Being the only watch in their arsenal for 2017, you can bet that this timepiece is really something else, and indeed it is. The RM 50-03 tourbillon split seconds chronograph ultralight McLaren F1 is the lightest of its kind ever made, thanks to an entirely new material in the watchmaking industry: Graph TPT.
Graphene was first isolated by Professor Andre Geim of the School of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Manchester, which led him to win a Nobel Prize in 2010. Through collaborative work with the University of Manchester, McLaren Applied Technologies and North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT®), Richard Mille has managed to harness the power of graphene to create a watch case made out of carbon TPT. This material is six times lighter than steel and 200 times stronger; Richard Mille even put the case through 5,000GS of force and it survived. Combine that with a movement that uses this material along with grade 5 titanium for the baseplate and the bridges, and the result is a watch that offers a split-second chronograph and a tourbillon weighing less than 40G (including the strap!).
The beautiful markings on the case come from the Carbon TPT material itself, which basically comprises 600 layers of parallel filaments, each with a maximum thickness of only 30 microns. Every layer is impregnated with super-charged resin containing graphene, which is then compiled by a CNC machine that shifts the orientation of the fibres by 45° between layers before the entire composite is solidified by heating it to 120°C, at 6 Bar of pressure. As you can imagine with a material this complicated, Richard Mille had to enlist a special team that spent hours creating and programming cutting tools suitable for achieving precision to a micron.
The movement is aptly named Calibre RM50-03 and it offers a power reserve of 70 hours with power-reserve, torque and function indicators.