With Rafael Nadal’s record-breaking 7th win at the recent French Open, beating rival and the world’s #1 ranked player Novak Djokovic, he also had some bad luck: the disappearance of his $525,000 Richard Mille watch. When Nadal woke the morning after his win at his luxury Paris hotel, he found his RM027 tourbillon missing from his bedside table. The police found no sign of forced entry, with only Nadal’s girlfriend and family having access to the room. But within a day, they found that a staff key was used to enter the room. The owner of the key was a 38-year old barman from the hotel, who admitted to stealing the ultra-rare timepiece and hiding it near his home in a Paris suburb. While he was lucky to get the half-million watch back, Nadal could easily afford a new one, with his tennis skills earning him a $50 million net worth in just over 10 years.
This marks the second time Nadal has had his signature RM027 watch stolen from him. Two years ago it was stolen from his locker at a tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada. That watch still hasn’t been recovered, but with only 50 in existence of this recognizable watch, it is sure to turn up one day. Other than its appearance on Nadal’s wrist during tournaments, one of the few other sightings was on the wrist of Jay-Z, while he watched Nadal at the 2011 US Open (check out my post on Jay-Z, a well-known Audemars Piguet fan, promoting Hublot in his “Otis” music video). One other was given by Nadal to support charity at the Only Watch Auction in Monaco, last fall.
If you’re not familiar with this timepiece that was made especially for Nadal, let me fill you in. THe RM027 was made to be the ultimate sports timepiece, able to function and survive on the wrist of Nadal while he competes, without effecting his performance. And with all his Grand Slam wins since he first got the watch in 2010, you could almost say it has improved his game. For Richard Mille to achieve these goals, he has made a watch that weighs a feather-light 20 grams, with the amazingly complex movement within taking up only 3.83 grams of it. This lets this amazing watch even float on water.
The watch uses the most advanced materials, normally used for aerospace or surgical applications. A special carbon composite makes up the tonneau shaped case, measuring 48mm by 49.7mm and 11.85mm thick. Titanium and a even more exotic alloy, called aluminum lithium, is used for the baseplate and bridges. The tourbillon within is manually-wound and has a 48 hour power reserve. This watch is then fitted to the wrist with a flexible polycarbonate. This all lets it keep perfect time, while taking the shock and abuse from being strapped to one of the best tennis players of all time. The result is one of the most luxurious, high-tech sports watches ever created.
And you can check out the Richard Mille RM027 Nadal Tourbillon at Luxury Bazaar!
For another Richard Mille sports watch masterpiece, check out Masters Golf Champ Bubba Watson and his RM038 watch.