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Rafael Nadal wears $1 million Richard Mille watch on the way winning the French Open

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Watchmakers like to promote how rugged and shock resistant their micro-engineered mechanical marvels have become, but few would recommend battering them on a tennis court where returning 95mph serves is required.

Richard Mille and its brand ambassador Rafael Nadal see things differently, so the Spaniard strapped into a RM 27-04 Tourbillon, valued at $1,050,000, for the whole of this Fall’s French Open tennis tournament.

The 50-piece limited edition watch, which bears Mr Nadal’s name, survived every match through to his title-winning final, the 20th grand slam of his career.

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Richard Mille says the RM 27-04 Tourbillon is capable of resisting accelerations of over 12,000 Gs.

Its lightweight design — 30 grams including the strap — is incredibly strong thanks to a case made from TitaCar, a high-performance polyamide strengthened with 38.5% carbon fiber content.

Its tourbillon movement is gripped within the case by a single steel cable measuring 0.27mm that is weaved into a grid like the strings of a tennis racket. This allows the movement to move a tiny amount to absorb shocks.

(Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder