Richard Mille (RM) collaborated with Rafael Nadal to develop its limited edition ‘RM 027 Tourbillon – Rafael Nadal’, and now, for the sixth edition of the Only Watch 2015 charity auction, the haute horology brand is joining forces with the tennis sensation once again. No new watch is being developed this time around but rather, Richard Mille and Nadal are jointly donating the RM 27-02 Tourbillon prototype to the charity auction – the very same watch that accompanied Nadal to all the Grand Slam tournaments that he participated in.
While Nadal’s RM 27-02 Tourbillon prototype wasn’t engineered to be a unique piece, it is significant to the Richard Mille’s history, as the takeaways from building this watch were used to design future RM timepieces. The winning bidder for the RM 27-02 prototype will also receive the outfit worn by Nadal at the US Open and, as you’d expect, the outfit is signed by the tennis champ.
The Only Watch charity auction is focused on raising money to fund research into neuromuscular diseases and, in particular, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Brands are invited to donate one-off unique pieces however, there are other ways to participate. Watch brands can also provide the very first example of a limited edition watch series or, as is the case here, donate a working prototype.
The RM27-02 Tourbillon prototype, and its official production run of 50 pieces, feature highly advanced materials such as NTPT carbon and TPT quartz, and are the result of ground breaking engineering. In fact, this prototype was the first timepiece from RM to use a skeletonised baseplate, known as a ‘unibody’. Drawing inspiration from the bodywork of racecars and crafted from NTPT carbon, the design offers increased rigidity and shock-resistance, and fuses the case-middle and the baseplate, thus eliminating the need to separately join the two components together.
The RM27-02 calibre also features three dimensional grade 5 titanium bridges, where the composition of titanium and carbon offers strength and visual depth. The calibre features a tourbillon for more accurate time keeping and, impressively, is said to be able to withstand impacts of up to 5,000G.
The movement can offer over 70-hours of power but perhaps the most impressive element about this timepiece has to do with its weight. Without a strap the RM27-02 weighs a barely believable 13-grams, while the weight with a strap is still comfortably under 20-grams – this is ridiculously light considering a full-fledged Tourbillon movement sits within its high-tech case.
Given its impressive design, space age materials and ruggedness, the RM27-02 is one of the best examples of RM’s vision – to create highly finished watches that can be used in the most extreme circumstances.
If you’re curious about the Only Watch charity auction, read our short piece on it by clicking here. We list all the participating brands and shed light on the charity itself. This piece, as well as all the other timepieces for Only Watch 2015, will be auctioned off on November 7.
You can see additional pictures of this incredible prototype and its movement below.
To visit the Only Watch 2015 site, click here.
To learn about Richard Mille, click here.