The Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafa. A Timepiece Fit for a Champion

The Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafa. A Timepiece Fit for a Champion

The world of luxury watches is filled with iconic timepieces that combine exceptional craftsmanship, innovative engineering, and a touch of exclusivity. One such watch that has taken the horology industry by storm is the Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafa. Created in collaboration with tennis legend Rafael Nadal, this extraordinary timepiece showcases the perfect fusion of style, technology, and durability. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the features and design of the Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafa and explore why it has become a favorite among watch enthusiasts and sports aficionados alike.
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1. A Glimpse into Richard Mille

Before we dive into the specifics of the RM 35-01 Rafa, let’s take a moment to understand the brand behind this remarkable timepiece. Richard Mille, founded in 2001, is a relatively young Swiss luxury watchmaker that has quickly risen to prominence for its avant-garde designs and cutting-edge technology. The brand is known for its commitment to pushing the boundaries of watchmaking and creating timepieces that are both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.

2. The Inspiration Behind the RM 35-01 Rafa

The RM 35-01 Rafa is a tribute to tennis superstar Rafael Nadal, who has been a long-time ambassador for Richard Mille. The collaboration between Nadal and Richard Mille began in 2010, with the aim of creating a watch that could withstand the extreme conditions of professional tennis while still maintaining exceptional timekeeping accuracy. The result was the iconic RM 027 Tourbillon, which was followed by subsequent models, including the RM 35-01 Rafa.

3. Design and Materials

One of the most striking aspects of the RM 35-01 Rafa is its unique design. The tonneau-shaped case is crafted from NTPT carbon, a material developed by Richard Mille that offers exceptional strength and lightness. This composite material is composed of multiple layers of carbon fibers that are meticulously woven together, resulting in a distinctive pattern on the case. The use of NTPT carbon not only enhances the watch’s durability but also gives it a distinct aesthetic appeal.

4. Mechanical Marvels

Beneath the bold exterior of the RM 35-01 Rafa lies an impressive array of mechanical wonders. The watch is powered by the RMAL1 automatic movement, which features a skeletonized baseplate and bridges made from grade 5 titanium. This high-tech movement ensures precise timekeeping and offers a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.
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Another notable feature of the RM 35-01 Rafa is its variable inertia balance wheel. This innovative system allows for greater shock resistance, ensuring that the watch can withstand the rigorous movements involved in playing tennis. Additionally, the movement incorporates a free-sprung balance spring, further enhancing its accuracy and stability.

5. A Champion’s Wrist

The RM 35-01 Rafa is not just a watch designed for tennis; it is a timepiece that embodies the spirit of a champion. In addition to its technical prowess, the watch boasts several design elements that pay homage to Rafael Nadal. The vibrant red accents on the dial and strap are reminiscent of Nadal’s fiery passion on the court, while the caseback features his signature.

The strap itself is crafted from an elastic material known as Comfort Strap, which provides maximum comfort and flexibility during intense physical activity. It is worth noting that Richard Mille offers a range of strap options for the RM 35-01 Rafa, allowing owners to personalize their timepiece according to their preferences.

6. Limited Edition and Exclusivity

As with many Richard Mille watches, the RM 35-01 Rafa is produced in limited quantities, adding to its exclusivity and desirability. The watch is part of a limited edition series and comes with a numbered certificate, further enhancing its collectability.

7. The Price Tag

Owning a piece of horological excellence comes at a price, and the RM 35-01 Rafa is no exception. With its intricate design, cutting-edge technology, and limited availability, this timepiece commands a significant price tag. However, for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and want to own a watch endorsed by one of the greatest tennis players of all time, the investment is well worth it.


The Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafa stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries in watchmaking. With its striking design, robust construction, and advanced mechanical features, this timepiece captures the essence of Rafael Nadal’s extraordinary career on and off the tennis court. Whether you are a tennis enthusiast or simply appreciate fine craftsmanship, the RM 35-01 Rafa is undoubtedly a timepiece fit for a champion.

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