July 5, 2015
Wow. Just Wow. Richard Mille raises the bar again. In the run up to the 114th French Open, Richard Mille unveils the new RM 27-02 tourbillon, a watch made for tennis superstar Rafael Nadal. Nadal will be vying for his tenth title at the French Open while wearing the new RM 27-02. This is the fifth such watch to come out of Mille’s partnership with Nadal which began with the RM 027 in 2010, followed by the RM 035 in 2011, the RM 27-01 in 2013, and the RM 35-01 in 2014 (my hands-on). But I must say, the new 27-02 tops them all. The bezel and case on this watch will blow your mind — exclusive and exotic…signature Richard Mille. The 27-02 will be limited to 50 pieces. One can be yours for the tidy sum of 770,000 Euros (about $850,000 on a straight f/x conversion).
The bezel and case are made from NTPT carbon and Quartz TPT, a groundbreaking new material designed and developed by Richard Mille in partnership with North Thin Ply Technology. QTPT is composed of over 600 layers of parallel filaments obtained from separating silicon threads. These layers, no thicker than 45 microns, are saturated in a white resin developed specially for Richard Mille, then inserted between layers of NTPT carbon using an automatic positioning system that changes the orientation of the fibers between each layer by 45 degrees. It is then heated to 120 degrees Celsius, and subjected to a pressure of 6 bars in an autoclave similar to those used to make aeronautical components, before the material is ready for machining on a CNC machine at Proart (Richard Mille’s case factory). Machining unveils the various TPT Quartz layers at random, ensuring that each machined component is unique.