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Rafael Nadal sports new Richard Mille watch worth $1.1M at the French Open

Rafael Nadal sports newest Richard Mille at French Open

Rafael Nadal at French Open with Richard Mille watch
Janet McIntyre / Shutterstock

When one of the world’s best tennis players and one of the world’s best watch brands come together it’s not only a perfect tango between two partners, but something akin to the Big Bang. Rafael Nadal’s long relationship with Richard Mille has yielded some truly impeccable watches, including the RM 027 Tourbillon that came out in 2010.

Nadal is seriously happy with the partnership, having said, “My relationship with Richard Mille, the company, as well as Richard as a person, has undoubtedly been a pillar of my sports career since 2010. They have supported me in all circumstances, and I hope that this bond will continue for many more years.”

The Richard Mille 27-05 Flying Tourbillon

Richard Mille 27-05 Flying Tourbillon
Richard Mille

Now, the latest model, the Richard Mille 27-05 Flying Tourbillon appeared on Rafa’s wrist during the 2024 French Open, and despite the fact that he was eliminated early on, his watch shifted attention away from the early exit. It weighs just 11.5 grams as it’s built from a new composite and can handle up to 14,000 Gs. So, it can certainly withstand Nadal’s swinging arm that hits with the force of an Oppenheimer.

Made in collaboration with North Thin Ply Technology, this new Richard Mille watch took an astounding 4,000 hours of design work, but as Rafael Nadal knows, true greatness takes patience and time. The case is made from Carbon TPT B.4, making it even stronger than previous models.

Insanely complicated technical specifications

The Richard Mille 27-05 is a hand-wound watch featuring a flying tourbillon which is a complication you wouldn’t normally find in a watch used on tennis courts. The calibre RM 27-05 movement, which includes a 55-hour power reserve, is built on a PVD-coated titanium baseplate that has been skeletonized, as several of the best Richard Mille watches are. Rather than being fixed on the watch case, it hovers 0.05 millimeters above the caseback with the flange and bezel securing it from the top.

The Richard Mille 27-05 Flying Tourbillon features an open design with just a slim outer ring for the hour markers and minutes, while the time is shown by two hands placed in the middle. A V-shaped Carbon TPT bridge goes across the entire watch face, culminating at the 5N PVD-coated Flying Tourbillon. The skeletonized flying barrel on the top part of the watch is also finished with 5N PVD.

What do we think?

Richard Mille 27-05 Flying Tourbillon on Rafael Nadal
Richard Mille

The goal of the Richard Mille 27-05 is certainly not accessibility, it’s about creating a watch fit for one of the world’s best athletes. Go big or go home right? Each iteration of the RM27 series has only gotten lighter, meaning Rafa can wear it on his wrist while he plays and he won’t find it to be a hindrance.

Richard Mille watches are not designed for mass appeal, and that’s okay. For us peasants on the internet, we’ll simply enjoy admiring it from afar on Rafael Nadal’s wrist and live vicariously through him.

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Sarah Veldman
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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