As the Roland-Garros otherwise referred to as the 2016 French Opens, heats up, luxury watchmaker Richard Mille and the only true King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, have presented RM 35-02 – the latest addition to their 6-year old collection and partnership. The feature that distinctly sets RM 35-02 aside among other members in the collection is its possession of an automatic calibre.
The first watch in the collection, the RM 027, was co-designed by Nadal and Richard Mille was released in 2010, with carbon nanotubes case. They then worked together to introduce new additions to the collection including RM 27-01 with its cable-suspended movement, and the one presented before the RM 35-02, the RM 27-02 with NTPT Carbon unibody baseplate as its selling point.
RM 35-01 inspired the RM 35-02 – according to the watch company, many of its customers asked for a self-winding mechanism at the heart of a Nadal calibre. “The decision to use the brand’s patented variable geometry rotor—a real emblem of Richard Mille’s automatic movements—was an obvious one that makes it possible to adjust the winding to suit the wearer’s activities. In another first for the Nadal collection, the caseback is protected by a sapphire crystal sporting an anti-reflective treatment so that the calibre may be admired from every angle,” Richard Mille stated. Both parties agreed the journey has been a major leap forward in terms of research and development; the watch is also something to look forward to on Nadal during the French Opens.
RM 35-02 is powered by the all new RMAL1 calibre, the base plate and bridges in wet-sandblasted grade 5 titanium, which has been treated with PVD/Titalyt® and stretched to ensure supreme rigidity and impeccably smooth surfaces. Driven by a double-barrel system for greater torque stability, the watch’s variable inertia balance wheel oscillates at 28,800 vph.
The automatic RM 35-02 Rafael Nadal is available in either NTPT Carbon or a daring bright Quartz-TPT® Red with white highlights. Its silicon layers—each no thicker than 45 microns—are treated with a red resin that has been specially created for Richard Mille, then layered using an automatic system that changes the direction of the fibres in each layer by 45°. Heated under pressure at 120°C in an autoclave similar to those used for aeronautical components, the material is ready to be worked by ProArt, the manufacturer dedicated to the machining of Richard Mille components and cases.
The natural white quartz fibre, which is left undyed as per watchmaking custom, offers a very high resistance/weight ratio, non-allergenic properties and excellent UV resistance. Engineers involved in the development at Richard Mille and North Thin Ply Technology were able to develop a red resin that draws a stark contrast with the natural white of the quartz and its transparent resin. The manufacturer boasts the Quartz-TPT® Red adorning the RM 35-02 can withstand accelerations of up to 5,000 g’s; they added that the watch is designed for maximum biocompatibility, stability and resistance and compliant with REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) standards.
The RM 35-02 is currently priced at £105,000.
For more information on the RM 35-02 Rafael Nadal, visit here.