Like the Speedtail, only 106 units will be made.
If you're lucky enough to own a McLaren Speedtail, you can now buy a swanky wristwatch that matches it. For the last five years, McLaren has partnered with luxury watch manufacturer Richard Mille. This partnership spawned the lightweight Richard Mille RM 50-03 featuring a transverse cage inspired by the suspension components in a McLaren Formula 1 car.
Richard Mille's latest timepiece, on the other hand, pays homage to the McLaren Speedtail, the fastest road car McLaren has ever built. Dubbed the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail, this is the "most extreme watch ever made at Richard Mille" with a sleek, intricate design inspired by the Speedtail's aerodynamic teardrop shape. Other Speedtail design cues include bezel indentations replicating the hood openings and pushers representing the air outlets behind the front wheels.
A platinum and red gold winding rotor is inspired by the Speedtail's hood, and the downward curve of the mechanism following from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock recalls the brushed metal divider between the car's cockpit and its bodywork. An orange line running from the lower part of the movement and onto the strap takes cues from the vertical brake light in the Speedtail's rear screen. In total, it took 2,800 hours and over 18 months to replicate the Speedtail's design details.
"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," explains 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 sanitized effects in different areas and the combined use of titanium and Carbon TPT." The case is also made from 69 individual parts.
Due to the complicated design, five prototypes were made before the shape was optimized. A unique crystal over the face with a triple contour took 18 months to perfect. This is also the first Richard Mille wristwatch with a power reserve indicator that took 8,600 hours to develop.
"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, design director at McLaren Automotive.
"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."
Like the Speedtail, the RM 40-01 is limited to just 106 units. No pricing details have been revealed, but Richard Mille's McLaren F1-inspired watch cost nearly $1 million.