I remember covering the Canada Masters men’s tennis tournament in Toronto in 2006, listening to a 20-year-old, up-and-comer Rafael Nadal at a post tournament news conference. He was defending champion that year (Roger Federer, another big watch enthusiast, would go on to win the tournament). I remember thinking with Nadal, someone with that talent, those looks and that youth, and athleticism, is soon going to be walking billboard for the globe’s top luxury brands.
Richard Mille is one of those brands that hopped on the “Rafa” express years ago. We ran this feature (when we were a print magazine) on the world’s leading athletes and their watches and jewellery in 2013. The article talked about how Nadal was wearing a $500k Richard Mille watch while winning the French Open.
Nadal’s won 19 Grand Slam tournaments and he’s earned every right to wear whatever he wants on his wrist. Even if it’s the price of a home for some.
Rafa famously wore a Richard Mille RM 27-02 (just under $1m USD in 2015) when he won the 2015 French Open. The brand is known for its unparalleled level of craftsmanship. That watch was an absolute stunner. From its bold orange band, to its carbon fiber base plate, to the visible gears and mechanics, the watch made a statement every time Nadal stepped on the court.
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Million dollar watch
The manual-winding tourbillon movement is supported by a micro-blasted mesh, comprised of a single cable in braided steel measuring .27 mm in diameter. That’s held together by gold tensioners. So it looks like the strings of a tennis racquet. Which is kind of cool. The watch features sandblasted and polished surfaces on the watch case, made of stronger, resistant polymer. Look for Nadal to wear this one in his quest for new tennis trophies.
The RM 27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal is available exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques worldwide. In Canada, that means purchasing it at the Richard Mille Vancouver boutique. Price: $1,050,000 CDN.
Says Rafael Nadal: “When I’m on court, Richard and I have one very clear aim: to make sure every piece is extremely light and fits my wrist perfectly. These two features are essential. The teams have been able to provide them, while also creating watches that are amazingly resistant. Because tennis can involve very violent arm and wrist movements.
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“In fact, these watches have their admirers on the tennis circuit. Several players have asked me how they could buy one. Ever since our partnership started, I’ve always had the feeling I’m still playing tennis without a watch on my wrist. Today, wearing them has become part of my sporting routine. I couldn’t do without them.”
Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Outerknown
Cool, laid-back is what we all can use more of during these pandemic times. Breitling’s new Superocean Heritage ’57 Outerknown, a modern-retro sea watch with its bronze-coloured dial, and Outerknown yarn NATO strap is a response to that. It’s the third watch in collaboration with Outerknown, the sustainable apparel brand co-founded by Kelly Slater, who has 11 world surfing championships.
The watch is meant to get people thinking about the California and Hawaii surfing scene, and that’s OK with us, sitting in a cold Canadian city at the onset of winter. (More Breitling here.)
The new watch is available with a stainless-steel case or in a limited edition model with an 18k red gold bezel. Other features: Breitling Caliber 10, with self-winding mechanical, bi-directional with ball bearing winder, and 42-hour power reserve. Case diameter is 42 mm, water resistance up to 100 meters, stainless steel with black ceramic ring bezel with Super-LumiNova luminescent hour markers.
The steel version is $5,065 CDN, and the two-tone limited edition is $6,075 CDN.
New night sky dial for Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon
Really love Audemars Piguet’s new take on the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon – a unique star-lit sky effect. One version has a black aventurine enamel dial and pink gold hour markers, illuminated by the pink gold case. Crushed glass presents the night sky effect.
The other version comes in smoked blue aventurine enamel dial and white gold. The watches are powered by Selfwinding Manufacture calibre 2950, which combines a flying tourbillon with a central rotor. Audemars Piguet is one of the few watchmakers who have perfected this mechanism.
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The Swiss watchmaker last week also rolled out its first ever Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon (41 mm) – three cases in stainless steel, titanium and 18-carat pink gold. The new models are powered by Calibre 2950, AP’s latest generation of the self-winding movement. Price are available upon request. Head over to Royal De Versailles in Toronto to find out how to purchase.