Richard Mille is a luxury watch brand that doesn’t always steal mainstream headlines. However, between Odell Beckam Jr.’s Cleveland Browns debut and Rafael Nadal’s US Open win over the last weekend, Richard Mille (RM) has been getting quite a spotlight. The company itself knows a thing or two about being involved in sports. Aside from Beckam and Nadal’s endorsements, RM also has brand-toting race car drivers, runners, cyclists, golfers, and other elite sports stars in their roster. With two star players taking the field (and court) with RM watches in tow, on the same day, it’s like a sort of extraterrestrial alignment of epic proportions took place. Two men on opposite sides of the world wearing 6-figure watches—while making waves in their respective arenas—is quite the phenomenon. It is of course a solid international bit of publicity for the Swiss mechanical performance watch brand.
A long term ambassador for RM, Rafael Nadal took his US Open win with talent and luxury flair. Nadal’s model RM 27-03 Manual Winding Tourbillon was swinging its way to victory as he crushed his final match against Russia’s Daviil Medvedev. The Manual Winding Tourbillon design is more than just a $750,000US price tag—Nadal’s limited edition RM is built to withstand up to 10,000 g-forces. RM prides itself on engineering heavily shock resistant skeleton mechanical wristwatches. In terms of looks, the colors of Nadal’s RM are meant to express Spanish aesthetics (the red and yellow on the national flag). In interviews Nadal claims it’s a bit of a good luck charm when he plays, since it portrays his home country. It appears to be doing its job.
Odell Beckam Jr.
Beckam made his NFL gaming debut with an RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph McLaren. According to reporters, he bought the watch for $189,500US at a RM boutique in L.A.. Not a bad price considering it usually goes for nearly double that cost at $350,000US. He has been criticized for wearing his expensive watch on the field but Beckam claims it hasn’t given him any trouble. Considering the performance testing RM has done on their watches, he’s likely to have more shock resistance on his wrist with their piece than any shopping mall one-off. With RM’s composite aluminum alloy builds and tourbillon movements, they’re designed to take a beating, keep precise time, and look clean to boot. Although it can be more expensive to maintain luxury mechanical watches, we get the feeling that Beckam will be able to afford the maintenance on his professional salary.
The Power of Endorsement
Football season is just kicking off for the NFL. It could be that Beckam’s new watch is an attempt to get new sponsorships. This speculation is based on the fact that Beckam isn’t currently featured on Richard Mille’s official online listing of “friends and partners”. In sporting, it can help to have the backing of major Swiss watchmakers as you tackle a career—if nothing else to get free luxury watches (nevermind the sponsorships). Nadal and Beckam, as it stands, are doing a great job as brand endorsers/ambassadors. Search engines, newsprint, and online articles have abounded about the brand since Sunday’s events. Perhaps Beckam will become official before season’s end.
Another sports ambassador to note is Bubba Watson. This time last year Watson made big PGA waves with a Richard Mille model “RM 055” in tow. This skeletonised wristwatch has an incredible shock resistance—meant to mirror the sport of golf by following the fluid precision of the player’s swing, the hit of the ball, and the coordination involved balancing environmental factors with the game. Unfortunately Bubba is out of the running for any further PGA Tour titles this year. With a bogey at the FedEx Cup Playoffs effectively ending his season, he’s off for some down time. At least he has his Richard Mille wristwatch to wear while fishing and commiserating with other players off the tour.
As a repair center, we here at Times Ticking don’t really recommend wearing luxury mechanical watches while playing sports. All mechanical watches require more frequent maintenance when put under heavy stress. However, if you can afford a Richard Mille wristwatch it’s likely you can also afford additional maintenance costs. Otherwise it’s important to have mechanicals regularly cleaned about once a year—depending on the build and manufacturer recommendations. That way you can sport your favorite mechanical piece through many more Super Bowls, US Opens, PGA Tours, and etc…as the years wind on by.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.