Nadal won his 20th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last week, all of which he played wearing a Richard Mille watch on his wrist that retails for $1.05 million. Nadal is the rare pro who competes wearing a watch. Richard Mille released the RM 27-04 watch last month to mark the ten-year anniversary of its partnership with the tennis pro. The watch weighs a welterweight 30 grams, including the strap, and is billed as the lightest tourbillon in the world. Nadal says his Richard Mille watch is a like a “second skin” to him.
The Swiss watch brand says the RM 27-04 construction was inspired by the same principles “as the strings of a tennis racquet.” It is a limited edition of only 50 watches. Nadal’s finals opponent, Djokovic, is affiliated with Seiko, although he waits until after matches to put on the watch, like most players. Seiko’s Novak Djokovic Astron GPS Solar retails for roughly $3,000, with 1,500 of the limited edition made. Nadal and Richard Mille have a long history of wearing crazy expensive watches while he plays. He won his tenth French Open in 2017 with a $750,000 Richard Mille on his wrist. Nadal’s U.S. Open title run last year included a $725,000 watch.
Richard Mille focuses much of its sports sponsorships in the motor racing world but also partners with golfer Bubba Watson, soccer star Didier Drogba and sprinter Yohan Blake. Actors Margot Robbie and John Malkovich, as well as musician Pharrell Williams, are other celebrity endorsers. You may also remember the very well played marketing trick with Odell Beckham Jr and Daniel Wellington using the Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Flyback Chronograph. Nadal positioning in this years Forbes’ list saw him sitting in 27th place of the world’s highest-paid athletes, bringing in a reported $40 million in the 12 months ending June 1. In addition to his $14 million in prize money, he earned an estimated $26 million off the court from appearance fees and endorsements with Nike, Babolat, KIA Motors, Richard Mille, Santander and Telefónica.