Inspired by the Richard Mille watches worn by tennis star Rafael Nadal on the court, the RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal has now been released. It offers a completely new function featuring a butterfly rotor. It allows the wearer to change the geometry of the rotor at the touch of a button in order to adapt the winding of the watch to his lifestyle. A typical feature of Richard Mille movements has always been the variable geometry of the winding rotor. However, a certified watchmaker had to be called on for the adjustment. Now the owner himself can spontaneously suspend the winding, for example during sporting activities. The watch appears in two versions with different cases. However, the movement with the characteristic rotor remains the same.
The Case of The Richard Mille RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal
The RM 35-03 comes in two different versions. On the one hand, with a white Quartz TPT case and a Carbon TPT middle section. In addition, a version made of dark blue Quartz TPT with a white Quartz TPT middle section will be released. These materials are created by weaving and melting tiny carbon fibres or strands of silicon dioxide, which gives the surface a veined appearance. The case shape with its cut-outs is inspired by the RM 27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal, which the tennis star actually wears on the field. With dimensions of 43.1 x 49.9 mm and a height of 13.1 mm, the RM 35-03 has a stately size.
Both the front and the back of the watch are protected by sapphire crystal, which also allows a view inside. On the right is a large crown with a rubber coating that provides a good grip but can only guarantee a water resistance of 50 metres. In addition, there is a pusher at 2 o’clock that can be used to toggle the functions of the crown. Another pusher is located on the other side at 7 o’clock. This bears the inscription “Sport Mode” and triggers the function of the butterfly rotor.
Skeletonized Dial With Butterfly Motif
The RM 35-03 tells the time with openworked hands on a ring that carries the hour indices with luminous material. The numerals tilt slightly towards the movement to create depth. Otherwise, the front reveals the skeletonised movement. Here, the stylised butterfly motif refers to the special winding mechanism. In addition, the responsible column wheel of the function selector is clearly visible. At 2 o’clock, a small hand indicates the currently selected function of the crown. If it is set to “W”, the wearer can wind the watch. The “N”, on the other hand, stands for neutral, while the last position can be used to set the time.
At 6 o’clock, the movement indicates the current mode of the winding rotor. When the red hand points to “ON”, the rotor is switched on and winds the barrel. At “OFF”, the weights are extended and the rotor is in balance. The barrel is not wound.
The Movement With The Butterfly Rotor
The movement of the Richard Mille RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal is made of sandblasted titanium with grey electroplasma treatment. This gives it a flat surface, which is important for the functioning of the gear train. A free-sprung balance wheel sets the pace here. It works with a frequency of 4 Hz and can be regulated with four small weights on the rim. The necessary energy comes from a double barrel, which can store a maximum power autonomy of 55 hours. The patented butterfly rotor takes care of the winding.
This allows the wearer to stop the barrel winding when necessary. This is useful because too much activity has a negative effect on barrel performance. The rotor consists of two weights that lie next to each other in the starting position. With the help of gravity, they generate the torque to wind the watch. However, when the pusher at 7 o’clock is pressed, a separate gear train pulls the two weights apart. This shifts the centre of gravity to the middle, which also cancels out their winding force. The release of the function also gives a haptic feedback. Thus the wearer feels the extension of the weights.
Price & Availability of the Richard Mille RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal
The watch launches in two variants that come with a colour-coordinated rubber strap. The watch is not a limited edition. However, the price for both models is 195,000 Swiss francs.
|MODEL||RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal
|CASE MATERIAL||White Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT with Carbon TPT case centre section
Blue Quartz TPT with white Quartz TPT case center section
|DIMENSIONS||Length: 49.95 mm
Width: 43.15 mm
Height: 13.15 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||5 bar (~50 m)
|STRAP/BRACELET||White rubber with pin buckle
Light blue rubber with pin buckle
|MOVEMENT||Richard Mille RMAL2
|POWER RESERVE||55 hours (± 10%)
|FREQUENCY||28,800 vph (4 Hz)
|FUNCTIONS||Hours, minutes, seconds, butterfly rotor, function selector