Money

See tennis pro Rafa Nadal's new $725,000 watch

Rafael Nadal, Richard Mille watch
Source: Richard Mille

Tennis great Rafael Nadal is already a favorite to win the upcoming French Open – and now he has another reason to be excited about the tournament: He'll be wearing his new, $725,000 watch.

Luxury watchmaker Richard Mille, which has sponsored and worked with Nadal since 2010, has unveiled its latest collaboration. Like all Richard Mille watches, the design has an unassuming name, the RM 27-03, yet it's a technical marvel.

Built to tolerate Nadal's whipping strokes, its tourbillon caliber can withstand forces of up to 10,000 Gs – a new threshold for the watch industry. And it weighs only 34 grams.

Richard Mille watch
Source: Richard Mille

Paying homage to the flag of Nadal's native Spain, the watch has intense red and orange colors, and it is made from super light-weight and advanced materials — "fine layers of silica just 45 microns thick with tinted resin," according to Mille, created using a proprietary process that stacks the filaments in layers before heating them to 120 °C.

The special tourbillon took years of research and development. Mille used "pendulum impact testing" to simulate the acceleration that occurs due to sudden movements or shock to the wearer.

The winding mechanism provides an "unvarying flow of energy for the full 70 hours of running time," according to Mille.

Mille will make only 50 of the watches. And if Nadal's other watches are any indication, they will likely sell out fast, despite the $725,000 price tag. If Nadal wins his unprecedented 10th French Open, as many expect, the watches will likely be worth even more by the end of the event.

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