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The watch: The Richard Mille RM 40-01

The single best thing about this watch: The ultra-luxe, ultra-tech-y wizards at Richard Mille are up to more of their usual tricks.

The backstory: In 1917, when Louis Cartier was searching for an object to inspire the next timepiece for his jewelry house, he looked to the battlefield. Seen from above, the tanks of WWI had a rectangular shape that would form the basis of one of the most iconic timepieces in history. Watchmaker Richard Mille does things just a tad differently. For the brand’s latest collaborative watch with automaker McLaren, it also took inspiration from an overhead view of a vehicle—this time, McLaren’s rubber-burning Speedtail. Why the teardrop? Well, because it’s “the most aerodynamically efficient shape found in nature,” according to Richard Mille.

The watch is the third to come out of the partnership between Richard Mille and McLaren, which kicked off in 2016. Richard Mille x McLaren is already responsible for one of the more popular pieces in the watch brand’s catalog. The orange-tinted RM 11-03 McLaren is a favorite among folks like Diddy and Odell Beckham Jr., who actually wore the piece on the field while playing for the Browns. The brand calls this piece the “most extreme” RM-McLaren release yet, thanks to the effort needed to…square the tapered shape with RM’s famously advanced movements.

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The RM 40-01 by the numbers:

  • 2,800. This is what they mean when they say extreme: “It took Richard Mille’s casing department… an unprecedented 2,800 hours over 18 months to perfect the lines [of the teardrop shape],” according to Richard Mille.

    1. The case is made up of 69 parts.
  • 8,600. Forget the case. The brand says an additional 8,600 hours were required to get the 603-piece movement just right.

  • 50. The watch can dive to a depth of 50 meters. Spraying bottles of champagne? Safe. Jumping off your yacht? Forget it.

  • 106. McLaren only made 106 Speedtail hypercars—so Richard Mille is only producing 106 pieces of this watch

  • 900,000. The 40-01 costs 900,000 Swiss francs, or approximately $998,000

Where and when to buy it: The RM 40-01 is on sale now at your local Richard Mille boutique.

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