Best of the Best 2011: Men's Watches: Richard Mille RM 027

    While focusing on the $555,000 price of Rafael Nadal’s Richard Mille RM 027 (310.205.5555, www.richardmille.com) when he wore it during his three Grand Slam victories in 2010, the sports media neglected to mention the watch’s technical merits. The timepiece, which is destined to become known as the "Nadal Watch" rel="nofollow" and will have a production run limited to 50 examples, represents the strongest validation of Richard Mille’s performance-oriented watchmaking philosophy. Certainly, a tourbillon wristwatch that a tennis champ actually would wear in competition was more challenging to create than even the Formula 1 pieces Mille previously produced. To make the watch light enough not to hamper Nadal’s game, Mille and his collaborator, complication specialist Renaud & Papi, formed the baseplate from an exotic lithium alloy. Mille tested the materials and construction for shock resistance and rigidity, and then Nadal confirmed those test results at the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

    The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
    The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
    Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
    The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
    The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
    The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
    Photo by Didier Gourdon
    The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
    Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
    Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
    The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
    The company’s signature mixture of technical and aesthetic watchmaking is on display in the Bovet...