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By Chris | April 1 2014
He epitomizes the high performance and precision of human ability as an instrument for sports. Only 35 years old, he is already leaving his mark as one of the best players of his generation with one of the most powerful drives, establishing him consistently as the longest hitter on the PGA tour since 2006, followed by his first 1st US PGA Tour event in 2010.
After the success of the limited RM 038 Golfer’s Tourbillon released in 2011, Richard Mille has undertaken the development of yet another specific tourbillon watch for Bubba Watson with added functionality to complement his powerful drives on the course.
The result is the RM 38-01 Bubba Watson, a timepiece that combines a patented G-sensor with a tourbillon mechanism, thus providing new insights for golfers during their game.
The mechanical G-sensor, a Richard Mille world first containing more than 50 moving parts within a mere 17mm, allows the user to see the accumulated motion of their swing in G’s. The sensor, placed under 12 o’clock, is able to record the force generated by a golfer’s swing, specifically during the last segment. In reality this means that the RM 38-01 can record up to 20-G’s of acceleration, a very important insight for golfers such as Bubba Watson, renowned for his ability to hit a ball at more than 310 kilometers per hour. Resetting the sensor back to zero for the following swing is done by simply pressing the aerodynamically formed pusher at 9:00 once.
The G-sensor mechanism is integrated into the heart of a manual winding tourbillon movement with circa 48 hours of power reserve. The movement is a technological marvel with its highly skeletonized, asymmetrical flying bridges and plates machined from grade 5 titanium with PVD treatment. This choice of materials and finish ensure rigidity, flatness and resistance for all the moving parts, simultaneously allowing the movement to effortlessly express its architectural aspirations of air and form.
On looking at the RM 38-01 Bubba Watson, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the unique green case – bubba’s favorite color – which upon closer examination again demonstrates the mastery and insight of Richard Mille in the revolutionary application of industrial materials for 21st century watchmaking.
In this manner the front and back bezels of the RM 38-01 are created in TZP-G, a ceramic class of material based on microscopic tubes of alumina oxide powder injected with green colorant at a pressure of 2,000 bars. This is followed by a long and difficult machining and grinding process with diamond tooling in order to obtain the exact complex curves and arcs typical of Richard Mille’s designs. The result is a material that offers 20 – 30% more stiffness in comparison to traditional ceramics. In the last stage, the material is then delicately worked in order to create an attractive matt surface finish and further complemented with a central caseband in grade 5 titanium molded with white rubber, thus providing comfort and lightness for the user under all conditions.
Released in an edition of 50 pieces worldwide, the RM 38-01 G-sensor Bubba Watson provides all golfers with new insights about the strength of their swing and thus allows them to better adapt the power of their technique accordingly to the playing requirements of each course they compete on. It represents the perfect synthesis of haute horlogerie with 21st century innovation, comfort and usefulness for today’s golf enthusiasts worldwide.
(Source: Richard Mille)