Rafael Nadal plans to sport this brightly colored, ultra-light Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal when it’s his turn to compete on the clay courts of the French Open in Paris this week and next week. The new watch is the seventh tourbillon timepiece made by Richard Mille in partnership with Nadal, and once again both the watch and Nadal are bound to generate excitement on and off the court.
While Nadal competes for his tenth French Open victory, the watch on his wrist has already achieved a victory of sorts among the horologically aware. Richard Mille says the tourbillon caliber withstands shocks of up to 10,000 Gs. This new record is the end result of years of work and much testing, notably repeated pendulum impact tests that simulate linear acceleration from sudden movements.
The tourbillon caliber here is built into a skeletonized one-piece baseplate of Carbon TPT, made by separating carbon threads to create multiple layers of parallel filaments. The watch’s bezel and caseback are assembled directly on the baseplate, reducing the number of components, which serves to keep the watch light (34 grams in total, including strap).
Fans at the Open will note the watch’s brilliant red and yellow color, which will likely be visible even from distant seats at the Roland Garros Stadium. Meant to recall Nadal’s native Spain, the Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal’s colorful case is made of Quartz TPT, a material created in partnership with North Thin Ply Technology. Technicians place fine layers of silica (measuring just 45 microns thick) with tinted resin. The filaments are stacked in layers before being heated to 120 °C. and then are milled and finished. The caliber’s rapid winding barrel helps provide a 70-hour power reserve, and, in a touch of net-side whimsy, the Quartz TPT crown is shaped like a tennis ball.
The Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal is a 50-piece limited edition and is priced at $725,000.
Specifications: Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal
MOVEMENT: Caliber RM27-03: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes; free sprung balance with variable inertia, shock resistant to 10,000 Gs.
DIAL: Grade 5 titanium bridges, skeletonized and V-shaped; Upper flange in Carbon TPT
CASE: Red and yellow Quartz TPT measuring 47.77mm x 40.30mm x 12.75 mm, sapphire crystal
WEIGHT: 34 grams, with strap