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A Closer Look at The Richard Mille RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille RM 35-03 Rafael Nadal

The 2021 Richard Mille RM35-03 Rafael Nadal serves as an official notice to its competitors that it's an industry leader in timepiece production. The popularity of Richard Mille's watches consistently makes the watches among the most sought after around the world. This watch model features two uniquely designed versions that are bound to catch the watch enthusiast's eye. The new tonneau case design is crafted from the lightweight Quartz TPT, and comes in two different color versions, either blue or white color versions. The dial design is skeletonized, which allows a closer look into the detailed workings of what makes Richard Mille's watches tick. The new RM 35-03 design adds performance to the watch's light design with its in-house RMAL2, skeletonized automatic-winding movement, which features an adjustable rotor. This makes this style of watch the very first of its kind. Also, it provides the hours, minutes, seconds, and sport mode functions, as well as a transparent back case. This gives further insight into the brilliant craftsmanship behind each of the watchmaker's timepieces. The outer case has been engraved to signify the limited-edition release with Rafael Nadal. Currently, these watches are available through authorized dealers as limited editions.

About Richard Mille

On October 23, 2001, Richard Mille was founded by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille. The company is headquartered in Le Breuleux, Switzerland, and specializes in high-end watches, competing against the likes of brands such as Philips, Rolex, and Seiko. Mille, a marketing graduate originally from France, began working at a local watchmaking company in 1974. The first of Richard Mille's watches was the RM 001 Tourbillon, which made its debut at the 2001 Baselworld Show, in Basel, Switzerland. Starting in 2005, Richard Mille introduced the RM 007, which was the first wristwatch designed for women from the company's collection.

Who is Rafael Nadal?

Rafael Nadal is a Spaniard tennis star that has been seen wearing timepieces made by Richard Mille. His career has so far seen twenty wins of the Grand Slam, which is a win of all four major tennis tournaments held by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). He also has thirteen French Open titles to his credit. This watch design is the inspiration behind the famed watch Nadal made famous while competing against his opponents on the court. That particular watch design, combined with the new function of a butterfly rotor, allows the watch wearer to change its geometry at the touch of a button in order to adapt the winding of the watch according to lifestyle. This signature feature of Richard Mille's watch movements has always seen the variable geometry of the winding rotor. but in order to make adjustments, there was the need to visit certified watchmakers to do it. The new feature now eliminates that need, therefore meeting whatever sporting activities are involved.

More About the Richard Mille RM 35-03

There are two versions of this Rafael Nadal-edition watch with two different cases. However, the movement characteristics still remain the same. The first of these two versions feature a white quartz case and a carbon mid-section. There is also the version of the dark blue quartz with a white quartz mid-section. These materials are created through the woven and melted tiny fiber strands of silicon dioxide, giving the surface a veiny-like appearance. The case shape with its cutouts is inspired by the RM 27-04 Turoubillon series, which is the actual model the tennis star wears. The dimensions of this watch are 43.1 millimeters by 49.9 millimeters and have a height of 13.1 millimeters. The front and back of these watches are protected by sapphire crystal, which also allows a view of the watch's interior. T the right has a large crown with a rubber coating, which provides a good grip. As far as its water resistance, fifty meters is its guaranteed maximum. Although sporty, these are not diver watches.

There is a pusher situated at the 2 o'clock mark that can be used to toggle the functions of the crown, as well as a pusher at the 7 o'clock mark that triggers the function of the butterfly rotor, as well as the inscription "Sport Mode" that is bored into the watch. Also at the same mark, there is a tiny hand that indicates the currently selected function of the crown. When set to "W," the wearer can wind the watch. When set to "N," this means the watch is in neutral mode. The final position can be used to set the time. The slight tilt of the numerals towards the movement creates depth to the face design of the watch. The front otherwise reveals the skeletonized movement. The stylized butterfly motif is referred to the watch's special winding mechanism.

The current mode of the winding rotor's movement is indicated at the 6 o'clock mark, so when the red hand points to "ON," the rotor is switched on and winds the barrel. When "OFF," the rotor is balanced as the weights extend. The RM 35-03's movement is made of sandblasted titanium with grey electro-plasma treatment. This enables a flat surface, which is important for the gear train's function. The balance wheel is free-sprung, which works at the frequency of 28,800 VPH (4 Hz). This can be balanced with four small weights located on the rim. This necessary energy comes from a double barrel, which stores at maximum power autonomy of fifty-five hours. The butterfly rotor is what takes care of the winding, allowing wearers to stop the barrel winding whenever necessary. This becomes a useful tool when too much activity negatively impacts the barrel performance. The two weights on the rotor lay next to each other in the starting position. Thanks to the help of gravity, this generates the torque to wind the watch. However, when the pusher at the 7 o'clock mark is pressed, there is a separate gear train that pulls them apart. This will shift the center of gravity to the middle, therefore canceling out the winding force. The release of this function also allows haptic feedback, which allows the extension of the weights.


Richard Mille's name continues to make waves with innovative designs put into the timepieces with one beautiful design after the other. Of all the watches that have ever been manufactured over the years, none have quite matched the detailing that's seen in the timepieces coming from what many watch enthusiasts still consider as new kids on the block.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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