Watchuseek Blog

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille win the French Open 2011

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afael Nadal, won his fifth French Open in six years on Sunday, and he did so in dominant fashion, beating Roger Federer in four sets, even though he was at set point down in the first.

The 25-year old has also retained his number one world ranking, and, of more current significance, it means that going into Wimbledon Nadal will still be the world No 1, having defended the position against the odds from the frantic assault of Novak Djokovic.

A win for Richard Mille

Another big winner on the court was Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille. He didn't wield a racquet but Nadal wears his Richard Mille 035 Rafa Nadal timepiece during all his matches.

The 035 Rafa Nadal is not your average sports watch. It costs over $85,000 and was custom built with input from Nadal. At just 4.3 grams it is extremely light, and has special shock absorbers to prevent damage to the delicate tourbillon movement.

But it’s a cheapie compared to the US$525,000 Richard Mille 027 Nadal wore and had stolen from his locker on the one occasion when he decided not to wear it on court.

Scratch and match proof

Why it’s black colour? It’s all due to light-resistant spinels that are chemically inert, - in other words magnesium oxides and aluminium oxides with a particular structure. This improves both hardness and scratch resistance as well as its wear and corrosion properties.

This treatment applied to magnesium-aluminium is what is known as biocompatible and is used in aerospace, automotive and medical applications.

It’s also unobtrusive and does not interfere with Nadal’s game in any way. In fact the only thing that seemed to give Nadal any trouble at all during the four set match against Federer was a blister on his foot which required some attention in the first set.

The French is Nadal’s first Open win wearing the Richard Mille 035 Rafa Nadal and this is exactly the kind of positive publicity Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille signed on for too.

Next stop is Wimbledon in a fortnight’s time where there will be more opportunities to spot the 035 in action.

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