Prepare to shell out more than you’ve ever have for a watch

Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille may be relatively new to the timepiece scene, having only entered the game in 1999, but in the course of 18 years, Mille’s company has established a reputation as one of the most eponymous watch brands in the world. No more is that evident than in the brand’s latest creation, a collaborative piece with McLaren called the RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1.

If the name of the watch sounds fancy, it’s because the actual thing is the perfect example of luxury meeting state-of-the-art technology. Really, the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 timepiece is something else, and that’s taking into account the obscenely high standards of the industry that Richard Mille is in. To begin with, the watch is a tourbillon, widely regarded as one of the most sophisticated timekeeping configurations whose main objective is to counter the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage when the timepiece is stuck in a certain position. In other words, it’s watchmaking at its most virtuosic.

Well, the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is not only a tourbillon, but it’s also partly made from graphene, a nano-material that was only discovered in 2004 (13 years ago!) and whose discoverers, Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester, earned a Nobel Peace Prize in physics. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, McLaren’s own Applied Technologies division has already been working with the university’s National Graphene Institute on possible real-world applications of graphene. Turns out, the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 became one of those applications as graphene was used, together with titanium and carbon fiber, in creating the physical look of the watch.

The result is this absurd-looking watch that looks just about as intricate as any timepiece we’ve seen in recent years from all these automaker-watchmaker collaborations. And in terms of exclusivity, the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is as exclusive as it gets with only 75 units being made and each unit coming with a 1:5-scale model of the McLaren-Honda MP4-32, the Formula One race car that Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will drive in the 2017 Formula One season. For what it’s worth, the actual race car has yet to be unveiled so that also tells you how much time and effort was put into this watch to enhance its outright exclusivity.

And certainly, last but not least is the RM 50-03 McLaren F1’s price tag. Are you ready for this? The watch costs $1 million, which would make it more expensive than McLaren’s entire range of models that are not named the P1.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

One word: wow

McLaren and Richard Mille Want To Sell You A Watch That Costs As Much As The P1 Hypercar
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McLaren and Richard Mille Want To Sell You A Watch That Costs As Much As The P1 Hypercar
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Have you picked up your jaws from the floor yet? It certainly took me a while to do it so I’m not going to blame anybody for having the same reaction.

Personally, I don’t know too much about the watches and the intricacies that go with building and developing one. So the fact that the RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 is a tourbillon, is partly made from graphene, or has all this features like a split-second flyback chronograph function for tracking lap times, a 70-hour power reserve, and a torque sensor, are all admittedly lost on me.

What I do know is that the watch costs $1 million and that there are only 75 of them being made. So let’s say all 75 units end up in the wrists of owners. That’s $75 million for 75 watches! Absolutely incredible.

Now I don’t know too many people who would spend that much money on a watch, but if somebody did have the bank account to make such a purpose, he or she will be a hero of mine in perpetuity.

On a side note, I guess McLaren landed on its feet quite comfortably after that split with long-time watch partner Tag Heuer, huh?

Read our full review on the McLaren P1 here.

Source: Richard Mille

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