Swiss luxury watchmaker Richard Mille and tennis star Rafael Nadal unveil a novel timepiece that breaks the rudiments of technical excellence.
Released at the start of the coveted Roland-Garros, the RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal exhibits not only mastery in watchmaking but also the assertive character of the nine-time winner of the French Open. Rendered in striking red and yellow shades – the colors of Nadal’s native Spain, the RM 27-03 acquired its amber sheen through an innovative method of impregnating fine, ultra-thin layers of silica with tinted resin and then heating them to 120° C. Developed in Switzerland, the process displays Richard Mille’s and partner North Thin Ply Technology’s unexcelled ability to develop new, biocompatible and durable Quartz shades.
Aside from its flowing color, the case boasts water resistance of 50 meters, an advantageous strength/weight ratio, anallergic faculties as well as high UV-ray defense. One specification, however, truly establishes the novelty of RM 27-03 – the capacity of its ultralight tourbillon calibre to withstand shocks of up to 10,000 Gs. Shielding the watch’s working form Nadal’s powerful arm swings, this resilience is a result of relentless testing of the watch’s performance against linear acceleration. Attached to a skeletonized unibody carbon base, the ingenious tourbillon flaunts a precision to the micron, while the winding barrel provides 70 hours of running time.
The technical perfection of the RM 27-03 is housed in a hand-polished design that is equally impressive. With highly stylized and streamlined satin surfaces, that give off a barely detectable sparkle, the watch plays with volumes. The tourbillon, beating at 3 Hz, and the great wheel evoke the forward-facing head of a bull – another subtle reference to Spain.
Having developed several high-profile timepieces with Richard Mille, Nadal is to wear the RM 27-03 during the Roland-Garros. Produced in only 50 pieces, the watch bears the sticker price of $725,000.