High-end watchmaker Richard Mille signed a partnership with the British sports car producer after – curiously – TAG Heuer decided to close the relationship it had since the early 1980s.
Now TAG Heuer might regret that decision since McLaren has something incredibly cool to showcase in the watch department. This is because the British racing team/supercar manufacturer has partnered with high-end watchmaker Richard Mille and the result is the new RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 – an incredibly expensive piece of… well, engineering. Showcased during the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the watch equivalent of the Geneva Motor Show (where Breitling also showed its connected Bentley watch) this new timepiece is not going digital – but exudes traditional craftsmanship.
This is a tourbillion – an intricate timekeeping system that makes the entire mechanism rotate inside the case at one revolution per minute, which is done because it wants to compensate for the effect of gravity on its accuracy. There’s also a split-second flyback chronograph function for tracking lap times, a 70-hour power reserve, and a torque sensor to protect the movement – and the entire watch is just 40 grams of weight. This is because Richard Mille used titanium, carbon fiber and also graphene in the construction – which is six times lighter and 200 times stronger than steel. The reported asking price for one of the 75 units – one million dollars!