Spanish tennis star will sport stunning 20 gram mechanical time piece.
Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal will take to the court this season wearing an ultra-light Richard Mille mechanical watch valued at $525,000.
The RM 027 Tourbillon weighs less than 20 grams, including the strap, making it one of the lightest watches ever produced using haute horology techniques.
Nadal was involved in the design and testing of the watch, putting it through its paces in the harshest of environments – the professional tennis arena.
Richard Mille has been exploring the concept of weight reduction in haute horology from the very conception of the brand. The watch maker has been experimenting with materials that combine lightness, strength and durability with the beauty and engineering intrinsic to luxury watches.
The movement base plate of the RM 027 Tourbillon is made from titanium and LITAL alloy, a high lithium content alloy containing aluminium, copper, magnesium and zirconium, possessing a density of 2.55. The addition of lithium, one of the lightest elements, to the alloy mixture, provides strength without adding unnecessary weight.
The result is one of the world’s lightest mechanical tourbillon wristwatches with a movement weight of just 3.83 grams.
"When I first produced tourbillons with titanium and ALUSIC cases and carbon baseplates, I was fighting against perceived value. A titanium watch could not be a luxurious timepiece as it did not weigh enough. However mentalities rapidly changed and gradually with time amateurs soon appreciated the extreme lightness of my watches whilst being associated with the best technology," said Richard Mille.
The RM 027 Tourbillon is a limited edition of 50 pieces and will retail for $525,000.
Nadal’s association with Richard Mille is the latest in a long line of fine watch endorsements by tennis stars. Roger Federer and Justine Henin are brand ambassadors for Roles. Steffi Graf was associated with Longines for much of her career and Kim Clijsters wears Citizen watches on behalf of the manufacturer.