We were teased at first and premier horology discussion websites like PuristSPro [CLICK] were intrigued by the enigmatic image “leaked” last week.
7th March 2018: The Reveal
- First timepiece from Richard Mille and McLaren Automotive launched at the Geneva International Motor Show 2018 and priced at CHF 180,000 plus tax.
- RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph is limited to 500 pieces but prioritised for ‘McLaren Ultimate Series’ clients.
- Design cues of the watch are taken from several McLaren cars.
Last year, Richard Mille and McLaren Automotive announced their partnership and we waited until now for their first watch, as a team. The key point is the phrase “as a team” because it is the first joint effort of McLaren Design Director Rob Melville and Richard Mille Engineer Fabrice Namura.
The 500-piece limited edition is priced at about the same basic price of a McLaren sports car — $191,500. The watch will initially be offered only to ‘McLaren Ultimate Series’ clients. If you buy a car, you will get first option for the same serial number on your watch. You can’t buy the watch without getting a car.
Richard Mille created a baseplate and bridges for the RM 11-03 McLaren made from PVD-treated grade 5 titanium that allows the gear train to move effortlessly. The dial features an annual calendar and oversized date, as well as a 12-hour chronograph and countdown displays.
The automatic RMAC3 calibre movement with flyback chronograph and 55-hour power reserve was first seen in the Richard Mille lineup in 2016. The instant fly back return of the counter to zero makes it possible to quickly restart the stopwatch function.
At a reception hosted by McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt and Richard Mille CEO, Richard Mille, the ‘Big Orange’ made its debut; uniting a mutual interest in unique design, the use of new materials and modern craftsmanship. Inspection of the watch will reveal those influences, as well as design motifs from McLaren’s range of luxury sportscars and super cars.
The case of the RM 11-03 McLaren is made of Carbon TPT® interwoven with Orange Quartz TPT®, resulting in an extremely resistant and lightweight case while paying tribute to a colour that is synonymous with McLaren. Carbon TPT® enhances the mechanical performance of the RM 11-03 and offers resistance to harsh environments.
Titanium pushers fitted to the Carbon TPT® case echo the design of the distinctive headlights of the McLaren 720S. Titanium inserts, similar in shape to the iconic McLaren F1’s air-intake snorkel and bearing the McLaren logo, adorn the bezel. The grade 5 titanium crown is shaped like a McLaren lightweight wheel and the McLaren Speedmark logo is incorporated into the rubber strap.
McLaren clients will be able to see the timepiece on the McLaren stand for the duration of the 88th Geneva International Motor Show (8 – 18 March 2018).
This must be the ultimate in “up-selling”. If you want the watch, you must buy the car first. If you are a ‘McLaren Ultimate Series’ client, it would be churlish not to also get the ultimate accessory — RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph.
You may drive a fancy supercar but still have to leave it with some snotty-faced car-park valet with pimples, when you enter the hottest nightclub or trendy restaurant. With this watch, you can take an equivalent priced ‘McLaren’ into the bar with you!
The true cost of luxury is the choice that it affords.”
Previous McLaren and Richard Mille Articles
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).