Lightest Tourbillon
Richard Mille RM 27-05 Flying Tourbillon Rafael Nadal

22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal played what could be his last match at Roland Garros last month. Simultaneously, his partnership with Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, which began in 2010 with the RM 027 Tourbillon project, reached a climactic conclusion with the release of the RM 27-05 Manual Winding Flying Tourbillon Rafael Nadal.

This latest addition to the exquisite brand’s collection not only honors the legendary tennis player, as it is a watch that Nadal himself would wear on the court, but also epitomizes the pinnacle of horological innovation. The watch weighs merely 11.5 grams without the strap and can withstand a G-force of 14,000, both achievements setting records in the world of manual winding tourbillon watches.

The lightweight construction of the watch is the result of its unique monobloc case. Made of Carbon TPT B.4, a new material developed by composite specialist North Thin Ply Technology for Richard Mille, it features a specific weave that modifies the fibers’ orientation and boosts the material’s strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for thinner pieces for the case without losing rigidity.

The Calibre RM27-05, with a power reserve of 55 hours, also benefits from lightweight materials. Measuring just 3.75 mm thick and weighing 3.79 grams, it features a microblasted and PVD-treated grade 5 titanium baseplate and bridges, while the V-shaped gear train bridge is machined from Carbon TPT. The fact that the movement rests directly on the caseback without screws further contributes to the lightness of the timepiece.

With just 80 examples being crafted, this limited-edition collaborative watch is sure to become a highly sought-after collectible item.