A&E Interviews: Richard Mille & Mike Flewitt

Lara Mansour   |   29 - 11 - 2017

Produced in collaboration with the famed Formula 1 constructor, the new Richard Mille calibre is a technical masterpiece offering off-the-chart mechanical performance, and is the first expression of a 10-year collaboration between the two teams.

 

Here, CEO’s Richard Mille and Mike Flewitt share their passion for an innovative use of materials and unconventional designs, offering a glimpse into the world of fast cars and fine watchmaking.

 

Richard Mille, CEO and Founder Richard Mille.

 

Why McLaren?

McLaren is one of the most successful automotive brands having won multiple world championships in F1 and the 24 hours of Le Mans, and is today a serious player within the highly competitive sports car sector. We have a ten-year agreement which shows how serious we both are about working together. We are also two young players in our respective fields, with us existing since 2001 and McLaren in the Sports Car sector since only 2010.

 

What are the 3 common codes that both brands have in common?

McLaren like Richard Mille are driven by extreme technology, passion, and exclusivity. They like us have an obsession to achieve perfection no matter what the cost. We really can say that we have found each other, and know that this partnership was meant to be!

 

Tell us about the brand collaboration?

We have been a partner to McLaren since early 2016, and the very first watch development is the RM 50-03 Tourbillon which was presented last January in Geneva. This is the lightest mechanical chronograph in the world, weighing less than 40 grams including the strap. This was achieved thanks to the use of Graph TPT, a material introduced to Richard Mille by McLaren. The Tourbillon movement also pushes the limits with its integrated chronograph, and we tried to shave weight wherever possible whilst maintaining the best performance. Having access to the McLaren Technology Centre provides so many opportunities to share materials, ideas, and developments, and we are only really in the first phase of our collaboration.

 

What watch from Richard Mille do you have on your wrist and why?

The RM 60-01 Navigation watch. I love its technicity and despite its size, it is very light and comfortable to wear. Having this yellow strap adds real colour to it.

 

What is your favourite car from McLaren?

The McLaren F1 M19, but unfortunately I don’t yet own this car!

 

Tell us a major life lesson you would pass on to your children and team?

To follow your heart and passion, whilst keeping a level head.

 

What is your personal motto?

Either do things properly and without compromise, or not at all!

 

Can you share with us what annoys you?

The obsession of volume in the luxury sector, whether it be watches of cars. Compromising on quality, and the lack of creativity brands have when developing new products by simply just following market trends.

 

What is your perfect ‘me’ time?

Looking after all my cars of course, whether it be at home or on the track!

 

Tell us your New Year resolutions?

To still have as much fun doing what I do, as I have done since the launch of the brand in 2001.

 

Mike Flewitt, CEO McLaren Automotive

 

Why Richard Mille?

Watches and performance cars share certain synergies which make auto-horological partnerships natural, and in the case of McLaren and Richard Mille, I believe our brands are perfectly aligned. At McLaren Automotive, we create ground-breaking, iconic sports cars and supercars designed to push the boundaries of design and performance. Richard Mille customers are drawn to McLaren’s cars, while our clientele immediately appreciates the daring and the craftsmanship that goes into these watches. We share an audience which is equally demanding, driven, and individual.

 

What are the 3 common codes that both brands have in common?

Innovation, attention-to-detail, and passion are hallmarks of both companies.

 

Tell us about the brand collaboration?

As you are aware, Richard Mille are already a Partner with McLaren Racing and have launched the first limited edition watch that has been made in collaboration with McLaren, I think this incredible product is a wonderful expression of the partnership. McLaren Automotive will also explore a number of joint initiatives which will demonstrate our expertise within our respective industries as we both continue to develop our customer experience.

 

What watch from Richard Mille do you like and why?

As an engineer by training, I can honestly say that the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is the most incredible watch I have ever seen, and a technical collaboration McLaren can be justifiably proud of.

 

What is your favourite car from McLaren?

The 720S is, we believe, the world’s best supercar and I am very lucky to have one in my garage, it is just so rewarding to drive. Looking ahead though, even greater things are coming. We are readying a new, track-focused Ultimate Series car codenamed P15, which will be the most extreme road-legal McLaren ever.

 

Tell us a major life lesson you would pass on to your children and team?

Strive for perfection and never give up trying.

 

What is your personal motto?

If everything seems under control, you are not going fast enough.

 

Can you share with us what annoys you?

The one thing that really annoys me is my wife Mia beating me on the track!

 

What is your perfect ‘me’ time?

I love cars, so it would be racing my two 1960s Lotuses on a beautiful race track.

 

Tell us your New Year resolutions?

Like Richard Mille, McLaren Automotive is a relatively young company, and our pace of evolution and growth is astounding. The goal from day one was to build the world’s best sports cars and I believe our current range fulfils that promise. But now we’re about to find an even higher gear and, with a couple of stunning models in the pipeline and some headline-grabbing unveilings planned, the objective is to take our game to the ultimate level. Our resolution is to never stop improving and if the technology doesn’t exist, create it, there is still extra performance to extract.

 

By Lara Mansour Sawaya

 

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