People see Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon as a winning high-performance watch that goes into the battle, gracing the wrist of Spanish professional Tennis superstar and 'The King of Clay' Rafael Nadal. Considered as one of the most expensive watches in the world, this light-weight, enigmatic, and highly sophisticated tourbillon has the ability to withstand high shock-loads in a high-energy sporting event, always accompany the world tennis champion on his professional tournaments. And, it has been an amazingly crazy week for the Rafael Nadal’s particular Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon watch, as it first graced his wrist on his French Open victory over Novak Djokovic, then this $376,000 watch went missing from his suite at a 5-star Parisian luxury hotel, overshadowing Nadal’s big win by a big loss, and in the end it got recovered from the possession of the hotel’s barman. However, it’s not for the first time, when Nadal has lost a Richard Mille watch, as in year 2008, his even pricier, custom-built $525,000 Richard Mille went missing from the locker room during the match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, and was never recovered.
Nadal was no wonder sad about this recent Richard Mille loss and he immediately contacted Richard Mille to report about this devastating situation. Actually, the RM027 Tourbillon watch, worn and promoted by Rafael Nadal since 2010, was the totally sold-out watch. And, Richard Mille only crafted 50 of its examples, even after the watchmaker had orders for more than 150 pieces. Reason being, the RM027 was so difficult to make that the maker refused to make more than promised; the demand was much higher than what can be produced. In 2010, the watch was sold in the United States for $500,000, but now it’s only worth of $376,000; the recent fall in the Euro has made its worth less in dollars as Robert Frank points out.
However, it’s not just the Nadal’s RM027 Tourbillon that is doing well, but the company is also selling out its entire production of 2,800 to 2,900 watches per year, with the cheapest one selling for just $50,000. In fact, Nadal wearing the watch on the tennis courts during the championships has been a significant draw for wealthy watch collectors, and has been such a big driver of sale that Richard Mille is now secretly working on the next Nadal watch, which will be lighter than the already lightweight 20-ounce RM027. And, the upcoming Nadal watch will also sport a hefty price tag of over $500,000.
Considering such cases of losing the watch or undergoing any work, Richard Mille always keeps a back-up watch for the tennis superstar. If the watch wouldn’t have got retrieved from the thief, Rafael Nadal would have gotten the replacement for free as per the Sponsorship deal between Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal.
Speaking about the RM027 Tourbillon, the mechanical watches have the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage to negate the effect of gravity. With a see-through dial and watch caseback, one can view the inner mechanisms.
With the use of titanium, lithium, aluminum, copper, magnesium and other exotic metals, Richard Mille has created the lightest mechanical watch in the world weighing 20 grams, with the movement weighing just 3.83 grams.