Rafael Nadal produced a stunning display to demolish Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open and equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam men’s titles.
Nadal’s supreme performance – his style of play is perfect for the clay courts of Roland Garros as he won a record-extending 13th title – was matched by the US$1.05 million Richard Mille watch he wore on his right wrist throughout the tournament.
Richard Mille released the RM 27-04 watch last month to mark the 10-year anniversary of its partnership with Rafael Nadal, who lives in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain. The watch weighs just 30 grams (one ounce), including the strap, and is billed as the lightest tourbillon in the world. Nadal says his Richard Mille watch is a like a “second skin” to him.
The Swiss watch brand said the RM 27-04 construction was inspired by the same principles “as the strings of a tennis racquet”. It is a limited edition of only 50 watches.
The baseplate and bridges are crafted from grade-5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which guarantees the perfect functioning of the gear train. The alloy is 90% titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. The use of grade-5 titanium combined with a black PVD treatment lends the whole assembly great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness. This combination enhances the alloy’s mechanical properties, which explains why it is frequently used in the aerospace, aeronautics and automobile industries.
The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges were subjected to demanding and extensive validation tests to ensure they met the most rigorous strength requirements.
Nadal was ranked number 27 this year on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes with US$40 million in the 12 months ending June 1. In addition to his US$14 million in prize money, he earned an estimated US$26 million from appearance fees and sponsorship from Nike, Babolat, KIA Motors, Richard Mille, Santander and Telefónica.
Nadal outclassed the world number one Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5. Djokovic is affiliated with Seiko. He waits until after matches to put on the watch, like most tennis players. Seiko’s Novak Djokovic Astron GPS Solar retails for roughly US$3,000, with 1,500 of the limited edition made.