ever since the late nineties, I’ve noticed that whatever generational cohort has teenage kids (and holds the media reins) at the time rediscovers the “timeless, classy, understated” look of classic 80s prep.

    That 36mm as the ideal watch size drumbeat? It is going to get banged a lot harder.

    1. Yup. Six kids, and some of those kids are teens or maybe early twenties.

      Next up, the return of whale tail as the forty year olds move into the senior management positions and the executive suite and the twenty and thirty year old take over the creative reins!

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