The relationship between watchmaker Richard Mille and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal started back in 2008 and over the years, this unique partnership has not only spawned the lightest tourbillon but also several horological masterpieces. The ever-popular Richard Mille x Rafael Nadal Collection has been updated with a new wristwatch that continues with the tradition of pushing the boundaries of horological innovation. The all-new RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal is a derivative of the original RM 35, which came with an ultra-light movement weighing just 4.3 grams. The new timepiece has been launched in two versions – blue Quartz TPT with a white Quartz TPT caseband and white Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT with a Carbon TPT caseband.
The new tonneau case measures 43.15 x 49.95 x 13.15 mm and is made from something called Quartz TPT. The exotic material is not only ultra-lightweight but also extremely robust that can easily withstand abuse. It is made using quartz fibers, which are obtained by softening high-purity quartz rods over high heat and spinning off filaments. According to the watchmaker, a single fiber can have a tensile strength of 800 kilo-pounds per square inch, which is crazy. However, in addition to its functional benefits, the material also looks pretty cool, giving the watch its unique appearance.
While the case material is definitely special, the highlight of the watch is its adjustable geometry rotor. Powering the watch is the in-house RMAL2 skeletonized automatic-winding movement that features the first-ever adjustable rotor. While the RM 35-02 had something similar, the rotor could be only adjusted by the Richard Mille technicians. In the RM 35-03, the rotor geometry can be adjusted with a pusher located at 7 o’clock. The geometry is altered with the help of two adjustable wings that shift the center of mass with their position. Pressing the pusher activates the Sport mode which is indicated by an on-off indication on the dial. The sport mode blocks in the movement of the rotor, which is needed while carrying out “strenuous activity.” The beautiful movement can be seen with the help of the transparent sapphire caseback. The all-new Richard Mille RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal Collection is currently available through authorized dealers and is priced at $220,000.