Nadal Is Playing Tennis in a Half-Million-Dollar Watch

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Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal signed a deal with French designer Richard Mille to wear one of his watches while he plays in the French Open. The piece he debuted on his tan, chiseled wrist on Tuesday, with the face positioned carefully outside his sweatband, costs $525,000. Tennis bloggers worried the weight of the watch would mess up his game, but at just 20 grams (less than a third of the weight of most Swatch timepieces) it shouldn't. But will the deal translate to sales for Mille?

The Times notes:

[T]he 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.


Various retailers and horology experts were unsure whether Nadal's endorsement would inspire people to shell out for the accessory. However, the problem with using Nadal to sell a watch is that, whenever he lifts his arm to stroke his sultry locks — or whenever he lifts his arm to do anything — a great number of people are noticing the captivating intricacies of his flexing biceps, not a little black band around his wrist.

Don’t Swing That Arm, Mr. Nadal [NYT]