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Richard Mille - Driving around town with McLaren and Richard Mille

Richard Mille Driving around town with McLaren and Richard Mille

There is only one way to truly appreciate the new Richard Mille RM 40-01 and that is behind the wheel of the McLaren GT and 720S

The best way to get a sense of a watch is to put it on the wrist and wear it. Unfortunately, unlike car dealerships, watch boutiques won’t let you take a test drive with a watch. You can walk around the boutique for a few minutes, but they won’t let you out the door with it! Luckily, here at WorldTempus, our job is to test some of the world’s most exciting timepieces, just for you. It is a job that we love, especially when we get to have some real fun with them. 

For the new Richard Mille RM 40-01, the brand didn’t only let us test the watch, they gave us the keys to two McLaren hypercars – the GT and the 720S – so we could feel what it was like to own both the watch and the car!

Driving around town with McLaren and Richard Mille

McLaren Speedtail and RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

The RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail

The RM 40-01 timepiece was developed at the same time as the McLaren Speedtail, the fastest McLaren road car to date. Where most watches are inspired by existing cars, the McLaren Speedtail and the RM 40-01 were developed at the same time. 

The car is based on the teardrop shape, the most aerodynamic form found in nature, allowing it to cover 112 meters per second with a top speed of 250mph/402kph. For details of the design process, see our video interview with Richard Mille brand spokesman Theodore Diehl below. 

The McLaren Speedtail

After having seen the timepiece in the metal at the Richard Mille boutique in Geneva, we went to the Intercontinental Hotel, where a Speedtail hypercar was waiting in the sunshine. The way the light reflected off of the lines of the car was a sight to behold. As for the interior, it was like something from a science fiction film set far in the future.

The Test Drive

To better understand the McLaren brand, we were then given the keys to the McLaren GT, and a roadmap for Annecy in France, to discover just what it was like to drive a hypercar. The first thing that made us whoop with joy was the noise of the engine coming to life, followed by the acceleration, the handling, and the sheer fun of driving something so powerful. Not one to show off, but I can’t deny that I quite enjoyed the admiring stares from fellow motorists too!

On the way back, we switched the GT for the 720S, which was equally entertaining even in the rain. Coming back through the French/Swiss border, we were pulled over by the customs officers on duty (Being bright orange and with UK plates didn’t help). I was immediately asked: “Madame, is this your car?” When I replied in the negative, both officers looked at me like they had caught the criminal of the century!

Driving around town with McLaren and Richard Mille

Jordy Bellido and Sophie Furley with the McLaren 720S Spider © Manuel Bellido

But when I explained that I was a journalist testing this mean machine, their curiosity got the better of them and we had quite a long discussion about the merits of the car! I warned them that we were actually a group of 20 journalists returning from Annecy and they could expect more McLarens coming through. They thanked me and waved us off with a smile. I tried not to stall and look like I drove cars like this for a living! 

My colleague Jordy was much more at ease, as you will see from his car review video next week.

Back at the Intercontinental Hotel, we reluctantly handed back the keys and returned to the office – Jordy on his scooter and me on the bus – both in the realization that we are going to have to work a little harder! 


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