Persevering innovation in technology, the tireless pursuit of perfection, and the never-ending desire for progress are the qualities shared by McLaren – Honda and Richard Mille. The new Richard Mille movement created by Richard Mille and this famous F1 manufacturer is a masterpiece of technology that achieves mechanical properties beyond limits.
The RM 50-03 McLaren F1 ultra-light double-second chasing tourbillon chronograph, together with a strap weighing less than 40 grams, is the lightest mechanical chronograph stopwatch in the history of horology. This landmark watch masterpiece was made possible thanks to the use of cutting-edge technical materials. Its design not only combines titanium alloy and TPT ™ carbon fiber, but also introduces another brand-new material into the manufacture of watches and clocks: Graph TPT ™, or what is commonly called graphene.
The National Graphene Institute, which was established in 2015 at the University of Manchester, has obtained new applications for graphene after layers of research. It was also at the University of Manchester that Professor Andre Geim of the School of Physics and Astronomy isolated graphene for the first time in 2004. Six years later, the discovery won Professor Andre Geim and his colleague Professor Konstantin Novoselov the most prestigious 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Thanks to collaborations with the University of Manchester, McLaren Applied Technology and North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT®), Richard Mille successfully produced a watch case made of modified TPTTM carbon fiber. As an innovative nano material, graphene is 6 times lighter than steel, but its strength is 200 times that of steel. Its introduction has greatly enhanced the physical properties of carbon fibers. The McLaren Technology Center and McLaren-Honda are currently studying how to integrate graphene into their single-seater vehicles, which also allows us to see the possibility of using this material to significantly reduce the density of our carbon fiber composites while increasing their resistance Sex.
University of Manchester Graphene Institute
Professor Robert Young, University of Manchester Graphene Institute
Convinced of the benefits of graphene, our engineers worked with colleagues at North Thin Ply Technology to integrate the practical application of this new material into TPT ™ carbon fiber. Known for its beautiful undulating stripes, TPT ™ carbon fiber is a composite of parallel microfilaments-up to 600 layers, with a maximum thickness of only 30 microns. They were injected into a graphene-containing supercharged resin, and then their fiber layers were knitted at 45 ° using a CNC machine. The composite was then solidified by heating at 120 ° C and a pressure of 6 bar. McLaren applied technology to countless control and verification tests, developed various solutions, and finally produced Graph TPT ™, a material exclusively used by Richard Mille in the watchmaking field.
At Richard Mille’s production site, we are dedicated to the research and development team of movement components and cases, devoting their energy to how to use Graph TPT ™ cleverly-a lot of time is used to create and program micron precision cutting tools. The three-part case obtained through the above design and manufacturing processes is unmatched in all aspects. It not only retains ergonomics and a unique stunning appearance, but also has ultra-high shock resistance and ultra-light characteristics.
RM50-03 movement weighs only 7 grams
As far as parts are concerned, the movement with a weight of only 7 grams can be described as ‘super light’. The secret of being as light as a cicada is the use of grade 5 titanium alloy and TPT ™ carbon fiber to create the bottom plate and bridge plate, as well as the extremely hollow parts. Titanium alloy’s density, stiffness, and low thermal conductivity also make it the material of choice for McLaren’s first-order process engineering manufacturing design. It is not only used to reduce and strengthen the frame and aerodynamic components, but also used to produce variable speed Box, connecting rod and valve system. Inspired by the McLaren – Honda Formula 1 racing car’s double wishbone suspension structure, we have carefully crafted a lateral cage using TPT ™ carbon steel attached to the watch ring to support the entire RM50-03 movement. There is no longer a need for a case lining. This unusual structure achieves a perfect match between the movement and the case. These technical solutions provide complex movements with outstanding resistance characteristics. In fact, in our watchmaking workshops, the case can withstand shock load tests of up to 5000g-without any damage after the test. All parts of the movement are polished and satin-finished by hand, all embodying superb watchmaking skills. For example, every grade 5 titanium dial needs to be chamfered and polished for 3 hours in our watchmaking workshop to highlight the bright edges. Other parts, such as the barrel, minute hand wheel, large, medium and small gears, are double-sided rounded, manually chamfered and gold-plated before cutting.
All parts of the RM50-03 movement are polished and satin-finished by hand, reflecting superb watchmaking skills
The RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is the perfect stopwatch for life-giving chronographs: it combines the tourbillon escapement with a two-second follow-up device. This requires perfect energy transfer and friction reduction. We have achieved excellent balance torque and optimized results by improving the tooth profile on the mainspring teeth. The performance and energy transfer of the movement can be easily read through the color indicator, which indicates the 70-hour energy storage and torque display. The recessed button on the timer represents the intake duct of the McLaren – Honda racing car, and the shape of the crown is inspired by the racing rims used by the British company. The design of the new two-second chase hands and the study of a large number of fixtures have reduced the energy consumption of the chronograph stopwatch by 50%, while also reducing the friction between the shafts. The 6-tooth column wheel device that controls the dual-second chasing hand function with different rocking axes is designed to guarantee perfect synchronic motion, good function lock and high stability.
RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is the lightest mechanical chronograph stopwatch in history
The extraordinary properties of graphene encouraged Richard Mille and urged us to carry out further research and development with the strap supplier BIWI S.A. to incorporate this nano material into the rubber strap of RM50-03 to enhance its elasticity and wear resistance. The application of all kinds of graphene represents a significant technological progress for Richard Mille and McLaren-Honda.
Jenson Button, driving McLaren MP4-31 at Shanghai Circuit (Photo Credit: Andy Hone / McLaren)
Richard Mille will issue a limited edition of 75 pieces of RM 50-03 McLaren F1, only available at Richard Mille stores. Each watch comes with a 1: 5 scale model of the McLaren-Honda racing car that Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne drove in 2017.
Case: Graph TPT ™, diameter 44.5x 49.65 mm
Functions: Hours, minutes, dual seconds chronograph, 30-minute timer and power reserve, torque and function indicators
Movement: Tourbillon Calibre RM50-03, Ultralight Tourbillon Movement Made of Titanium and TPT ™ Carbon Fiber
Power reserve: about 70 hours
Strap: Graphite-infused rubber strap
Limited edition: 75 pieces