Tennis Star Rafael Nadal And His $775,000 Watch Shine At French Open

Tennis Pro Rafael Nadal is losing some of his spotlight at the French Open to his own $775,000 watch.

It’s an ultra-light, Velcro RM27-02 made by luxury Swiss watch company Richard Mille, one of only 50 in the world, and the media was quick to pick up on the extravagant accessory.

According to the Wall Street Journal, most people say it looks cool. Still, it doesn’t look all that expensive; the band is Velcro after all. Doubles star Mike Bryan explained “you would never know looking at it.”

Nadal explained, “In the beginning there was a little bit of transition, we had to work together to adjust everything to my wrist. It’s like you are wearing nothing. It’s part of my skin.”

But there are some major advantages to a $775,000 Richard Mille watch, mostly durability. The watch reportedly has all the delicate machinery found in the world’s finest wearable clocks, but can tolerate up to 5,000 Gs of force. It won’t break, even while taking punishment in dirt, grass, water, or on the tennis court. That allows Rafael Nadal to show off the expensive device even while playing.

It doesn’t give Nadal a better swing, but it does remind his opponent that he’s a top player, since only the best tennis pros get expensive watch contracts.

Maria Sharapova, for example, has a contract with Tag Heuer. Roger Federer landed a deal with Rolex. And, Serena Williams wears Audemars Piguet. Nevertheless, most players cannot wear their delicate, luxury timepieces on the court, but Rafael Nadal can provide advertising through all his matches.

Likewise, few players can compete with the price of Nadal’s watches.

According to Business Insider, in 201o, he started wearing another Richard Mille valued at $500,000. In 2013, he made an upgrade to a $670,000 model. Despite the sophistication and intricacy of Nadal’s increasingly expensive watches, one feature that has always been missing is a security system.

Rafael Nadal had one watch stolen in 2010 from the locker room; another timepiece was taken in 2012 from the tennis star’s hotel room. In the second case, quick work from the hotel staff and a magnetic keycard helped Nadal recover the watch. Authorities never found the first.

A third watch would likely also be missing if it weren’t for doubles player Eric Butorac who found Nadal’s watch sitting unguarded in the training room.

“I remember holding it and thinking, ‘Wow, this is worth more than my career prize money.'”

For whoever wins the French Open, the timepiece is potentially affordable (last year’s grand price was over $27 million). Still, for most players, getting away with Rafael Nadal’s $775,000 watch would be a nice consolation prize.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]

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