What's so special about Rafael Nadal's watch? The Rafael Nadal - Richard Mille story 

The Richard Mille - Rafael Nadal story
The Richard Mille - Rafael Nadal story

Rafael Nadal is one of the few tennis players to wear a watch while playing on court. While many players wear their watches for presentation ceremonies, as per their sponsor agreements, the number of players who wear their watches in action can be counted on one hand.

Among them, Nadal is a special case because his watches are engineered in a special manner, and are specifically tested to ensure they are best suited for playing tennis.

RM 27-03, for example, can withstand up to 10,000 g's of shock, which is a must for a player like Nadal because of the linear acceleration and sudden movements he is bound to undergo. Furthermore, the bridge of the watch is also meant to resemble the face of a bull, Rafael Nadal's chosen symbol.

The partnership between Richard Mille, a Swiss luxury watch company, and the Spaniard was officially announced in 2010. But it started in 2008, the year Nadal won the French Open and Wimbledon.

After noticing that Nadal did not wear a watch while playing, the company's owner approached him with a custom-made RM 027 Tourbillon.

"Richard came to my house and showed me a model saying, 'This is the watch we made for you'," Rafael Nadal said.

Trying the watch on after being a little reluctant, Nadal loved it and has since been spotted wearing a Richard Mille watch every time he plays.

"As soon as I tried the real watch on, I loved it. We were on the same wavelength. The watch is now like a second string for me," Nadal added.

After several collaborations with the watch company, Rafael Nadal's watch collection has drastically expanded over the years.

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of its partnership with Nadal, Richard Mille came out with a special edition RM 27-04 in 2020, costing around $1 million.

The latest Richard Mille - Rafael Nadal watch

Rafael Nadal with the 2020 Roland Garros trophy, wearing the RM 27-04 Tourbillon
Rafael Nadal with the 2020 Roland Garros trophy, wearing the RM 27-04 Tourbillon

RM 35-03, announced on wednesday by Richard Mille, is the latest innovation by the watch company and comes with a patented "butterfly rotor."

This allows the wearer to have more control over the movement of the winding and can be optimized according to their needs.

The watch is priced at $220,000, par for the course when it comes to those made by Richard Mille. The announcement means that the Rafael Nadal line now boasts a collection of 9 watches in total.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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