Sheer, barely there undergarments notwithstanding, the French Open isn’t normally where people go to make statements of fashion.
So it came much to our surprise and delight when we saw tennis star Rafael Nadal sporting the $525,000 RM 027 Tourbillon from absurdly expensive watchmaker Richard Mille.
Sports stars and product placement go hand-in-hand (Tag Heuer still features Tiger Woods on its website), but not when the product might disrupt the player’s ability to win. At first, we thought it was a little odd that Nadal would weigh his arm down with anything other than a wristband.
But Mille told The New York Times the beauty of his company’s deal with Nadal is that the watch is so light — less than a third of the weight of your average Swatch — that Nadal can wear the watch without interrupting his formidable swing. In fact, the Times says:
Mr. Nadal managed to stay upright and to beat his opponent in three sets (and five Nike swoosh logos). And the watch, black with a polyurethane band, got a lot of screen time, as Mr. Nadal happens to be one of those people who has gorgeous locks and the need to compulsively brush his fingers through them.
While making an accurate, good-looking mechanical watch light as air might be a prohibitively expensive thing to do, we’d like to have a little more heft in an accessory that costs more than the average American home. But as long as Rafa keeps winning matches, he has our permission to wear whatever he likes.