Insider: Richard Mille RM35-01 Rafa Nadal. Hands-on with the $120,000 Entry Level Nadal Timepiece.

Unveiled some time ago, the Richard Mille RM35-01 Rafa Nadal is simply a stunner. The Richard Mille RM35-01 Rafa Nadal is considered by many, the entry level Nadal timepiece by Richard Mille considering its price point in the low $100Ks. This timepiece taking its cues from the RM 027 Nadal family of watches, is an incredibly strong and light watch thanks to the use of the black NTPT carbon for its case. Weighing a total of 50.3 grams, the RM35-01 Rafa Nadal is definitely one of our favorites watches from Richard Mille. 

The Dial

Fitted with a gorgeous skeletonized dial, one can appreciate the beauty of its wet sandblasted PVD grade 5 titanium baseplate that is also titalyt treated. The black flange featuring red markers and 'Richard Mille' in yellow, evokes the colors of the Spaniard flag paying homage to Rafael Nadal's home country. To round out the beauty of the skeletonized dial, the hands are also skeletonized and fitted with luminova on their tips.

The Case, Case Back & Crown

The RM35-01 Rafa Nadal features one of our favorite materials from Richard Mille in the traditional tonneau shaped case measuring 49.94 mm x 42 mm x 14.05 mm. NTPT carbon cases were launched by Richard Mille in October of 2013 and have quickly become one of the most utilized materials from this manufacture. NTPT stands for 'North Thin Ply Technology' and is a material originally developed for the sails of racing yachts. Sails manufactured from this material are highly resistant and light. NTPT carbon is so light and resistant, that it has also been heavily used for Formula 1 car chassis for the last five seasons.

This exclusive material with a unique appearance, displays extremely regular undulations, as it is composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 30 microns, are impregnated with resin then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers, creating this distinctive visual effect that is reminiscent of precious wood. Heated to 120°C at a pressure of 6 bars, the NTPT carbon is then ready to be processed on a CNC machine in Richard Mille’s Proart case factory.

When compared to composite materials, whose exceptional physical properties are already well known, NTPT carbon improves the rate of occurrence of breaking stresses by 25% and of micro-cracks by 200%. The NTPT case fully protects the RMUL3 manual wound calibre with 24 jewels and a 55-hour power reserve. The case provides a very unique sheen and look to this fascinating timepiece. Just like the tripartite case —this time including a solid case back— fully made of NTPT carbon, the crown is also made of the same material but further accentuated by a red o-ring seal in alcryn.

The Strap

The Richard Mille RM35-01 Rafa Nadal is fitted with a very unique black nylon strap lined with a rubber composite that is fitted with a velcro fastener on the 6 o'clock side. The strap is quite comfortable and is of the same kind as the one fitted on the RM27-01 Rafael Nadal we reviewed here.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and extremely comfortable. Richard Mille is one of those brands where you put the watch on and you hardly notice it is there because of its unparalleled level of comfort and featherweight lightness.

Sticker Price $120,000 USD. For more info Richard Mille click here.

Posted on December 28, 2015 and filed under Richard Mille.