Probably the only sport that really appeals to me (with the exception of the soccer world cup) is tennis. This year fanatics were rewarded with a highly memorable final at the Australian Open. Arguably the two greatest tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal dueled for nearly five hours. Previously these two legends had suffered with severe injuries and there was doubt if they would even be able to compete. In the end Federer prevailed and won a coveted 18th Gram slam title. He also managed to beat Rafa in subsequent APT tournaments keeping the dream alive. However, he was shrewd enough to take a sabbatical (to focus on Wimbledon) from the French Open because no one can upstage the ‘King of Clay’ at this event.
Just before Roland Garros fine watchmaker Richard Mille unveiled yet another extraordinary watch called the RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal. This amazing timepiece signifies a phenomenally successful nine-year collaboration with the sporting great. What makes this lucrative partnership even sweeter is that Nadal won and unprecedented 10th title at the French Open wearing this magnificent piece. Certainly this has got to translate into even higher profits for this luxury brand.
Prior to the French Open I was keen to include the RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal in a book about exclusive and innovative independent watchmakers. I was pretty certain Nadal would be dominant in the tournament but at the end of the day elite sport can always yield a few surprises. Fortunately, for tennis lovers (and definitely Richard Mille) proceedings went entirely as expected.
Aesthetically the RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal has an exceptionally bold and vibrant appearance. In a similar fashion to the light green RM-59-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake (which I reviewed 2014) Richard Mille has experimented with very bright colours. Aesthetically the red/yellow tones represent Spain and the clay courts of Roland Garros. However, rather than opting for carbon composites the RM 27-03 is constructed from several thin layers (45 microns) of silica bonded with tinted resin trademarked as Quartz TPT. This fabric is ultra lightweight, durable and practical to wear at Grand Slam tournaments.
With an enormous price tag of $725,000 and a limited production of 50 pieces the RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal will only be reserved for the most elite buyers.