Rafa Nadal's wristwatch is the lightest mechanical watch ever made
It is the Richard Mille RM 27-01, then followed by the RM 27-02 and the RM 27-03.
The lightest mechanical watch ever created is a Richard Mille and was originally designed for the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal. Coded as RM 27-01, it was then followed by two other timepieces belonging to the same collection, namely the Richard Mille RM 27-02 and the Richard Mille RM 27-03 and, in 2017, by the lightest chronograph tourbillon, the Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight, the first outcome of the technical partnership signed between the brand and McLaren Automotive. The pursuit of extreme performance has always been a source of inspiration to the volcanic entrepreneur, who achieved, with the RM 27-01, a record-breaking weight: the Richard Mille RM 27-01 is a complicated timepiece that weighs just 19 grams (18.83g to be more precise), strap included. Its caliber, a hand-wound tourbillon, is made of titanium and Lithal®, a lithium alloy containing aluminum, copper, magnesium and zirconium in which lithium is used to increase the caliber's resistance to shocks, a key project requirement given that Rafa Nadal uses to wear the watch when training and competing.
Lithal® is an alloy that Airbus also used on their Airbus A380 and that most probably inspired the design of the RM 50-02 ACJ. The movement is suspended inside the case and is hold by 4 braided steel cables, each with a diameter of just 0.35 mm, an architecture that Richard Mille's engineers used once again when they designed the Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo McDonough and that helps protect the movement from accidental shocks. The Richard Mille RM 27-01 has been then followed by the RM 27-02 and the RM 27-03, where the brand debuted the Quarz TPT (Thin Ply Technology) and the Carbon TPT made case and main plate, a Richard Mille's exclusive in watchmaking. The Richard Mille RM 27-03 dramatically improved the RM 27-01's resistance to shocks, by raising its original value of 5000g's up to 10,000g's.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Ella Ling, Stefano Galuzzi)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®