Richard Mille at Roland Garros

richard mille

The tourbillon watch RM 027, the lightest mechanical watch ever designed, will officially enter the tennis courts on Rafael Nadal’s wrist, during the Roland Garros tournament. Following the example of Felipe Massa who drives every F1 Grand Prix with his watch, Rafael Nadal will play all of his matches from now on wearing his Richard Mille watch on his wrist, an extraordinary feat.
“It is an honour for me than someone like Richard has chosen me as one of his ambassadors. Since the moment we met there was a special feeling. I know that he has worked very hard to be able to create this very special watch. I am honoured and I am sure it will be a special and successful partnership.”,
Rafael Nadal said.
Following the RM 006 (42 g without strap) and the RM 009 (29 g without strap), the RM 027  eighs less than 20 g (strap included) thus becoming one of the lightest watches ever produced.
Fascinated by the combination of technology, performance and practical aspects in a wristwatch, Richard Mille wished to prove once more that an extreme reduction in weight could be achieved with total efficiency and accuracy. It is from this key concept that he developed the RM 027 Tourbillon in close collaboration with Rafael Nadal, who gave a try to the watch during his training sessions and will now wear it during his tennis matches. The results of this horological experiment speaks for itself: despite the abrupt, extreme movements and shocks typical of high level tennis matches, the RM 027 Tourbillon has proven its durability while enabling Rafael Nadal total freedom of movement.
Richard Mille has been experimenting with the concept of weight reduction in haute horology from the very conception of the brand. Richard Mille said: “When I first produced tourbillons with titanium and ALUSIC cases and carbon base plates, 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 my watches for their extreme lightness associated with the best technology.”
The movement base plate of the RM 027 Tourbillon is made from titanium and LITAL® alloy, a high lithium content alloy containing aluminum, copper, magnesium and zirconium, possessing a density of 2.55. The addition of Lithium, one of the lightest elements, to the alloy mixture, provides great strength without adding unnecessary weight. This particular alloy is also used for the same reasons inthe aerospace industry in the construction of the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets and satellites, as well as in F1 racing cars.
The result is the following: one of the world’s lightest mechanical tourbillon wristwatches with a movement only weighing a mere 3.83 grams.
The RM 027 watchcase, composed of a composite containing large amounts of carbon, provides a tough and resilient enclosure for the tourbillon movement located in its center. The back bezel and case band are one-block to ensure total lightness. The glass; the bezel and the flange in carbon have remarkable properties of stiffness and torsional rigidity.
“I love Rafael’s personality, his humility, his love and respect for people, his gentleman mentality contrasting his warrior behaviour when on a tennis court. I think that the French audience has not fully comprehended yet the endearing character Rafael Nadal is. In terms of developing the watch, he demanded the best, and it encouraged us to go beyond the technical limits. This watch can be described as a typical product of Rafael Nadal, far away from all the marketing products currently in vogue. ”,
Richard Mille said.
The RM 027 Tourbillon is a limited edition of 50 pieces with an ultra light strap in polyurethane, flexible and extremely comfortable.

(Thursday, 27 May 2010) | watches

 

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