Like the Speedtail car on which it is based, the watch’s lines mimic the form of a water droplet while bezel indentations evoke the bonnet openings and pushers that recall the air outlets behind the front wheels, claims the watchmaker.
Due to the complexity of the design, five prototypes were created before the optimum shape was achieved. The challenge lay in the fact that the case is significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock, with a further taper between the titanium bezel and case back, which are separated by a caseband made from Carbon TPT and unequal length titanium pillars.
To protect the RM 40-01’s state-of-the-art movement, Richard Mille developed a unique upper crystal featuring a ‘triple contour’ to account for the decreasing taper and thickness of the bezel.
The strap is also a unique design, being asymmetrical and with the rubber version using Vulculor technology, allowing the iconic McLaren orange accent coloured stripe seen at 6 o’clock on the movement to extend to the wrist.
Says Rob Melville, McLaren Automotive’s design director:
“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.”
“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.”
Adds Richard Mille Technical Director Julien Boillat:
“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.”
“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.”
To reflect the 106 McLaren Speedtails manufactured, a limited edition of 106 RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail watches will be made.