The partnership between Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille has led to a string of successes, on the courts for the Majorcan tennis champion, notably with his 7th successive victory at the French Open in 2012, and in the watchmaking sphere for Richard Mille, with the Tourbillon RM 027 Rafael Nadal timepiece, renowned for its extreme lightness, or the Chronofiable® certified RM 035 Rafael Nadal, which can resist accelerations of over 5,000 G without detriment to any aspect of its performance.
In 2013, Richard Mille will present the Tourbillon RM 27-01 also designed in collaboration with Rafael Nadal. An exceptional creation, it pushes the concepts of lightness and strength to the ultimate extreme.
The caliber RM27-01 is a triumph of engineering and technology. Its complex, original architecture is the result of Richard Mille’s determination to create a movement held in total suspension in the heart of its case. Inspired by suspended civil engineering infrastructures, Richard Mille wanted to adapt these modes of construction to the watchmaking sphere, occupying a space of just a few tens of millimetres. After many months of development, Richard Mille’s movement engineers gave tangible form to this avant-garde concept, positioning it indisputably as one of the most innovative architectural constructions of recent years.
The RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal has a baseplate attached to the case by four braided steel cables just 0.35 mm in diameter. This structure combines strength and flexibility to protect the movement, which weighs just 3.5 grammes, thanks to the use of grade 5 titanium for the baseplate and tourbillon carriage, and of aluminium- lithium for the barrel bridges and gear-trains.
These cables are held taut by means of an ingenious mechanism of tensioners (located at 3 and 9 o’clock) and pulleys, which act like pylons positioned at the four corners of the movement. Each cable is fixed to the tensioner, and passes over the upper pulley and into the movement, before returning via the lower pulley to finish in the lower flange. Once the watchmaker has threaded the cables, he tensions them by rotating the central tensioner ring with a special tool.
The installation and tensioning of the cables are extremely delicate operations. Excessive tension could break the cables and attachments at any time and damage the movement, while insufficient tension could put the movement into a resonance phase, disturbing its chronometric performance.
Designed to stay in suspension inside its case, this exceptional caliber can withstand accelerations of over 5,000 G.
The RM 27-01 weighs just 19 grammes, Velcro® strap included. This feat was made possible by the material selected for the case. Carbon has the place of honour in the composition of the RM 27-01’s case, which features a monobloc back. Its anthracite colour is due to the high concentration of carbon nanotubes. The result: perfect resistance to shocks and scratches, and the comfort that is vital to Rafael Nadal during his tournaments, all of which he now plays with an RM 27-01 on his wrist.
The RM 27-01, available in carbon nanotubes and supplied on a Velcro® strap, is available in a limited edition of 50 timepieces.
Limited edition of 50 timepieces.
Caliber RM27-01: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes. Dimensions: 45.98 mm x 38.90 mm x 10.05 mm.
Weight of the movement: circa 3.5 g