The Mighty Richard Mille 35-02

What do you get when you combine a Spanish tennis legend, a Swiss watch manufacture and what one can only assume to be mind altering levels of caffeine? The answer: two letters, four numbers and a dash thrown in for good measure. What this combination represents though is something much greater than the sum of its parts. Because as if these things constituted the ingredients of some magical potion passed down through the generations, the result produced defies easy explanation and understanding.


Not only is the horological love child born from this union a feather-light, automatic wristwatch, it also boasts a skeletonised movement capable of withstanding the sudden movements and shocks it might incur on the wrist of one of the best tennis players of the last decade. Yes, you read that right. The RM 35-02 can survive being thrown around the court at breakneck speed on the wrist of none other than Rafael Nadal. And while that might not sound very impressive, it should be noted that few situations cause greater problems for a mechanical watch than sports which include sudden movement along all axis. Tennis being one example, golf being another.

The way this watch deals with such forces though is nothing short of brilliant. By implementing several components that are able to change their angle based on the wearers activity level the watchmakers have successfully created a rotor with real-time variable inertia control.

In layman’s therms this means the following: the more and faster you move your wrist, the more force will be required to get the rotor moving. This results in less sudden shocks to the delicate movement.

The RM 35-02 is available in two unique case combinations. On the one hand there is the eye-catching Red Quartz case featuring stacked layers of silica filaments some of which have been dyed by Richard Milles proprietary red resin. On the other there is the my personal favourite, the NPT carbon case. Which gives the watch a more stealthy look (in as far as that’s possible).

However both are designed with durability in mind resulting in a watch that can dive up to fifty meters deep and in the case of the quartz case survive forces up to five thousand (5000!) G’s.¬†For reference the human body can typically only cope with 46.2 G’s of a horizontal nature (John Stapp, 1954).

So, will it improve your tennis game? Alas, technology isn’t quite capable of improving your serves with a wristwatch. There is however the very real possibility that it’ll distract your opponent long enough for you to get a couple of aces in. There is hope yet!

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