Hiren Kumar Bose on RM 27-03, the watch ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal has been wearing during his wins that can withstand shocks up to 10,000 g-force.
World Number One Rafael Nadal won his 17th major by lifting his 11th French Open title on Sunday, beating seventh seed Dominic Thiem. The ‘King of Clay’s’ victory, short of Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, made as much as news what the Spaniard was wearing on his wrist.
Nadal has been wearing RM 27-03, aka Rafael Nadal “Tourbillon Shock Resistance, from Richard Mille, the eponymous brand, since its launch in May 2017. The $725,000 (Rs 5 crore apprx) watch that reconciles innovations at the level of materials with a testament to horological architecture is available in limited edition of 50 pieces. The main innovation of this extraordinary watch lies in the capacity of its tourbillon calibre to withstand shocks up to 10,000 g’s (gravitational force is a measurement of the type of acceleration that causes a perception of weight), 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. Movements or shocks, a player like Nadal exhibits or receives during his matches.
Given the striking red and yellow hues, 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 with its Quartz TPT® case pays homage to Rafa’s native Spain.
The quartz fibres used in this case, which is water resistant to 50m, offers a very advantageous strength/weight ratio, as well as being an allergic and highly resistant to UV rays.
This virtual indestructibility is vouchsafed by the assembly of the ultralight tourbillon calibre on the skeletonised 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 calibre presents hand-polished tapered anglage and graceful satin surfaces that set off the sparkle of finely micro-blasted elements. The RM 27-03 offers an impressive play of volumes. Highly stylised, the sharp, streamlined curves of the skeletonised 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.