Nadal To Wear $525,000 Watch At French Open

Last Thursday Rafael Nadal called a press conference to announce his new Swiss watch sponsor.

Rafael Nadal wearing $525,000 watch Richard Mille Photos

He was an hour late.

Rafael Nadal wearing $525,000 watch Richard Mille Photos

Almost as amusing as Nadal’s faulty timing is the price of the Swiss watch he’s now endorsing: $525,000.

Rafael Nadal wearing $525,000 watch Richard Mille Photos

The LONDON INDEPENDENT reports:

The watches, which use aerospace technology, will each cost $535,000 (about £375,000).

Few players wear watches during matches – although plenty put them on before they leave the court in order to satisfy sponsors – but Nadal has worked with Richard Mille to produce an ultra lightweight model. The watch weighs just 20 grams, including the strap. The Spaniard, who is naturally right-handed but plays left-handed, will wear it on his right wrist during matches and on his left away from the court.

More on the watch from Perpetuelle.com:

Weighing under 20 grams (13g without strap), the incredibly light RM 027 has a carbon-composite case, and the manual-wind movement – itself weighing just under 4 g — is constructed titanium and LITAL ®, lithium alloy containing aluminum, copper, magnesium, zirconium.  Power reserve is 48 hours.  Lithium alloy is also used in many aircraft parts such as the A380, helicopters, missiles, satellites or even Formula 1 and offers extreme performance attributes.  The back bezel and caseband are monobloc to ensure total lightness. The glas

Nadal, sadly, has undergone a remarkable appearance makeover in the past year. Gone are the sleeveless shirts and capri shorts. The Spaniard now sports a more conventional, polished look.

Carlos Costa, Nadal’s agent, insists there has been no deliberate rebranding. “He has grown up a lot, with things like the changes in his kit and now associating himself with Richard Mille watches,” Costa said. “It’s just evolution. When you’re a kid you like one kind of watch. When you grow up you like something different.”

Nadal agreed. “For me nothing changes,” he said. “Wearing such a special watch is a pleasure, but it won’t change me.”

Lost on Costa is that Nadal’s natural, “pirata”appearance on the court is what helped capture the interest of many more fans than the Spaniard would’ve otherwise had.

Now he’s just another bland-panted player like his chief rival, Roger Federer.

Don’t sponsors want the opposite?