McLaren and Richard Mille Want To Sell You A Watch That Costs As Much As The P1 Hypercar
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.
Although you probably won’t get these products in time for the holidays - or maybe you can with expedited shipping - McLaren’s recently launched eStore has come out with a range of new products that make for some pretty sweet Christmas gifts.
There are a multitude of accessories, including carbon fiber luggages, a leather wallet and card holder that have been finished in carbon fibre weave-effect leather with McLaren orange stitching, and yes, even key chains, gloves, clothing, caps, and jackets.
But the unquestioned highlight of the new line is the Tag Heuer Carrera MP4-12C Chronograph, a collaborative effort between long-standing partners McLaren and Tag Heuer. The special edition timepiece will be limited to only 1,000 pieces and takes direct inspiration from the high performance 12C sports car after which it is named.
The new Chronograph reflects the new sports car in colour, materials and design. The watch’s dials are made in carbon fiber and were inspired by the MP4-12C’s carbon fiber chassis, while the sapphire crystal inserts reveal the movement behind the watch face.
Of course this exclusive watch comes with a huge price: £8950 - or about $14,500 at the current exchange rates.
Come on, what’s the fun in having a beautiful and expensive supercar if you can’t have an equally beautiful and expensive watch to go along with it? We don’t necessarily understand the thought process that goes behind this, but we do know that, lately, building a supercar means getting together with a watchmaker to get a timepiece to match. The McLaren MP4-12C is no exception to this.
British auto manufacturer, McLaren, and Swiss luxury watchmaker, TAG Heuer, have announced the launch of the special edition MP4-12C Chronograph at the TAG Heuer Mastering Speed Exhibition at Halle Secheron in Geneva. This special chronograph will be limited to only 1,000 units and will be available in late 2011. Hey, that means the McLaren’s sale date in the Spring will probably stand true.
The MP4-12C Chronograph’s characteristics will match the unique color, materials, and design of the new 12C. The carbon dial is inspired by the 12C’s carbon fiber MonoCell and there are sapphire inserts on the dial revealing the "engine" behind the watch face. The watch is even able to match the time intervals between two locations. Oooh, fancy.
Other features for the chronograph include a Titanium case that minimizes weight, an Alcantara leather strap inspired by the 12C’s interior materials, orange super luminescent markers on the hands, and orange stitching on the bracelet.
Press release after the jump.