Cover A model wearing the Richard Mille watch posing against the McLaren Speedtail supercar

Only 106 pieces of this groundbreaking timepiece will be produced

With a top speed of 402km/h, the Speedtail is McLaren's fastest car to date. The car, which can reach a distance of 112m in just one second, is shaped like teardrop, offering the best aerodynamics yet in McLaren Ultimate line-up of supercars. The British automaker's partner of five years Richard Mille was so impressed with the car that it wanted to celebrate its remarkable engineering with a watch. 

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There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design an engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimising resistance

- Rob Melville, design director of McLaren Automotive

Determined to match the Speedtail's superior aerodynamics, a total of five case prototypes were made to find the optimum shape of the RM 40-01, a process that took 2,800 hours spread over 18 months. And to ensure that it is as light as a feather, titanium is used to craft the case, with Carbon TPT forming the caseband. 

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An equal amount of thought, if not more, has also gone into producing the best movement. In the end, the RM 40-01 is the first Richard Mille automatic tourbillon to be endowed with an in-house movement with a power reserve as well as an oversized date indicator. The level of finishing is astonishing, which includes wheels machined with the McLaren logo, the same one adorning the Speedtail bonnet.

The watch has one of the highest levels of finishing ever executed at Richard Mille

- Julien Boillat, technical director of Richard Mille

The bridge screws, baseplate and rotor core are made of Grade 5 titanium, complementing the lightweight case. Then there is the platinum and red gold winding rotor which gets its design cues from the supercar's bonnet; its barrel-setting recalls the car's roof line.

A conspicuous orange line runs along the lower part of the movement (visible on the dial), seemingly cutting across the case and reappearing on the rubber strap. The orange line imitates the vertical spotlight at the Speedtail's rear.

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