Rafael Nadal’s New Luxury Watch Is the First Celeb Timepiece We’re Drooling Over
While a “small muscle tear” may have delayed Rafael Nadal’s return to Grand Slam tennis, it didn’t stop the launch of his latest Richard Mille watch. It took the Swiss luxury watchmaker three years to develop the latest addition to the partnership’s RM 35-03 Collection, which inaugurates a new winding mechanism dubbed the “butterfly rotor.” The matchless timepiece also features a state-of-the-art “sport mode.”
Nadal and Richard Mille’s partnership unofficially traces its roots back to 2008, before the King of Clay even wore a watch on the court. Two years later they would formally partner up—and it took that long to develop the first watch in the collection: the RM 027 was the world’s lightest tourbillon at the time.
The new RM 35-03 Collection, dubbed the “Baby Nadal,” comes with a sport mode that offers wearers—as the brand puts it—“the possibility of varying the rotor geometry by themselves, and controlling the winding of the movement according to their lifestyle and sporting activities.” If you’re doing something particularly sporty, simply click the sport mode button (located at 7 o’clock) and it will pause any additional winding of the movement.
The sport mode is made possible by the butterfly rotor, comprised of two weights in grade 5 titanium and metal. In their initial position, the weights cause a radial displacement of the center of gravity, generating the necessary torque to wind the barrel. When the wearer presses the sport mode button, the two weights go from an unbalanced position to a balanced position, canceling the watch’s winding power.
Rafael Nadal sporting the RM 35-03 watch in blue and white Quartz TPT.
The RM 35-03 comes in three versions: Carbon TPT (all-black, case and band), blue and white Quartz TPT, and a combination of Carbon TPT with white Quartz TPT. All three watches are the same size: 43.15mm wide, 13.15mm thick, and 49.95mm lug-to-lug. There’s a power reserve of approximately 55 hours, and the case is water resistant to 50 meters.
Given the players involved, few will be too shocked by the price tag of the sportiest Rafael Nadal x Richard Mille timepiece yet—blazing past the cost of most super-high-end sports cars at a cool $238,000.