Another year, another Rafael Nadal run at French Open glory. The incomparable Spaniard will be vying for his sixth straight and tenth overall title at the 114th staging of the event, which he has lost only once in the last ten years. Thanks to Richard Mille, he takes the court this year with a timepiece befitting his remarkable record: the Tourbillon RM 27-02 Rafael Nadal.
Along with being named after a groundbreaking tennis star, the watch breaks new ground in its own right. It's the first watch with a "unibody" baseplate—a skeletonised design in which baseplate and caseback have been fused together into one single piece. This design, inspired by the chassis of racing cars, enhances the rigidity and contact resistance of the watch, something especially important for on-court wear.
Made with copious titanium and sapphire, the watch is built to withstand the rigors of the court. Just 50 models are being made in a limited production run and they're available only at Richard Mille boutiques, so the chances of you getting your hands on one of these are about as high as the chance that Nadal himself won't bring home another French Open title. But, hey, at least we can appreciate the spectacle.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor. He is not a good tennis player.
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