Rafael Nadal continues to inspire the Richard Mille firm. This time with the spectacular RM 35-01, much lighter and tougher than its predecessor.
By J. M. Towers
Richard Mille is one of the exclusive watch brands preferred by the elite. Its creator, the billionaire French watchmaker of the same name—a perfectionist and lover of architecture and design, collector of Formula 1 cars and fan of sailboats and luxury yachts—made headlines in 2010 following the incident when the tourbillon watch—valued at$525,000— that he had created especially for the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal to wear during a tournament was stolen.
The wristwatch stolen from Nadal`s hotel room was the RM 027, which at that time was the world's lightest tourbillion: 18 grams including the strap. "When he lost it, the first thing he did was to send me a message; he was desperate, and so was his father,” recalls Mille. "I told him that the important thing was that he had won the Roland Garros tournament. He added, “I love Rafa very much, he has an enviable human dimension.”
Richard Mille never produces more than 200 units of each model, with prices that range from $165,000 to $2 million. He employs one hundred workers in Switzerland, mostly artisans, and bills more than $138 million a year. "Fortunately, every day there are more people who understand that perfection comes at a cost and understand my watches. My clients do not need social recognition or attention. My watches are the opposite of flashy or striking pieces," says the French businessman, founder of the famous luxury label. More luxury watches.
Recently, Richard Mille unveiled a new sports watch, the RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal, even lighter and more spectacular than its predecessor. It was introduced in time for the Australian Open, and has also been specially designed for the world`s number one tennis player. Mille's admiration for the Spanish athlete continues year after year.
With a power reserve of 55 hours, this new RM 35-01, manual winding and RMUL3 caliber timepiece has a carbon box that uses the NTPT technology recently developed by Richard Mille. This NTPT carbon case consists of several layers of parallel carbon filaments with a thickness of 30 microns each, which provide exceptional rigidity and a stunning and unique granulated design.
Also, thanks to the use of grade-5 titanium and the black PVD cover, its resistance to impact is unsurpassed. Mille himself was in charge of designing the tourbillon mechanism enclosed in the carbon case for his good friend Nadal.
The Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal watch weighs only 4 grams and has been seen on the wrist of the player during the Australian Open. It will be available in the near future for a still undisclosed price. ■
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