2017

RM 27-03

Tourbillon Rafael Nadal

Since 2010, Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal have developed a range of remarkable watches together as part of a collaboration that is unique in the history of watchmaking. The RM 27-03 is no exception. In terms of shock-resistance, the tourbillon movement redefines the possibilities of technical performance. A milestone in the history of watchmaking, it is capable of withstanding and resisting shocks of up to 10,000 gs! It is a creation that is testimony to the power of the Spanish player’s game.

Calibre RM27-03

Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes.

Limited edition of 50 timepieces.

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Aesthetically, the timepiece alludes to the Spanish tennis champion’s strong character.
Roland-Garros was an obvious choice of venue to present this timepiece. Clay courts are the preferred playing surface of Rafael Nadal, who knows how to play to his strengths. Slow and sensitive, clay calls for an aggressive playing style that nonetheless respects the fundamental principles of the discipline.

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Likewise, the RM 27-03 reconciles innovative materials with a complex watchmaking architecture. Clay courts are known for their amplifying effect and the same might be said of the RM 27-03, with its striking red and yellow Quartz TPT® case that pays homage to Rafa’s native Spain. This intense burst of colour is achieved by impregnating fine layers of silica just 45 microns thick with a tinted matrix according to a proprietary process developed in Switzerland that stacks the filaments in layers before heating them to 120°C.

When it comes to releasing a new shade of Quartz TPT®, achieving colour stability compliant with REACH standards while resolving issues of biocompatibility and durability represents a tremendous display of prowess on the part of the engineers at Richard Mille and North Thin Ply Technology. And once the composite has been produced, many hours of milling and finishing operations await to produce the case and components.

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The major innovation of this extraordinary watch lies in the ability of its tourbillon calibre to withstand shocks up to 10,000 g's. This threshold has been attained thanks to years of R&D and countless hours of tests, particularly ‘pendulum impact testing’ which simulates the linear acceleration that occurs due to sudden movements or shocks to the wearer.

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This virtual indestructability is safeguarded by assembling the ultralight tourbillon calibre on a skeletonised unibody baseplate made from Carbon TPT® to the nearest micron, while the reduced number of components in this configuration permits additional weight gains, lightening the entire watch. The rapid winding barrel provides a stable flow of energy for the full 70 hours of running time.

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The magnificent finishes adorning the RM 27-03 calibre include hand-polished tapered anglage and graceful satin-brushed surfaces that highlight the sparkle of finely microblasted elements. The RM 27-03 offers an impressive play on volumes. Highly stylised, the sharp, streamlined curves of the skeletonised bridges encircling the barrel, the great wheel and the manual winding tourbillon beating at 3 Hz evoke the forward-facing head of a bull. A symbol of Spain, this animal is also Nadal’s preferred emblem. In a playful nod to the champion’s sport, winding and hand-setting are conducted using a torque-limiting crown made of Quartz TPT® in the shape of a tennis ball.

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