UNREMITTING R&D EFFORTS
Precocious both as a driver and an engineer, Bruce McLaren became, at 22, the youngest driver ever to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix, in 1959.
His record was toppled only 44 years later, by Fernando Alonso.
However, the New Zealand-born constructor’s career apotheosis was to come at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, where he took first place in a car bearing his name.
After this first McLaren Formula 1 victory, Bruce set his sights on the world title, but his thoughts were mostly of a sports car that could compete with the reigning monarchs of the road from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Jaguar. In the spring of 1970, Bruce McLaren was the victim of a fatal crash on the Goodwood Circuit during trials of one of his prototypes.
Despite this tragedy, the team that bears his name survived. Not only that, but the South African engineer Gordon Murray, would, with the help of thirty or so technicians, finally realise the ambition of the brand’s creator in 1993, designing the first ever McLaren road car, produced in an edition of just over a hundred cars. This was the car that ushered in a dynasty of prestigious Supercars of which the McLaren Speedtail is the latest scion.
Formula 1 M2B
In spring of 1966, Bruce McLaren achieved one of his dreams, lining up for the Monaco Grand Prix at the wheel of the first single-seater ever to bear his name. The McLaren M2B, an aluminium-alloy monohull with a mid-engine design, was imagined by Englishman Robin Herd. Unfortunately, McLaren was obliged to retire the M2B despite its promising performance, due to an oil leak.
'We make cars and watches focused on extremes. Our partnership has grown over time and felt natural, simply because we share the same goal —the pursuit of perfection achieved through attention to technical detail. We both maintain a joined-up approach towards the constant quest for perfection that includes unswerving attention to detail and the use of exotic materials when required. We are following function, as well as making the whole process and end-result look beautiful. There are so many similarities in the way we approach a problem, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and resistance. Richard Mille really sets out to take performance to extremes, as do we. The RM 11-03 McLaren we’ve created has brought this focus to a head'.
Skeletonised, automatic winding movement with variable-geometry rotor offering hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, 60-minute countdown timer at 9 o’clock, 12-hour totaliser, oversize date and month indicator.
Limited edition of 500 pieces
Circa 55 hours (± 10%), 45 hours with chronograph running. Actual power reserve results will depend on how much the chronograph features are utilised.
The baseplate and the bridges are crafted of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly. The alloy is 90% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium.
This combination further increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautical and automobile industries.
The baseplate of the RMAC3 calibre has been optimised to achieve an extremely low weight/resistance ratio.
The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges were subjected to separate and extensive validation tests to ensure they met rigorous strength requirements.
Under the bonnet of the RM 11-03 beats a flyback chronograph ready to literally race on the track. The instant return of the counter to zero makes it possible to quickly restart the stopwatch function.
OVERSIZE DATE DISPLAY
Semi-instantaneous, placed in a red horizontal aperture below 12 o’clock with automatic adjustment for months of 30 or 31 days.
Semi-instantaneous indicator with Arabic numerals placed between 4 and 5 o’clock.
• Central flange in grade 5 titanium
• 18K white gold weight segment
• Weight segment with 6 possible positions adjusted
by screws in grade 5 titanium
• 18K white gold wings
• Ceramic ball bearings
• Unidirectional anti-clockwise winding
This exclusive Richard Mille design makes it possible to effectively adapt rewinding of the mainspring to the user’s activity level, in sporting or non-sporting environments. By adjusting the placement of the wings, the rotor’s inertia is modified to either speed up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements, or to slow it down during sporting activities.
Movement dimensions: 30.25 x 28.45 mm
Thickness: 9.00 mm
Number of jewels: 68
Barrel arbor: AP 20 steel
Balance: Glucydur®, 4 arms, moment of inertia 4.8 mg•cm2, angle of lift 53º
Frequency: 28’800 vph (4 Hz)
Balance spring: AK3
Shock protection: INCABLOC 908.22.211.100 (transparent)
Escapement wheel jewels: Rubifix (transparent)
Stem with three positions: manual winding, date, hand setting
The external pushers, crown and inserts of the RM 11-03, brainchild of Richard Mille engineer Fabrice Namura, fully expresses the McLaren attitude, the world of motorsport, exceptional automobiles and attention to detail at the summit of ultimate perfection.
CASE IN CARBON TPT® AND ORANGE QUARTZ TPT®
Carbon TPT® and orange Quartz TPT® are exclusive material with a unique appearance. Their remarkable surface displays extremely regular undulations, as they are composed of 600 layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibre or silica threads. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 45 microns, are impregnated with matrix then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers (Quartz TPT® layers are saturated in an orange matrix developed especially for Richard Mille).
The tripartite case of the RM 11-03 is water resistant to 50 metres, ensured by two Nitrile O-ring seals. The case is assembled using 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers made of 316L stainless steel.
They adorn the bezel, similar in shape to the iconic McLaren F1’s air-intake snorkel and bearing the McLaren logo.
The complex grade 5 titanium crown is shaped like a McLaren lightweight wheel while the pushers echo the design of the distinctive headlights of the McLaren 720S.
• Baseplate and bridges in titanium, wet sandblasted, PVD treated
• Chamfered and polished by hand
• Hand-polished locking sections
• Sapphire-blasted surfaces
• Chamfered and polished by hand
• Screw slot and screws bevelled and polished for a rounded, polished tip
• Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
• Diamond-polished angles
• Circular-finished faces
• Rhodium plating (before cutting the teeth)
• Minimal corrections applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance
The double-barrel system contributes to torque stability over a longer period. This is achieved by using higher rotations of the barrel, thereby reducing pressure and wear on the teeth, bearings and pivots, improving long-term performance.
FREE-SPRUNG BALANCE WITH VARIABLE INERTIA
This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation. It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks and during movement assembly or disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time. The regulator index has been eliminated, and a more accurate and repeatable calibration is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights located directly on the balance.
SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE BRIDGES AND CASE
This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.