If Richard Mille has been around for just a couple of decades, it is unquestionably one of the greatest successes in the watch industry. Founded in 2001, the brand is now one of the largest independent watchmakers with a production that remains highly exclusive and an entry price of over CHF 100,000. Mille has had a marked influence on the industry bringing watches like no other, highly technical timepieces inspired by his intense passion for auto racing. When Richard Mille and McLaren announced their partnership in 2016, this seemed to many a natural fit. First, there is the long-standing admiration that Richard Mille has got for the British racing team… in 1966, 15-year-old Richard Mille attended the Monaco Grand Prix that marked the debut of McLaren’s Formula 1 debut, with Bruce McLaren behind the wheel of an M2B. Most importantly, McLaren and Richard Mille make cars and watches focused on extremes. A case in point, the latest Mille x McLaren watch celebrates the most powerful and most aerodynamic McLaren road car, the Speedtail. Meet the RM 40-01 Automatic Winding Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail.
The McLaren Speedtail is duly presented as the ultimate McLaren road car. This spectacular ‘Hyper-GT’ is powered by a 1,070-horsepower hybrid powertrain and covers 112 metres per second when travelling at its top speed of 250mph/402kph, which makes it the fastest McLaren production model ever. This three-seat grand tourer is also characterized by its sensational streamlined shape based on the form of a tear-drop to achieve optimal aerodynamic efficiency.
From Hypercar to Hyperwatch
Celebrating this extraordinary car, the Richard Mille RM 40-01 Automatic Winding Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail was designed to mirror the bold characteristics of the Speedtail and the philosophy behind it. The first thing to catch your eye is obviously the anatomy of the case, also based on the form of a teardrop. Despite the seemingly large specs, the 48.25mm x 41.80mm is surprisingly ergonomic on the wrist with its curved profile and streamlined style. As the bezel and caseback are made of grade 5 titanium whilst the caseband is made of Carbon TPT, it is lightweight and extremely pleasant to the touch. The complex shape of the sapphire crystal is truly eye-catching and creates beautiful light effects. The integration of the rubber strap (with its iconic McLaren orange stripe) is perfect despite its complex asymmetric shape.
Just like a supercar needs a powerful engine, the RM 40-01 Automatic Winding Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail is powered by a spectacular movement, the in-house automatic tourbillon calibre CRMT4. In the characteristic Richard Mille style, the skeletonized mechanism stands out with its highly technical look and architecture. This shaped calibre is adapted to the case teardrop shape. The plate and the bridges are fashioned out of lightweight grade 5 titanium. Turning the watch over, the variable-geometry rotor makes it possible to adjust the winding function to the owner’s activity level. The weight can be slid sideways into different positions and fixed in place by two spline screws to adjust the setting.
The one-minute tourbillon regulating the movement beats at 4Hz and the power reserve is of +/- 50 hours. Besides the hours, minutes and seconds (with the tourbillon), the calibre CRMT4 features a power reserve at 9 o’clock and a large date indication at 12 o’clock. The large date is displayed thanks to two skeletonized calendar discs over a white field. It can be corrected via a pusher at 8 o’clock. The 4 o’clock pusher allows you to select the neutral, winding and hand-setting functions while ensuring a pleasing symmetry for the case.
Availability & Price
The Richard Mille RM 40-01 Automatic Winding Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail retails for CHF 900,000 excluding taxes. A limited edition of 106 watches, it is prioritized for McLaren Speedtail owners (itself with a price tag of about CHF 2.3 million) so they can match the number of their car and their watch.