HomeGarageRichard Mille creates a watch to match McLaren’s Speedtail

Richard Mille creates a watch to match McLaren’s Speedtail

Like the car, only 106 examples will be produced


McLaren is producing 106 examples of its Speedtail hypercar and has announced that its timepiece partner Richard Mille will likewise create 106 examples of the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail watch. 

Presumably, people purchasing the $2.25-million car will choose to buy the timepiece as well. Pricing of the watch was not part of the partner’s announcement of its creation, although Richard Mille said it is the “most extreme watch” the company has made and features “the first in-house developed power reserve indicator.”

“As the name suggests, this remarkable and unique watch honors the fastest, most advanced and most exotic road car McLaren has yet produced — the futuristic looking Speedtail,” McLaren Automotive said in its news release.

McLaren, Richard Mille creates a watch to match McLaren’s Speedtail, ClassicCars.com Journal
Speedtail watch | McLaren photo

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 hyper grand tourer that became the third car in McLaren’s Ultimate line-up.”

The 1,070-horsepower hybrid Speedtail is the fastest  McLaren road car so far, with a top speed of 250 mph.

“There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design and engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimizing resistance,” Rob Melville, McLaren Automotive’s design director, is quoted in the news release.

“When it came to the RM 40-01, we had considerable input in sharing the highlights of the car and the philosophy behind it. With the Speedtail, we set out to produce a car that had an artistic quality to it. That has certainly come through in the watch, which beautifully mirrors the many various details of the Speedtail in its finish, materials and its uncompromising design.”

Richard Mille’s casing department reportedly spent 2,800 hours over 18 months perfecting the watch’s design. 

“Like the Speedtail on which it’s based, the watch’s lines mimic the form of a water droplet while bezel indentations evoke the bonnet openings, and pushers that recall the air outlets behind the front wheels,” McLaren noted.

McLaren, Richard Mille creates a watch to match McLaren’s Speedtail, ClassicCars.com Journal

Due to the unprecedented complexity of the design, five prototypes were created before the optimum shape was achieved. The challenge lay in the fact that the case is significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock, with a further taper between the titanium bezel and case back, which are separated by a caseband made from Carbon TPT and unequal length titanium pillars.

“To protect the RM 40-01’s state-of-the-art movement, Richard Mille developed a unique upper crystal featuring a ‘triple contour’ to account for the decreasing taper and thickness of the bezel. It alone took 18 months to perfect.”

For more details on the watch, visit the Richard Mille website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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