A dream of pushing back the boundaries of time, or those of performance. One of them on clay, keeping his eyes on the ball; the other with his face turned to time itself. Yet both combine technique, harmony and accuracy while resisting the hard knocks, and inevitable shocks of sporting life.
For Rafael Nadal, ‘unstoppable’ is the word that best expresses the spirit of Richard Mille and his teams. Achieving the impossible. This has been the brand’s credo for the past decade in designing the unique pieces worn by the Spaniard on the world’s tennis courts. And the latest product of their partnership, the RM 27-04, is no exception to this golden rule.
The RM 27-04 balances a lightweight design–at 30 grams including the strap–with tremendous resistance. Its tourbillon calibre, which is suspended within the case, can resist accelerations of more than 12,000 g’s, a record for Richard Mille. The movement is entirely supported by a micro-blasted mesh just 855 square millimetres in surface, comprised of a single cable in braided steel measuring 0.27mm in diameter, and held in place by two tensioners in PVD-treated 5N gold. This construction is unprecedented in the world of watchmaking.
Inspired by the same principle as the strings of a tennis racquet, the watchmaker anchors the steel cable to a tensioner positioned at 5 o’clock and then begins to create the mesh, tying each of the main strings before adding the cross strings. Weaving above and below the main strings, the cable passes 38 times through the hollow bezel in grade 5 titanium before finishing in a tensioner positioned at 10 o’clock. The movement is positioned diagonally, connected to the mesh by five grade 5 polished titanium hooks with 5N gold PVD coating that extend from the back of the baseplate.
However, the singularities of the RM 27-04 do not end with its mesh. The case, with its sandblasted and polished surfaces, is also innovative in its use of an exclusive material, TitaCarb®. This highperformance polyamide has been strengthened with a 38.5% carbon fibre content. This addition of carbon gives TitaCarb® exceptional tensile strength—370 MPa (3,700 kg/cm2 )—making it one of the most resistant polymers in the world.
This new model fits in perfectly with the previous watch collections created for the Spanish champion. It is unique in more ways than one, as it also marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille. Initially a purely professional rapport, the collaboration between the 12-time French Open winner and the founder of the brand that bears his name has since turned into a solid friendship. A ‘ very special’ relationship, according to the Majorcan, this friendship grows constantly from their mutual trust and admiration for their respective careers.
The RM 27-04 is the new ally on court for ‘ Rafa’, whose shortened version of his name is engraved on the case band. This watch, a limited edition of 50 pieces, will accompany Rafael Nadal in his quest for new trophies.