Watches and Tennis: The Athletes
It’s no secret that watches and tennis make the perfect match. The two first joined together when Rolex became the official timekeeper for Wimbleton back in 1978. Since then, the watch industry and professional tennis have continued to build a thriving and profitable partnership.
In the early 2000’s, watchmakers began tapping some of the top players to serve as brand ambassadors. By 2010, endorsement deals had started to grow exponentially. Now, almost every notable tennis pro has a partnership with a watch brand.
Some of the big, longstanding partnerships come as no surprise—Roger Federer and Rolex, Novak Djokovic and Seiko, or Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille. But, what you might not know is which of the latest models the top tennis players are wearing in 2017.
Nadal has stunned tennis lovers and watch aficionados alike at this year’s tournaments with his Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon. The $725,000 watch was collaboratively designed by Nadal and the brand to be worn on the court, even under the pressure of Nadal’s powerful whipping strokes. It features a tourbillon caliber that can withstand forces up to 10,000 G’s—a new record for the watch industry. The brightly colored red and orange timepiece pays homage to the Spanish flag. It will only come in a limited edition run of 50 pieces.
Djokovic made the shift from Audemars Piguet to Seiko back in 2014. Since then, the pair has collaborated on several special edition models. The Limited Edition Seiko Astron SSE143 was designed in celebration of Djokovic’s career Grand Slam. It features a black color scheme with a ceramic bezel that highlights the world time cities with three-letter codes. Highlighted in yellow are the four cities that hold tennis’s Grand Slam tournaments.
Zverev is new to both the world of pro tennis and watches, but you can expect to be seeing a lot of more of him in the coming years. The nineteen year old German prodigy is predicted to be one of the next international tennis stars, and Richard Mille took note. That’s why the brand tapped him to join their ranks of ambassadors following the grand opening of their first boutique in Munich. On the court, you can spot him wearing the now-iconic RM 21-01, also known as the first “Nadal watch.”
Federer’s partnership with Rolex is one of the longest standing between a tennis pro and watch brand. His latest model of choice is the GMT Master II BLNR, also known as the “Batman” GMT. The dual-colored bezel is iconic to the GMT Master line. This particular model showcases a “bleu” and “noir” (abbreviated BLNR) color scheme dubbed “the Batman.” It’s a fitting model for a player who never ceases to marvel his audience while on the court.
Stan Wawrinka, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Dream Team
While Richard Mille has a reputation for making watches that can withstand the conditions on the tennis court. Thus, its ambassadors often wear their watches during play, but that’s not the case for most. However, Wawrinka has been sporting his pride for Audemars Piguet both on and off the court for several years, wearing his Royal Oak Offshore. Perhaps it’s because he’s a Swiss national and wants to honor his country on the court, or perhaps it’s because the watch has brought him good fortune and seen him through many of his tournament wins.
Image Credits: Rolex Magazine and Forbes