Based on the innovative Rafael Nadal RM 35-01 and RM 35-02 timepieces, this week Richard Mille debuted the third generation Nadal wristwatch.
The Richard Mille Rafael Nadal RM 35-03, like its predecessors is designed to be ultra-lightweight yet rigid and shock-resistant enough to be worn while Nadal competes in professional tennis matches.
Available in either blue or white versions — that measure 43.15 mm in diameter x 13.15 mm thick (49.95 mm lug-to-lug) — each watch has a retail price of $220,000.
Each case is constructed with a two-tone Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT design that is lightweight, scratch-resistant, and that has a distinctive Carbon pattern that varies from case to case. In addition to the lightweight case, the new RM 35-03 has a movement that, incredibly, weighs just 4.3 grams.
The technical highlight of the RM 35-03 is a new variable automatic adjustable geometry winding rotor which allows for the user to adjust the inertia setting based on more or less active usage.
By pressing the pusher at 7 o’clock, the rotor is locked in place, which means it’s in sport mode, and another push of the push-piece unlocks the rotor for lower impact activities. A red arrow at 6 o’clock shows whether the sport mode is “on or off” at all times. For ultra-wealthy people, who want to be able to interact with their watches beyond setting the time — this allows a new way to do so.
Nadal, obviously, would want to set the rotor to the so-called “sport mode” during his tennis matches, and at dinner, he could turn it off, which in turn would let the oscillating weight begin winding the mainspring again.
Automatic winding rotors breaking is a real thing, and we’ve heard of fragile sports watches (such as the Nautilus or Royal Oak, which are sporty in appearance but no performance) breaking due to wearers using them in the way they’re supposed to be used — so this new design could be useful to those set on wearing expensive watches while participating in sports. Some other options would be to wear a quartz watch that has no rotor, a hand-wound mechanical watch, or a sports watch designed to handle impacts better.
Photos by Richard Mille.