Here is Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal spending some time off from the Monte Carlo Masters on a boat with the Yacht Club de Monte-Carlo, enjoying views of the Cote d’Azur coastline. Could any sentence better conjure up a vision of a young, rich bon vivant? How about if we mention that he is wearing a limited-edition Richard Mille RM 27-01 Tourbillon in this picture?
While Nadal has one of the most distinctive techniques the sport has ever seen (naturally right-handed, he taught himself to compete on court as a lefty), his off court style favors the classically casual—jeans and a T-shirt or polo and the occasional boating gear. The RM 27-01 suits his lifestyle because it signifies that while he’s too cool to care if folks perceive him as a beach bum, a flash of the wrist shows that he could buy the whole beach if he wanted to.
Introduced in 2013 and constructed in collaboration with Nadal, it is a fantastic combination of endurance and lightness. The case is slightly smaller than other Mille timepieces and the tourbillon movement weighs a mere 3.5 grams. Just as Nadal switched hands to gain an on-court advantage, the hand-wound movement is attached to the housing by very thin, braided steel strands. The tourbillon cage is made of titanium and the barrel bridges and gear-trains are made of an aluminum-lithium alloy.
It all sounds quite delicate, but like the perpetually boyish Nadal, the RM 27-01 can take a lot of punishment—it is able to withstand forces up to 5,000 G and has a power reserve of 45 hours.