What do you get when you mix the top engineering team participating in the Formula One competition with one of the most pioneering watchmakers? …The answer is: a highly complex watch weighing only 38 grams, including the strap.
Richard Mille may release large-case timepieces, but they are made of such exquisite materials, they are not as heavy as they seem. We have seen their watches on the wrists of participating athletes many times, such as the famous tennis player Rafael Nadal and the famous golfer Bubba Watson.
Or South African sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk (Wayde Van Niekerk), he set a new 400-meter world record at the Rio Olympics, while wearing Richard Mille (Richard Mille) won the gold medal.
On the other hand, we see flashing cars on the Formula One circuit, and we often constantly challenge the speed limits of these cars. One of the main characteristics that increase the speed of a motor vehicle is its weight. The McLaren team has been experimenting with lightweight engineering to improve lap times. However, now they are collaborating with Richard Mille, and the result is known as the lightest split-tourbillon chronograph ever made. This is the first timepiece designed by Richard Mille for F1, but since they have signed a 10-year partnership with McLaren-Honda, it is safe to say that more watches and plans will eventually be announced.
The 49mm three-piece tonneau-shaped case is made of a mixture of carbon fiber, titanium, and a material called “Graph TPT”. It is composed of graphene-containing resin and is infused with 600 layers of carbon fiber, each about 30 microns thick. The combination of these three elements provides high strength and light weight.
More specifically, the bottom plate and bridge plates are made of carbon fiber and titanium and are connected to the transverse carbon fiber frame; Richard Mille said he got an idea from the suspension system of McLaren-Honda F1. The Swiss watch company even stated that during internal testing, the watch managed to withstand a shock load of 5,000 grams.
The hollow button on the side of the case is inspired by the air intake on the “McLaren-Honda F1”; and the large crown with these five accents is reminiscent of racing wheels. The torque and function indicators are controlled by the crown. It is estimated that graphene is 6 times lighter than steel and approximately 200 times stronger than steel. With a transparent bottom cover, you can view the inner workings of the mechanical movement.
The time is displayed on the hollow dial, which has many scattered elements and highlights. The 3 o’clock position is a function indicator, which works like a car gearbox, by indicating different pointer setting positions when the crown is pulled out. The hands and hour scales are filled with luminous to enhance legibility.
The ultralight tourbillon can be seen at 6 o’clock; then the torque indicator, which measures the tension of the mainspring between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock; and the minute and second display at 9 o’clock. At 11 o’clock there is also a power reserve indicator and a tachometer scale coiled around the outer edge of the dial, close to the bezel.
This “Richard Mille 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1” (reference number: RM 50-03) is driven by a manual winding mechanical movement, 43 jewels and 21,600 vph RM50-03 movement. With polished pivots, grinding and polishing contact points, as well as hand-polished locking parts and bevels. And: rattrapante chronograph, 30-minute totalizer, power reserve indicator and tourbillon. When fully wound, this timepiece has a power reserve of up to 70 hours; it is water resistant up to 50 meters (165 feet).
Installed on the watch is an innovative strap designed by Richard Mille commissioned by BIWI SA. The strap is composed of a rubber strap infused with graphene to increase its elasticity and service life.