Watch & Jewellery
FOR THOSE WITH GOAT STATUS AMBITIONS: Richard Mille’s RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Richard Mille
31.01.2022
Richard Mille’s 'RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal'
Richard Mille’s 'RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal'
Richard Mille’s 'RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal'
Richard Mille’s 'RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal'
Richard Mille’s 'RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal'
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Who would have thought that a tennis GOAT would share his name with one of the most unattainable wristwatch series in highly complex mechanical watchmaking. Spanish superstar Rafael 'King of Clay' Nadal, who recently recorded his 21 Grand Slam title victory making him the most successful player of all time, helped Richard Mille launch another mechanical marvel in the series just prior to the Australian Open, one that he surprisingly didn’t wear onto court in his successful run like he usually does. Instead, don’t let the two versions of the new RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal – one version is even embellished in blue and white quartz TPT with a crown ring in red dropping hints of the colours of the Australian flag – put you off from wanting a piece of the action. Pandemic or not, a Rafael Nadal-blessed wristwatch isn’t going to be retailing for anywhere less than six figures. It is this consistency that you can also expect in its build that features robust materials that the watchmaker will tell you all about the challenges to machine. Even the movement weighs just a few grams which is a technical feat in itself. Now, the real showpiece that Richard Mille is most proud of for this isn’t even visible on the dial. One has to flip to the see-through case back in order to witness the workings of its patented butterfly rotor. Think of the standard winding rotor being split in two, like butterfly wings. Richard Mille wants the owner to take command of the winding rotor rather than let it run freely like every other version out there would do. But why? Well, in high-level watchmaking, let’s just say clout is when yours can do what 99.9 per cent of other upmarket mechanicals can’t. Simply by pressing a pusher at 7 o’clock (known as the Sport Mode), the grade 5 titanium and metal rotor will split in two halves akin to butterfly wings and go into lockdown. This is so any excessive winding is halted during your most active period of the day (such as powering aces on the tennis court or whisking beaten eggs into batter). An on/off indicator at 6 o’clock lets you know the status of the rotor without having to flip to the case back for confirmation. Yes, this might appear like a small add-on but god knows this isn’t an easy feature to work into a micro-engine either. And the good news is, this isn't a limited run, just like how Nadal's career is looking at the mo.

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A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

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