Richard Mille make racing machines for the wrist. And when you lock eyes with the new RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 on the wrist – you immediately understand what they mean.
We see the use of both titanium and carbon TPT, a material not seen in watchmaking previously
Love it or loathe it, like all great design, the Richard Milles tonneau shaped case stands for something – and I love that. Alongside being unapologetically bold, Richard Mille has continually looked to pioneer, experiment and innovate with materials. In this new reference launched at SIHH earlier this year, we see the use of both titanium and carbon TPT, a material not seen in watchmaking previously. Otherwise known as graphene, this recently developed material has tested 200 times stronger than steel, while being lighter and more flexible. It is therefore no surprise that McLaren Formula 1 racing have invested such a huge amount into the research and development of graphene. The byproduct of this investment is the Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 here.
Brand partnerships are nothing new in the world of watchmaking. But what is particularly interesting here is that Richard Mille have announced a 10-year partnership with McLaren-Honda, with the ambition of developing a relationship that goes deeper than simply having the name on the car. And the RM 50-03, their first co-branded creation is a beast.
Make no mistake – this is guy has presence on the wrist. At 44.5mm x 49.65mm across and 16.1mm from top to bottom, it’s big – but because of its material properties, remains very light at just 40grams. Made of grade 5 titanium and skeletonisation, the movement itself only tallies in at seven grams. If you’re one for the finer details, you also need to be aware that the transverse cage, which supports the calibre, is also crafted from TPT carbon and is directly inspired by the ‘wishbone’ suspension of a McLaren-Honda F1 car. The RM 50-03 features a manually-wound tourbillon with hours, minutes, a split-seconds chronograph with a 30-minute totalizer, power reserve, with torque and function indicators all controlled by the crown.
If you’re looking to pick one of these guys up, not only will you need to be quick, you’ll also need £996,500. On the plus side, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s limited to 75 pieces, so not one you’ll see across the boardroom table any time soon. The RM 50-03 is available exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques worldwide.