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McLaren and Richard Mille Unveil Ambitious New High-Octane Watch

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May 21 2021, Updated 1:10 p.m. ET

The world of watches is a mixture of the old and venerable, and the new and exciting. Richard Mille watches have been around 20 years now, and by watch standards that’s still relatively young. They’ve managed, in just two decades, to become one of the most desired brands in the world. Inspired by Formula One racing and created with the peerless expertise of Richard Mille‘s craftsmanship and signature designs, RM watches are elevated even more by a collaboration with McLaren. McLaren and Richard Mille have teamed up to create another timeless, top-class watch designed like a racecar for your wrist. 

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The RM 40-01

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Richard Mille just unveiled it’s newest watch, in collaboration with McLaren, and it’s as sleek and futuristic as you’d except the pairing to produce. As usual, RM has put an extraordinary amount of effort, time, and craftsmanship into creating this signature watch. 

Per HypeBeast, “This watch is the culmination of 8,600 hours of movement development, 18 months of case design, and numerous shock tests and prototypes. Salvador Arbona, movement technical director, comments, ‘The complexity of the components, the multitude of details and, above all, the attention applied to the finishing place the RM 40-01 firmly at the peak of Swiss-made watches. The rims, for example, are buff-polished and the progressive angles – among other elements – and the bevelings are gradual hand-polished.'”

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The intricately detailed and slim-profile watch retails for around $992,500. The design was inspired from an aerial view of a McLaren supercar, the heart-stoppingly fast Speedtail. The Speedtail is McLaren’s most aerodynamic car ever, and the watch’s teardrop shape pays proper homage to the preeminent supercar. Only 106 of the RM 40-01 Speedtails were created, an homage to the mere 106 Speedtail cars created, making them one of the most coveted and sought-after watches in the industry in very short order.

Richard Mille and McLaren Collabs

//Mclaren richard mille f watch quote

The RM 40-01 is not the first collaboration between RM and McLaren. This is actually the third. The collaboration was first announced in 2016, and the team-up has created several high-demand and popular watches. MSN shares per GQ, “The orange-tinted RM 11-03 McLaren is a favorite among folks like Diddy and Odell Beckham Jr., who actually wore the piece on the field while playing for the Browns. The brand calls this piece the ‘most extreme’ RM-McLaren release yet, thanks to the effort needed to…square the tapered shape with RM’s famously advanced movements.”

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But before we move on, we should revisit that comment about Beckham. Beckham wore his nearly-$200,000 watch on the gridiron. Considering how often bones get broken in football, it was a move of utter faith in the RM durability and design. It paid off, and Richard Mille received nearly $2.2 million in brand exposure from Beckham’s decision. If a football player is so confident that they’ll play wearing a watch, and it’s so light and low-profile that it doesn’t get in the way, that’s an extraordinary endorsement. However, Beckham ultimately was asked not to bring the watch back on the field due to it violating a “no hard jewelry” rule. 

The Watch By the Numbers

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A modern marvel that can fit on your wrist, the RM 40-01’s story may be best told in numbers. 

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  • The RM 40-01’s teardrop design took 2,800 hours over 18 months to create.
  • The case alone is comprised of 69 parts.
  • 106 watches created mirror the 106 Speedtail cars.
  • 8,600 hours were spent on top of the case design to perfect this small piece of futuristic tech. 
  • 250 MPH is the top speed of the Speedtail, even beating the McLaren F1. 

Per the RM 40-01’s website, the watch is, “Based on the form of a teardrop, the most aerodynamically efficient shape found in nature, the Speedtail is the apotheosis of the streamlined hypercar, a three-seat grand tourer that became the third car in McLaren’s Utimate line-up.

With its 1,070-horsepower hybrid powertrain, the Speedtail covers 112 metres per second when travelling at its top speed of 250mph/402kph, making it the fastest McLaren road car to date. McLaren’s relentless pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency provided the starting point for the design of the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail.”

Only Richard Mille could take a racecar like the Speedtail and put it on your wrist. And only McLaren could pull the Speedtail from the ethers and bring it to life. The pairing between RM and McLaren is the stuff dreams are made of, and the RM 40-01 is just one more reminder that the dream team is capable of the incredible. 

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