Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Rafael Nadal and his RM 27-02
A Richard Mille ambassador since 2010, Rafael Nadal is in action at this week’s Monte Carlo tournament, with his RM 27-02 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal firmly clasped to his wrist.
29 year-old Rafael Nadal is currently ranked world no. 5. The “King of Clay” is considered one of the best men’s players of all time. Witness his track record: since the start of his professional career in 2001, Rafa has picked up 67 titles, including 27 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events and 14 Grand Slam tournaments. He has also won the Davis Cup three times with the Spanish team and has an Olympic gold medal.
Rafael Nadal first appeared on tennis courts wearing a Richard Mille watch in 2010. Richard Mille himself admits that “creating for Rafael Nadal a watch that would in his own words become a ‘second skin’ proved to be a huge challenge.” The tennis champion himself says “I hate having my hands encumbered by anything. I thought I’d find it tough to rise to the challenge of playing with a watch on my wrist. But when I realised what kind of watch it was, my initial reluctance vanished.” The initial encounter between the two men has so far resulted in a first watch (RM 027 Tourbillon – Rafael Nadal), a second in 2011 (RM 035 Rafael Nadal Chronofiable Certified), a third in 2013 (RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal), a fourth in 2014 (RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal); and finally the fifth model to date, the RM 27-02 introduced in 2015.
The use of avant-garde composite materials such as NTPT® carbon or TPT® quartz enables this piece to achieve impressive degrees of resistance and lightness: the entire watch, including the strap, is a real featherweight at around 21 grams. Another innovative element of this model is its skeleton-worked ‘unibody’ baseplate and caseband, doing away with any need to fasten the two elements together. Applying this construction to a watch significantly enhances its rigidity and resistance to impacts.
The mechanical manually-wound movement of the RM 27-02 comprises two key elements: the barrel at 12 o’clock and the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, held by grade 5 titanium bridges distinguished by their three-dimensional nature and their finishing, as well as by the complexity of their titanium and carbon-based composition. These structures keep the tourbillon suspended, meaning it may be admired from every angle during its rotation, and affording a spectacular view of the fast-rotating barrel ensuring a 70-hour power reserve. The ultra-sturdy, ultra-light RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal can withstand accelerations of over 5000 Gs… A vital feature given that Rafa actually wears his Richard Mille when playing!
Click on the picture at the top of the article to see a slideshow of the RM 27-02.
Richard Mille did not simply try to find his place in the watchmaking world – he carved one out for himself, constantly striving not to take anything for granted, and to make innovation and extreme technical prowess his driving forces.Find out more >
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