Enter to Win a Rolex Explorer II
video

WatchBox Studios

Richard Mille RM035 Rafael Nadal Luxury Watch Review

Watchuwant is now WatchBox! Subscribe for the best luxury watch content! This is how you tell time at the speed of Light! The Richard Mille RM035 Rafael Nadal takes everything you thought you knew about bomber-tough sports watches and Grand-Slams it into obsolescence. Start with the obvious; this 50 gram wonder watch was stress tested on the wrist of all-world tennis pro Rafael Nadal in actual match play. While the $100,000+ MSRP might be a heart-stopper to mere mortals, it's a fraction of the value attached to a win at Wimbledon, so rest assured that Nadal held back exactly *nothing* while putting the RM035 prototypes through the mill. Even Rolex wouldn't stand a chance against that kind of onslaught. But Richard Mille operates on another plane of horology and technology. Despite weighing less than the Valjoux 7750 chronograph *movement* in a typical Breitling Chrono Avenger (about 56 grams), the magnesium-aluminum RM035 Nadal is as tough as its legend suggests. Mass reduction and shock abatement are the keys. Consider the 90 percent magnesium, 10 percent aluminum Richard Mille tonneau case as "Exhibit A," with "A" standing for "Alloy." This ultra-light combination leaves even titanium looking rather porky, and Richard Mille assures peerless scratch resistance via a plasma-conditioned ceramic oxide of the two constituent metals; only diamond can reliably scuff it. Inside the case of the Richard Mille RM035, the techno tour-de-force continues. A calibrated 60-minute flange of carbon fiber frames the RMUL1 masterpiece. Although a manually-wound movement, its strength lies in its simplicity. The skeletal structure is hewn from titanium plates, and all components are isolated on a raft suspended by synthetic elastomers. Durability is assured, but don't take Richard Mille's word for it; the watchmaker subjected this movement to the Labratoire Dubois SA "Chronofiable" 21-day test battery. Between freezing temperatures, broiling heat, 20,000 shocks, and both "before" and "after" trials, the Chronofiable test is no COSC milk run. The RM035 passed with flying colors. A free-sprung balance with a fixed regulator and variable-inertia balance blocks ensure that even fearsome knock won't disrupt accurate timing. Make no mistake; the "Little Nadal" is as tough as nails, and Big Nadal himself can vouch for that. But Richard Mille is haut-de-gamme, not just high tech. Unlike technology-obsessed smart watches slathered on lovelessly assembled printed circuit boards, Richard Mille marries technology to tradition and finishes the masterpiece RM035 with detailing worthy of a its Vallee de Joux origins. Each element of the titanium bridges features either PVD blackened and sandblasted surfacing or impressive straight-grained dressage. Circular grain on the wheels, black polish on the keyless works, and all edges receive special attention to remove burrs. Even if you can't serve it like Nadal, you can still style like The King of Clay. See the Richard Mille RM035 with all factory boxes, manuals, and accessories on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso.