Richard Mille in 2014 released another model of Rafael Nadal new series of timepieces, the RM 35-01. As early as 2010, Richard Mille (Richard Mille) put the tourbillon timepiece on the wrist of the Spanish tennis champion, which shocked not only the watchmaking industry, but also the world. Not only did Nadal wear a limited edition RM027 watch worth US$500,000 to win the trophy, but he also lost a bit on the way.
What makes the original RM027 watch so special is its weight. I forgot the precise records it set (many records come and go), but I am pretty sure it is the lightest mechanical watch or tourbillon mechanical watch ever, because it uses a peculiar lithium alloy case material. The idea at the time was that it was light enough not to hinder Nadal’s game, and it was durable enough to withstand the game. From a marketing perspective, this is genius. A few years later, Richard Mille (Richard Mille) decided to continue to release the Nadal Legend, launching a follow-up model of the RM 27-01 series of watches, and available in several colors. The RM 27-01 is larger and more interesting than the original product, but it is actually 1 gram lighter, only 19 grams. It also uses a unique tension cable system to fix the tourbillon movement in place, making it more shock-resistant. The RM 27-01 is limited to 50 pieces, which makes the original RM027 sound cheap. Now, this trend will change in 2014.
What surprised me about Richard Mille’s latest product was the price. Of course, Richard Mille watches will always be at the “exclusive forefront.” Therefore, the biggest mechanical difference between the 2014 RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal and the previous series is the lack of a tourbillon. Can a watch really be made into a “Nadal” watch without a tourbillon? In fact, Richard Mille (Richard Mille) clearly pointed out that most sports watches should have a tourbillon movement. Although the brand’s tourbillon is indeed the most “Mille”, I think some of the brand’s non-tourbillon movements are the best.
Although the Calibre RMUL3 movement inside the RM 35-01 is very satisfying visually, it is relatively simple and only provides hours, minutes, and seconds. It is manually wound and has a power reserve of approximately 55 hours. Most of the movement is made of titanium bridges, and its operating frequency is 4 Hz (28,800 bph). Again, this is a more basic exercise by Richard Mille, but still has many of the visual technical styles that people expect from the brand.
The RM 35-01 is not focused on movement innovation, but part of the new 2014 watches that showcase Richard Mille’s new material for the case. They call it NTPT Carbon, and we made our debut here at the end of 2013. “NTPT” stands for the company that produced it; this is North Thin Ply Technology, which is actually located in Switzerland. The material is a specially layered carbon composite material, which is technically a high-tech laminate. It is used in multiple layers and has been used in a series of industrial and sports applications, such as in the America’s Cup. If produced in the right way, it happens to have a unique quality that looks like Damascus steel.
Damascus steel is a layered metal. After acid treatment (especially), it shows various layers. It is said to have a “wood grain” style texture. Damascus steel is used in certain watches, such as Gustafsson & Sjogren (Gosafsson & Sjogren (Gos) watches), and is often cherished by collectors for its visual style. Now, Richard Mille has his own “Damascus” material with an interesting look of NTPT carbon fiber, in this case black. I feel that this material can be almost any color, although I cannot confirm this.
So what does NTPT Carbon look like on the case? It’s really cool. I don’t know if I personally would think of using it for watches related to tennis players, but the texture of this material blends perfectly with the overall appearance of the watch and strap. Although the background color is black, the case has a series of slightly shiny grays that almost look like futuristic camouflage. It doesn’t look fancy, and unlike some of the exotic polymers used by Richard Mille in other timepieces, NTPT carbon does have a very high-quality material.
By the way, the case material should be very strong and durable. There is no doubt that this kind of situation can well resist various forms of abuse under the condition of extreme vibration, and the internal mechanical movement will become a variety of damaged spare parts. So how bright is the whole watch? For a series of very lightweight series, Richard Mille (Richard Mille) did not provide the overall weight of the case. Although they have stated that the total weight of the RMUL3 movement is very low, only 4 grams.
Like last year’s RM 27-01 watch, the RM 35-01 will use Velrco’s fabric strap. Such a strap is difficult to pull off in a high-end way, but I think a fashionable sports watch like this will work. To be honest, compared to other watches with tourbillons, I have more confidence in the durability of this watch. Logically speaking, a simple three-hand manual winding movement requires more effort than a fussy tourbillon. If you are someone who likes to refer to Richard Mille timepieces as everyday wearers, then RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal is definitely not a bad choice. Its comfortable design, easy-to-bridge red rubber crown, clear and easy-to-read dial and durable features .
Although replica Richard Mille is technically a limited edition, it has not yet indicated how many RM 35-01 watches will be made.