McLaren, Richard Mille reveal exclusive RM 40-01 Speedtail timepiece
The five-year partnership between McLaren Automotive and Richard Mille has created a new timepiece that is as ambitious and stunning as the vehicle it's named after. The RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail takes its name from McLarne's futuristic-looking Speedtail model, which was designed to emulate a teardrop formation.
The three-seat grand touring car is the third in the McLaren Ultimate lineup. It is powered by a 1070-horsepower hybrid powertrain and can get up to 250 mph making it the fastest McLaren road car to date.
"There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design and engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimising resistance, " said Rob Melville, McLaren Automotive's design director, with the new RM 40-01 perfectly demonstrating why the two brands make ideal partners.
He continued: "When it came to the RM 40-01, we had considerable input in sharing the highlights of the car and the philosophy behind it. With the Speedtail, we set out to produce a car that had an artistic quality to it. That has certainly come through in the watch, which beautifully mirrors the many various details of the Speedtail in its finish, materials and its uncompromising design."
Richard Mille's casing department, led by Technical Director Julien Boillat, took 2,800 hours over 18 months to perfect the lines of the new timepiece. The lines are designed to mimic a teardrop complete with bezel indentations that are conceived from bonnet opening design. Pushers recall air outlets behind the front wheels.
"As well as taking inspiration from the teardrop shape of the Speedtail, we also faced the challenge of seamlessly combining existing Richard Mille cues with those of McLaren," said Boillat.
"The watch has one of the highest levels of finishing ever executed at Richard Mille. There has also been a lot of development with our anglers and polishers. The attention to detail is extreme, with mirror polished, plain and satinised effects in different areas and the combined use of titanium and Carbon TPT. The case itself is made from 69 individual parts."
The RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail worn on a model.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive
The strap is asymmetrical. A rubber version of the strap is available and uses Vulculor technology, a process that enables colored rubber to be over-moulded. Using this procedure allowed the McLaren orange accent stripe seen at 6 o'clock on the movement to extend to the wrist. This is designed to mimic the vertical stoplight mounted in the Speedtail's rear screen.
Other highlights of the timepiece include an engine-inspired case, Grade 5 titanium components (bridges, bridge screws, baseplate), three reserve power systems, and new movement architecture that took 8,6000 hours to develop. The timepieces's platinum and red gold winding rotor is inspired by the Speedtail's bonnet and the barrel-setting by its roof line.human
The platinum and red gold winding rotor is inspired by the Speedtail's hood and the barrel-setting by its roof line. The watchmaker says that the "gentle, downward curve that the mechanism follows from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock recalls the brushed metal divider between the car's cockpit and its bodywork, a demarcation McLaren was inspired to incorporate because of the design of previous Richard Mille watches".
To reflect the 106 McLaren Speedtails manufactured, 106 RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail watches are planned.