For SIHH 2017 Richard Mille continues on their relentless quest for technical and material innovation; in their new Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1, Deployant believes that they have been fairly successful in their quest. Produced in collaboration with McLaren-Honda, a team which has won more F1 grand prix races than any other since 1966, the new SIHH 2017 Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is a groundbreaking timepiece newly enhanced with graphene and equipped with a high functioning, highly complicated RM50-03 calibre.
SIHH 2017 Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1
Weighing less than 40 grams (including strap), the RM 50-03 tourbillon split seconds chronograph ultralight McLaren F1 is the world’s lightest mechanical chronograph. This record breaking horological milestone is achieved through a new, exclusive material to Richard Mille – Graph TPTTM also known as graphene.
Graphene was first isolated by Professor Andre Geim of the School of Physics and Astronomy in 2004. 6 years later, the discovery would earn Geim and his colleague, Professor Konstantin Novoselov the Nobel Prize in physics in 2010. Since then new applications for the material have been researched by the recently founded National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester.
Following in the same innovative vein as Carbon TPTTM, Graph TPTTM or graphene was used to significantly enhance the properties of the new the RM 50-03 tourbillon split seconds chronograph ultralight McLaren F1 (or Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 if the official name is too much of a mouthful) is able to weigh less than 40 grams including strap and yet enjoy case strengths 200 times stronger than steel while keeping 6 times lighter. Thanks to the cutting edge work of The University of Manchester, McLaren Applied Technologies and North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT®), Richard Mille was able to significantly lower the density of their carbon composites while increasing its strength and resistance.
Despite the introduction of Graphene, Carbon TPTTM keeps its signature look of beautiful undulating wood-like striations. The graphene is added to resin and during the production process of bonding Carbon TPTTM’s 600 parallel layers, the 30 microns thin lament sandwich is then bonded with the super-charged resin and then compiled by a CNC machine that shifts the orientation of the bres by 45° between layers. The composite is then solidified by heating it to 120°C, at 6 Bar of pressure.
Additionally, an specialised engineering team responsible for machining movement components has been researching and developing tools and techniques that would allow Richard Mille to manipulate Graph TPTTM with new cutting tools capable of cutting to a micron in preparation of using Graph TPTTM in the latest Richard Mille calibre.
The RM 50-03 calibre, despite hosting a high complication split-seconds or rattrapante chronograph and tourbillon weighs in at only 7 grams, thus earning the qualifier “ultralight” in the name – M 50-03 tourbillon split seconds chronograph ultralight McLaren F1. Key to its nigh miraculous weight is thanks to use of grade 5 Titanium and Carbon TPTTM for the baseplate and bridges. Inspired by the wishbone suspension architecture of a real McLaren-Honda Formula 1 car, a Carbon TPTTM transverse cage supports both caseband the the RM50-03 calibre. By eschewing the case ring, the movement and case become one, capable of withstanding up to 5000 Gs of forces. A fact demonstrated by the SIHH 2017 Richard Mille presenter as he tossed the watch across the presentation room to waiting journalists.
The SIHH 2017 Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is a study on the ultimate chronograph with research on improving teeth profile on the barrel and gear train, resulting in two high powered complications – tourbillon escapement with split-seconds function operating at optimal (if not perfect) transfers of energy. The result is balanced torque and optimised performance easily monitored just as an F1 car’s engine would – through coloured indicators denoting the 70-hour energy reserve and torque sensor. Other race-car inspired elements include hollow chronograph pushers aesthetically similar to air intake ducts on the McLaren-Honda car, while the shape of the crown takes its cue from the racing competition wheel rims.
Graphene was also incorporated into the strap of the SIHH 2017 Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1. Working with strap supplier, BIWI S.A., the nano-material was infused into the rubber strap to increase its elasticity and resistance to wear.
The RM 50-03 tourbillon split seconds chronograph ultralight McLaren F1 is a limited edition of 75 pieces and will be available only at Richard Mille boutiques. Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 price CHF980,000