Richard Mille billionaire’s handshake is up for auction

Christie’s is to auction a Richard Mille watch known as the “billionaire’s handshake”.

You’ll certainly need a healthy bank balance to have a shot at buying it.

It’s estimated at $1m-1.5m.

Richard Mille watch

As you may have guessed, the 'billionaire's handshake' is not cheap

The watch is the second prototype for the RM056. The model was released in 1999 in a run of five and was originally priced at $1.6m.

Pre-production prototypes are significantly more valuable, as Christie’s Frederic Watrelot explained: “Once it has been presented to the press and clients the brand recalls the prototype in order to finalise it, and make it ready to be sold to a VIP client at a price most probably higher than the regular model limited to five pieces.”

RM056 features a highly complex skeletonised movement surrounded by a transparent sapphire casing. The case alone took around 800 hours to carve and polish.

Mille is something of a maverick in the watchmaking community, known for his ground breaking engineering and use of novel materials.

He explained: "It is because I am a victim of my own inability to compromise.

"Every time I get to a point where I need to decide to save cost or to push performance to the very extreme, I always choose the latter course."

The lot will auction as part of the Watches and American Icons sale in New York on June 21, which will also feature a Cartier watch gifted to Jacqueline Kennedy and a pocket watch Babe Ruth presented to gangster Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson.

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