Rafael Nadal has been an ambassador for watchmaker Richard Mille since the year 2010, a partnership that has been quite fruitful. It started with him putting on the RM 027 RN and the rest was history. Ever since then, the Swiss watchmaker has issued numerous references in Nadal’s honour. Of course, nobody can forget the million-dollar timepiece, the RM 27-04 launched in September 2020 in honour of the 10th anniversary of the spectacular partnership between the innovative watch brand and the Spanish tennis megastar.
Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille: A Duo We Didn’t Know We Needed
If you’ve been following the Australian Open 2022, you may have noticed the watch on Rafael Nadal’s right wrist. the timepiece has been a constant companion for Nadal throughout the tournament – even while on the court smashing those balls to the ground. Rafael has had some intense matches in his first Grand Slam tournament of 2022, including the five-set nail-biter against Denis Shapovalov.
Richard Mille RM 27-04
Inspired by the way a tennis racquet gets strung, the mechanism of the Richard Mille RM 27-04 is completely supported by a micro-blasted mesh measuring 855 square millimeters, comprising of a single cable of braided steel measuring merely 0.27 mm in diameter. The steel cable is anchored to a turnbuckle at the 5 o’clock position. It is then “weaved” to create “cross strings” above and below the main strings. The cable is passed via the hollow grade-5 titanium flange 38 times before its run is ended at another turnbuckle at the 10 o’clock position.
The movement is positioned diagonally. It is connected to the mesh by five grade-5 polished titanium hooks coated with red gold PVD extending from the back of the base plate. Just like players add dampeners to their strings, vibration dampeners have been added to the tourbillon chatons, the barrel, and the hands around the 6 o’clock position.
As far as the world of watchmaking is concerned, this form of layout is unprecedented.
Just like all the Nadal-dedicated Richard Mille timepieces, the RM 27-04 is super light in weight. It is merely 30 gms including the strap. The timepiece is known to offer tremendous levels of shock resistance, which is a must if you intend to wear it while playing the sport. The movement, consisting of a 1-minute tourbillon, is suspended within the case and can resist 12,000 Gs worth of accelerations, a personal record for even Richard Mille.
Rafael Nadal and the Richard Mille RM 27-04: A Match Made In the Australian Open 2022
When Rafael Nadal won in 2020, it not only marked his thirteenth French Open title, it also marked his twentieth Grand Slam title, a historically important milestone. With this feat, he tied with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. And now, with his historic win at the Australian Open 2022, he has put his name in the history books for good. The world number one AND Hublot ambassador Novak Djokovic was not present at the tournament as he was deported from Australia prior to the tournament itself.
The popular assumption right now is that the 35-year-old athlete is donning his RM 27-04 in Australia as a good luck charm. He was wearing it as he won Roland Garros 2020.
Getting Into The Details
The watch case stands at 38.4 mm x 47.25 mm x 11.40 mm and is made of TitaCarb, a compound exclusive to Richard Mille.
As far as the movement is concerned, the watch is powered by a manually wound movement with a one-minute tourbillon. The movement offers up to 38 hours of power reserve running at a 21,600 vph frequency. The mechanism is certified to withstand up to 12,000 Gs of magnetic fields. As is the case with most Richard Mille timepieces, the RM 27-04 is a limited series limited to just 50 timepieces.