March 4, 2014
by Ariel Adams
So how does NTPT carbon look on a watch case? Pretty cool actually. I don’t know if I would have personally thought to use it for a watch related to a tennis player, but the texture of the material mixed with the overall look of the watch and strap happens to work quite well. While the base color is black, the case has a range of slightly glossy grays that together almost look like a futuristic camouflage. It doesn’t come across as gimmicky, and unlike some of the exotic polymers that Richard Mille has used in other timepieces, NTPT carbon does have the air of a very high-quality material.
Looks aside, the case material is supposed to be very hard and durable. No doubt the case would fare well against all manner of abuse in the event of extreme shock, while the mechanical movement inside of it turned into an assortment of broken spare parts. So how light is the overall watch? For a series that is all about being very light-weight Richard Mille doesn’t offer the overall weight of the case. Though they have indicated that the RMUL3 movement weighs an incredibly low 4 grams total.
Like the RM 27-01 watch from last year the RM 35-01 will come on a fabric strap with Velrco. Such straps are hard to pull off in a high-end way, but with a cool sport watch like this I think it works. To be honest I feel much more confident about the durability of a watch like this compared to others with tourbillons. The simple three-hand manually wound movement is logically going to put up with a lot more exertion than a finicky toubillon. If you are the type of person who likes to call a Richard Mille timepiece your daily wear, then the RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal isn’t at all a poor choice with its comfortable design, easy to bridge red-rubber covered crown, legible dial, and durable features.
While technically a limited edition, Richard Mille hasn’t yet indicated how many pieces of the RM 35-01 watch will be made. Start looking for them later in 2014. richardmille.com