This past Wednesday May 24th, 2017 in Paris and in the presence of brand partners Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev as well as VIP clients, Richard Mille unveiled the newest tourbillon in its line of timepieces created in partnership with Nadal. The new Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal is another record-breaker since its tourbillon movement can withstand shocks of up to 10,000 Gs, setting a complete new threshold in the watch industry.
Since 2010, Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal have developed remarkable watches, via a collaboration unique in the history of watchmaking, and the latest of these is no disappointment. In terms of shock resistance, the tourbillon movement expands the horizons of technical performance. Aesthetically, the timepiece alludes to the Spanish tennis champion’s masterful character and this new watch reconciles innovations at the level of materials with a testament to horological architecture.
Clay tennis courts are known for amplified effect and you might say the same of the new Richard Mille RM 27-03, with its striking red and yellow hues on its Quartz TPT case that pay homage to Rafa’s native Spain.The intense burst of color on the new RM 27-03 is achieved by impregnating fine layers of silica just 45 microns thick with tinted resin according to a proprietary process developed in Switzerland that stacks the filaments in layers before heating them to 120 °C. When it comes to releasing a new shade of Quartz TPT®, achieving color stability compliant with REACH standards while resolving issues of biocompatibility and durability represents a tremendous display of prowess on the part of the engineers at Richard Mille and North Thin Ply Technology —NTPT. And once the composite is produced, there remain many hours of milling and finishing operations to produce the case and components. As a playful nod, winding and hand setting are conducted using a torque-limiting crown of Quartz TPT in the shape of a tennis ball.
The quartz fibers used in the case of the new Richard Mille RM27-03 —which happens to also be water resistant to 50 meters—, offer a very advantageous strength/weight ratio, as well as being hypoallergenic and highly resistant to UV rays. But the main innovation of this extraordinary watch lies in the capacity of its tourbillon caliber to withstand shocks up to 10,000 Gs. This new threshold has been attained thanks to years of R&D and countless hours of tests, particularly ‘pendulum impact testing’ which simulates the linear acceleration that occurs due to sudden movements or shock to the wearer. This virtual indestructibility is vouchsafed by assembly of the ultralight tourbillon caliber on the skeletonized unibody baseplate of carbon TPT with a precision to the nearest micron, while the reduced number of components in this configuration permits additional weight savings, lightening the whole watch. The rapid winding barrel provides an unvarying flow of energy for the full 70 hours of running time.
The magnificent finishing of the RM 27-03 caliber presents hand-polished tapered anglage and graceful satin surfaces that set off the sparkle of finely microblasted elements. The new RM 27-03 Tourbillon offers an impressive play of volumes. Highly stylized, the sharp, streamlined curves of the skeletonized bridges encircling the barrel, the great wheel and the mechanical winding tourbillon beating at 3 Hz together evoke the forward-facing head of a bull. A symbol of Spain, this animal is also Nadal’s chosen emblem.
Especially vivid and sporty, this watch, produced in a limited edition of only 50 pieces, will be Rafa’s new ally in the matches ahead on his wrist. Nadal will wear the new 27-03, which bears the striking red and yellow colors of his native Spain, for all tennis matches going forward including the Roland-Garros.
Sticker Price $725,000 USD. For more information on Richard Mille click here.