BRM, official partner of the Catheram F1 racing team, is a watchmaker that is focused on making watches that are embedded with the spirit of racing. It shows in the finish of their watches, in the craftsmanship and now, in attention to weight.
BRM’s MK-44 is the world’s lightest automatic chronograph, and that title wasn’t accomplished easily.
It took BRM more than two years to reach the impossible goal of creating an automatic chronograph that weigh less than 50 grams, all while keeping the craftsmanship and reliability that is expected from this brilliant French watchmaker.
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The case is created in Makrolon®, is an amorphous, thermoplastic molding compound. This extra-light material used for the side windows in the most advanced race cars. It is noted for its high light transmission, high heat resistance, high toughness, high creep modulus, high dimensional stability and good electrical insulation properties.
The back is made of Fortal® HR, an extra-light aluminum alloy that is frequently employed in motorsports.
To reduce the weight even further, the titanium fastenings have been made hollow, while the sapphire glass has been reduced from 1.5 to only 1 millimeter in thickness.
The movement of the MK-44 is lighter than ever, and every part has been streamlined. The rotor is just half the weight of that used in a regular movement, thanks to the optimized performance of the movement as a whole.
Both titanium push buttons and crown are hollow, resulting in further weight reduction of the MK-44. Much of the dial has been relieved, the hands are thinner and the date has been eliminated for maximum weight savings. The band of the MK-44 is made of extra-light fabric and fiber, with multiple openings, so not only is it lighter, but breathable too. The buckle has been reduced to only half its regular size, with screws and axles made of titanium. Finally, the four lugs have been radically streamlined, without sacrifice of strength.
Putting this remarkable weight-reduction program into perspective, the BRM MK-44 weighs a mere 48.80 grams (1.72 oz), whereas a similar chronograph has a weight of 100 grams (3.5 oz) or more!