There are some athletes who simply don’t slow down with age, and Rafa is one of them. Over the weekend, Rafael Nadal won the French Open title for the 14th time, dominating Casper Ruud in straight sets and doing so while wearing a Richard Mille RM 27-04 watch worth a jaw-dropping $3.5 million.
Before we focus on the timepiece, let’s take a moment to recognise just how good Rafa continues to be at tennis. The 2022 edition of the French Open is Rafa’s 22nd singles grand slam championship win, coming just a couple of days after his 36th birthday. However, you need to look back to 2005 when he first won the French Open as a plucky 19-year-old, which not only makes him the longest-running French open winner, but also the oldest.
Considering time doesn’t seem to have any effect on Rafa’s performances on the court, it’s only fitting that he’s sponsored by one of the world’s most sophisticated and desirable watchmakers. Rafa has been sponsored by Richard Mille for more than a decade now, and has worked with the Swiss brand on a number of “Rafael Nadal” edition timepieces, including the Richard Mille RM 27-04 in question.
First released in 2021, the limited-edition Richard Mille RM 27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal is a technical tour de force, made from an ultralightweight proprietary composite called TitaCarb that sees the entire watch and strap weighing just 30g. It’s not just a lightweight timepiece though, as the calibre RM 27-04 hand-wound tourbillon movement powering the watch is suspended in the case by a single 0.27mm steel cable that has been woven into a shape that reminds immediately of tennis racket strings.
Thanks to this unusual method of supporting the movement in the case, the Richard Mille RM 27-04 is able to stand up to 12,000 G’s of force, or enough to handle the frightening velocity of Rafa’s serve without causing the movement to malfunction.
Arriving on a comfortable textile strap, the Richard Mille RM 27-04 is a limited edition of 50 pieces and arrives with an RRP of US$1,050,000 (AU$1,457,205). However, because of how much demand there is for this watch, and the limited nature of its production, the RM 27-04 has a market price of AU$3,563,962.