‘Rafa and I have a life-long commitment. We are there come rain or shine. It is more than just watchmaking – it’s life!’
The one and all time Champion of Roland Garros ? There’s only one man who says “si”! 'Longevidad' is the theme running through not only Rafael Nadal’s spectacular career, but also his friendship with Richard Mille. Tenacious, superstitious, victorious – these are some of the adjectives that characterise his unorthodox playing style. They all, also, rhyme with the only word that matters – victorious !
‘In my career I achieved more than I could dream, but at the same time I went through tough moments. You cannot fight against age. I am going to keep playing until my body resists but I am not worried about the future. Tennis is a very important part of my life, without a doubt, but it is not everything. I have a lot of other things that make me happy.’
“Rafa”, the undisputed king of the clay court, has the reputation of being the most intense and reckless competitor tennis has ever seen. Back in 2010 he won 3 out of 4 majors. The 2017 season proved to be one of his best with 2 Grand Slam wins and the top spot in the ATP rankings. His victories turned him into a record breaker as the only player in history to win so many exciting French Open finals. Who can forget the truly emotional 2020 final against Novak Djokovic where, in such unusual sanitary circumstances, Nadal still held up the same trophy he had held so many times before.
When Rafael first met Richard Mille in 2008, he had always refused to wear a watch. It had never even occurred to him to wear one on court. Nadal was reluctant and Richard had a lot of convincing to do before. Together, they developed the lightest tourbillon in the world at that time.
‘Richard came to my house and showed me a model saying : ‘this is the watch that we made for you’. The watch was in platinum so very heavy, I was very confused and didn’t realise that he was joking. As soon as I tried the real watch on, I loved it. We were on the same wavelength.
The watch is now like a second skin for me.
The partnership has led to the creation of a very varied collection ever since the beginning of the partnership. The latest model is the RM 27-04 Tourbillon. Rafael’s relationship with Richard is however more than just a partnership as the tennis champion reveals : “He is a really positive person and wants to drive the watchmaking industry forward, not just to sit back and enjoy his success. He seeks excellence, which I respect; in my tennis I always try to be better and I work hard for that.’
Rafael Nadal's Watch