Calling the RM UP-01 wafer-thin does it a disservice. Because this watch makes a Nilla Wafer look like a Niners lineman. At an astounding 1.75 millimeters—as thick as an American quarter—this watch is the thinnest ever made.
This story originally appeared in Volume 13 of Road & Track.
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To achieve this record-breaking feat, Richard Mille deconstructed the traditional wristwatch, splaying components across a plane rather than stacking them vertically.
With metals this thin, you might think you could bend the wide case like a soda can. But the majority of the UP-01 is constructed from rigid and rugged Grade 5 titanium, a darling of the aerospace industry.
By now you’ve noticed the Prancing Horse in the room. This piece is co-branded with Ferrari, which may have sent your eyes rolling. How often have Formula 1 teams plastered their livery across a watch dial in a shameless cash grab? Too often.
This is absolutely not that watch.
Rarely has a timepiece laid bare the parallels between cutting-edge watchmaking and F1 racing. Materials science, packaging, pricing, and convention all have been pushed to the edges of sanity, simply for the sake of chasing the edges of what’s possible.
Monumental costs in service of bleeding-edge tech? If that isn’t F1, we don’t know what is.