Much like the world of motoring, watchmakers are forever striving to make their timepieces faster and more efficient. However, the exciting developments are not only in new precision movements but also in innovative, super light-weight materials for cases and the mechanical parts, which allow for more efficient inner workings.
The RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 weighs less than 40 grams (including its strap) making it the lightest mechanical chronograph ever made. This was made possible by the introduction of an entirely new material in the world of watchmaking called Graph TPT (thin ply technology), which is composed of Carbon TPT and the newly discovered graphene, developed in collaboration with the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute.
This nano-material is six times lighter than steel yet 200 times stronger. Because of McLaren’s support of the institute and longstanding partnership with the watch brand, Richard Mille was able to find a new application for this ground-breaking material. According to Sir Kostya Novoselov, 2010 Physics Nobel Laureate and Professor of Physics at the university: “This is the strongest material on earth. It also conducts electricity better than copper, it’s stronger than diamond, and more impermeable to gasses than any other material.”
The RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is limited to 75 numbered pieces with a price tag of CHF980000 (approx R1,3m), and each is accompanied by a 1:5 scale model of the 2017 McLaren-Honda car driven by double-world champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.