Sports and watches go hand in hand for many reasons. Extreme sports push watch manufacturers to produce more robust, more rugged and more water resistant watches every single year. In this series, we are looking into the world of tennis. Not watches worn by athletes, but watches especially made for this sport.
Tennis players endure incredible amounts of force on their hands. The record of hardest serve belongs to Australian player Sam Groth, who served the ball with enough force to send it down the field with a speed of 263 km/h. Any conventional watch would break instantly due to the vibration. The gears would come lose and the hands would simply fall off.
Next to the vibration, the weight of a watch can be a restraint for the players. The accuracy behind hitting or missing the perfect shot depends on milliseconds and millimeters. A dead weight of a few hundred grams on your wrist can sabotage the perfect shot.
Today, we are going to look info 2 ways that watches have made it into tennis.
Richard Mille RM27-04 Rafael Nadal
As we might know by now, Richard Mille has a thing for making extreme watches for some of the greatest athletes around the world. Mille’s connection to tennis only confirms this claim.
The RM27-04 is one of the most impressive watches in the already baffling Richard Mille lineup. The watch weighs only thirty grams, and can be dropped on a concrete floor from 15 meters high without taking any damage to the case or the movement.
The face of the watch and movement are even more impressive: instead of a dial or completely skeletonized movement, the movements floats on what looks like tennis strings. These strings are what keeps everything in place, and what keeps everything from shattering after enduring heavy G forces.
Rolex isn’t a brand that usually gets affiliated with special editions. However, Rolex’s connection with tennis is a rather unique one. Rolex has a long standing affiliation with The Championships, better known as Wimbledon, one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments. The greatest tennis players of all time have played and won on the Wimbledon fields, and Rolex has been a proud partner for fourth years.
Even though Rolex is allergic to releasing special edition watches, they decided to make an exception for their partnership with Wimbledon.
The result is an absolute beauty: a line of Datejusts with slate grey dials, both in stainless steel and two tone. The slate grey dials have black roman numerals with green contouring, paying homage to the green logo and green tennis track.
The price however is a big difference between these two. While the Rolex retails just under €10.000, the Richard Mille has a price tag of a bit under €1.000.000. Would you take 100 Datejusts or 1 Richard Mille Nadal?