SIGNATURE / March 2019

Rafa, Through Thick and Thin!

After partnering in 2010, the tennis star and luxury watch brand have made names for themselves by creating shock-resistant and light watches worn by Nadal during his games. “Rafa and I have a lifelong commitment. We are there come rain or shine. It’s about friendship. It is more than just watchmaking – it’s life!” said Richard Mille after renewing hist partnership with Nadal during the Australian Open. The RM 27-03 is just the latest demonstration of this team work, through thick and thin. Today more than ever, Nadal is part of the RM family. The RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal exhibits mastery in watchmaking, in its almost bespoke character to the assertive Nadal, the nine-time winner of the French Open. While the case in shape is reminiscent of Richard Mille’s previous work, the colors are rendered in striking red and yellow shades of the Spain flag, Nadal’s home. The RM 27-03 acquired its amber sheen through an innovative method of impregnating fine- ultra-thin layers of silica with tinted resin and then heating them to 120° C. Developed in Switzerland, the process displays Richard Mille’s and partner North Thin Ply Technology’s unexcelled ability to develop new, biocompatible and durable Quartz shades. Its new movement can withstand shocks of up to 10,000 Gs, a first in the watchmaking world. The watch went strenuous and extensive shock tests, using a pendulum impact tester, a hammer that swings at a force of 10,000 Gs right onto the watch. The bridges are made of titanium and the base plate is a skeletonized unibody baseplate made of Carbon TPT. The technical prowess of the RM 27-03 is encased in a manually polished design that is nothing to be scoffed at. Featuring highly stylized and streamlined satin surfaces, that gives the watch a very discreet gleam. The tourbillon, beating at 3 Hz, and the great wheel evoke the forward-facing head of a bull, another reference to España. The RM 27-03 is a limited series of 50 pieces and it retails for a cool $725,000.