The world of automotive and Motorsport has always had a strong influence on the horological landscape. And while there are a lot of interesting automotive-themed watches out there, only a handful of them go beyond offering small colorful, or superficial cosmetic racing highlights. Richard Mille is one such brand and their latest muse is the McLaren Speedtail which has given birth to the new RM 40-01.
One of the most striking aspects of the RM 40-01 is its unique case that draws heavily from the aerodynamic body of the McLaren Speedtail. Measuring 41.8mm in diameter, 48.2mm from lug to lug, and having a height of 14.5mm the case on this watch, like the Speedtail features a water-droplet-inspired design. Also, similar to how the Speedtail makes use of lightweight materials to achieve a top speed of 402 kph, the 69-part case on this watch has been crafted from lightweight and rugged grade 5 titanium and Carbon TPT® to ensure maximum wrist comfort. One intriguing design detail on the case is how it tapers from its tallest point at the 12 O’clock position slowly reducing the gap between the bezel and the case back reaching its lowest height at the 6 o’clock position. Finally, the tripartite case is water-resistant to 50 meters which is ensured by two nitrile O-ring seals.
Like the case, the dial on the RM 40-01 is Avant grade. The heavily skeletonized face gives way to the complex mechanical internals of the in-house calibre CRMT4, which has been designed to showcase a seamless transition between the case and the dial. The base plate and bridges of the movement are made of grade 5 titanium which is an alloy that is 90% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminum, and 4% vanadium.
The movement operates at 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 50 hours when fully wound. In terms of functions, you get the capability to track hours, minutes, the power reserve, and the date. The regulating organ is a Tourbillon that comes equipped with a free-sprung balance with variable inertia, a mechanism that ensures better chronometric results over time. Furthermore, the bi-directional winding is made possible using a variable-geometry rotor that makes it possible to adjust the winding function to the owners’ activity level.
As far as the dial layout is concerned you get bold applied Arabic numerals along with triangular lume filled markers for hours, white printed track for minutes, a double-digit oversized date window at 12, a power reserve indicator at 9, a function selector display between 3 and 4 and the Tourbillon at the 6 o’clock position.
The new Richard Mille RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail comes attached to a special asymmetrical rubber strap that has been designed using a special process that enables the colored rubber to be over-molded – allowing the iconic McLaren orange accent stripe at 6 to extend to the wrist. The watch will retail for CHF 900,000.