The Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari is the new record holder for the world's thinnest mechanical watch. And yes, there's a Prancing Horse on the dial—if you can call that a dial—meaning that it's very expensive. How expensive? Right under $2 million bucks. That's a lot more than even Charles Leclerc's own RM timepiece he had stolen earlier this year.
The timepiece takes over from the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra, which took the crown in March this year. Where the Bulgari was a hefty 1.8 mm, the RM UP-01 comes in far skinnier at just 1.75 mm thick (0.0669 inches). That's a monumental savings of 0.05 mm. As a guide, the width of a human hair is roughly 0.017 to 0.18 mm.
The watch retails for $1,888,000 and is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide. Produced in partnership with Ferrari, the watch is crafted out of lightweight Grade 5 Titanium. The 51 mm case has a layout that shows off the mechanicals inside. An open tourbillon is visible on the face for those that want to see it ticking away.
You might think at such a high price, the watch would make your life easier, but no. Like most tourbillon timepieces, you actually have to wind it yourself. The fight for thin supremacy meant the designers found no room for a battery or an automatic movement-powered mechanism. Nor do you get a fancy strap like the Bulgari. Richard Mille opted for a thin black rubber strap, instead.
It's a piece that trades on branding and exclusivity beyond all else. It's a great example of a Veblen good, an item for which demand increases as the price increases by virtue of it becoming a status symbol. While it's technically impressive, it is by no means an affordable or sensical way to tell the time.
You could instead buy almost 100,000 Casio F91-Ws for the same price at just $20 each, and you won't have to wind them up. Wear a new one every month for the rest of your life, sell the rest, and you could buy a pretty tidy house in Massachusetts.
Alternatively, take your $1,888,000 million dollars and start your Ferrari collection with a pair of 812 Superfasts. That then still leaves you a million dollars, so you could buy 12 Jaguar F-Types, one for each month of the year. Don't forget to paint one orange for Halloween.
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