When Richard Mille and McLaren Automotive decided to create a timepiece, they agreed early on to take the road less travelled, eschewing the well-worn path of merely adding an inscription to the dial and instead creating a thoughtful, unique design.
The resulting limited edition RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph is a masterstroke born from the collaboration of McLaren design director Rob Melville and Richard Mille engineer Fabrice Namura.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the RM 11-03 McLaren sports a solid design. The base plate and the bridges are crafted out of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy. The alloy is 90 per cent grade 5 titanium, 6 per cent aluminium and 4 per cent vanadium.
This combination, which increases the material’s mechanical properties, is frequently used in the aerospace, aeronautical and automobile industries.
The designers also united features synonymous with McLaren. The case is a combination of Carbon TPT interlaced with Orange Quartz TPT, paying tribute to the iconic McLaren colour. The homage to McLaren does not stop there.
The titanium pushers echo the design of the distinctive headlights of the McLaren 720S, while the titanium inserts are similar in shape to the McLaren F1’s air-intake snorkel. The crown even shares its shape with a McLaren lightweight wheel.
Adding function to aesthetics, McLaren enthusiasts will appreciate the track-ready flyback chronograph, featuring an instant return of the counter to zero, making it possible to quickly restart the stopwatch function.
Under the bonnet, the timepiece is powered by two barrels mounted in parallel. The design contributes to torque stability over a longer period since the higher rotations of the barrel reduce pressure and wear on the teeth, bearings and pivots.
The timepiece also houses a balance wheel with variable inertia, guaranteeing greater reliability when subjected to shocks, and a power reserve of up to 55 hours, depending on how much the chronograph features are used.
While McLaren enthusiasts may already have their engines revving in anticipation of wrapping an RM 11-03 around their wrists, the timepiece is earmarked mainly for McLaren Ultimate Series clients exclusively through Richard Mille boutiques. Each casing is also engraved with a unique identifier, letting each wearer know that they possess one of the 500 limited edition watches.