Epic… Simple as that. Indeed, this year, the final of the 2017 French Open is a must-see. On one side is the one-and-only Rafael Nadal, who will be fighting this year for the “decima”, meaning his possible 10th victory at Roland-Garros (something that has never been done before). On the other side is Stanislas Wawrinka, winner of the 2015 Edition and one that everybody knows to be quite a competitor. But this Roland-Garros 2017 Final will also see an incredible battle of watches, with Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet challenging for optimal visibility.
Rafael Nadal and his Richard Mille RM-27-03 Tourbillon
As expected this year, two facts respect the tradition. The first one concerns the sport we’re focusing on today, tennis. No surprise again for this 2017 edition of the French Open, Rafael Nadal qualified for the final round. As such, he will be fighting to reach the stars, to get the “decima”, meaning his possible 10th victory at Roland-Garros – a title that no one ever reached and that would position him up there, at the Pantheon of sport, just like Micheal Schumacher and his 7 titles in Formula 1. Nadal is the boss of the French Open and the playing surface, clay, is his favorite one. Even Stan Wawrinka admitted in recent interviews that Rafa was almost unreachable in Paris…
On his wrist is the second no-surprise of this 2017 final round. Indeed, as expected, Rafael Nadal will be wearing the latest creation of Richard Mille, the RM-27-03 Tourbillon, a watch created specifically for him – and what a watch it is. The Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal features a Red and Yellow a carbon composite Quartz TPT case (which has already been nicknamed the “Ronald McDonald” watch by some…), with a crown shaped like a tennis ball. The case gets its colour from the resins used to bind the carbon fibres inside the material.
The movement baseplate is made in carbon fiber and is part of the caseband, as a sort-of “unibody” chassis. The large angular titanium bridge on the front, which clearly differentiate this 2017 version from the others (as the 2015 Richard Mille RM 27-02 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal) is a stylised bull’s head, Nadal’s personal emblem. This tourbillon movement is produced by APRP (a manufacture owned by… Audemars Piguet). This incredibly complex and yet extremely light watch can also resist to shocks up to 10,000g. Its price: CHF 710,000, produced in 50 pieces only.
Stan Wawrinka and his AP ROO Chronograph Dream Team
On the other side of the court will be one of the greatest possible contenders for Rafa, another extremely powerful man, Swiss-born player Stanislas Wawrinka. Of course, Stan’s pedigree at the French Open is less impressive, with one semi-final in 2016, one final this year but also a victory. Indeed, Stan won the 2015 French Open, beating no less than Novak Djokovic. Stan is powerful enough to challenge Rafa on his favorite surface… But will it be enough to surpass the boss of Roland-Garros? We will see end of this afternoon. The “decima” for Nadal, but maybe the “segunda” for Wawrinka…
On Stanislas Wawrinka’s wrist, no surprise either. There will be an Audemars Piguet. Indeed, we already spotted him wearing one of the brand’s creations at the 2016 French Open (in that case, a Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph). Stan is one of the brand’s “friends”, together with another tennis player, Serena Williams. If the brand of the watch that will be strapped on this wrist this afternoon won’t be a surprise, the model in question however is another story.
The watch in question is not commercialized and is a model specifically developed for the brand’s ambassadors. This is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Dream Team and it has the reference number 26409CB.OO.A030CA.01. It is based on an existing model (see here), however with a different color scheme. Indeed, while the white ceramic case is known, the blue ceramic pushers and crown (with a gold insert), the blue dial with 2 silver counters and the blue rubber straps are unique to this model. Just like Rafa, Stan wears his watch on his non-playing arm, however, unlike Nadal, he doesn’t need a watch with incredible technical solutions, proving that a good-old chronograph can resist quite some shocks too.