Over the past two months, the rumour has grown and spread. The partnership between Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal is no longer a secret. We are now pleased to announce it officially and to present our watch, the RM 027, which will be worn by Rafael Nadal during his matches.
The introduction of the new RM 027 Tourbillon marks the brand’s first entry to the world of tennis courts. As with Felipe Massa who drives every F1 Grand Prix with his watch, Rafael Nadal will play all of his matches wearing his Richard Mille on his wrist, an extraordinary feat.
Following the RM 006 (42 g without strap) and the RM 009 (29 g without strap), the RM 027 weighs in at less than 20 g (including the strap) thus becoming one of the lightest watches ever produced.
Fascinated by the combination of technology, performance and practical aspects in a wristwatch, Richard Mille wished to prove once more that an extreme reduction in weight could be achieved with total efficiency and accuracy. It is from this key concept that he developed the RM 027 Tourbillon in close collaboration with Rafael Nadal, who tested the RM 027 in real world conditions and will now wear it during tennis matches. The results of this horological experiment speaks for itself: despite the abrupt, extreme movements and shocks typical of high level tennis matches, the RM 027 Tourbillon has proven its durability whilst enabling Rafael Nadal total freedom of movement.
Richard Mille has been experimenting with the concept of weight reduction in haute horology from the very conception of the brand. Richard Mille: “When I first produced tourbillons with titanium and ALUSIC cases and carbon baseplates, I was fighting against perceived value. A titanium watch could not be a luxurious timepiece as it did not weigh enough. However mentalities rapidly changed and gradually with time amateurs soon appreciated the extreme lightness of my watches whilst being associated with the best technology.”
The movement baseplate of the RM 027 Tourbillon is made from Titanium and LITAL®alloy, a high lithium content alloy containing aluminum, copper, magnesium and zirconium, possessing a density of 2.55. The addition of Lithium, one of the lightest elements, to the alloy mixture, provides great strength without adding unnecessary weight. This particular alloy is also used for the same reasons in the aerospace industry in the construction of the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets and satellites, as well as in F1 racing cars.
The result is one of the world’s lightest mechanical tourbillon wristwatches with a movement weight of just a mere 3.83 grams.
The RM 027 watchcase, composed of a composite containing large amounts of carbon, provides a tough and resilient enclosure for the tourbillon movement at its center. The back bezel and caseband are monobloc to ensure total lightness. The glass; the bezel and the flange in carbon have remarkable properties of stiffness and torsional rigidity.
The RM 027 Tourbillon is a limited edition of 50 pieces with an ultra light strap in polycarbonate, flexible and extremely comfortable.