IN TENNIS, TIMING IS EVERYTHING. THAT’S WHY THE SPORT’S SUPERSTARS MAKE SUCH COMPELLING AMBASSADORS FOR SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST DESIRABLE TIMEPIECES. WITH EACH OF THE FOLLOWING HOROLOGES, THE BAR IS SET HIGHER, AS AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE MEETS REFINED WATCH MAKING.
Like its ambassador Novak Djokavic, the Legacy Chronograph by Audemars Piguet serves up a storm of mind-boggling details, culminating in a one-of-a-kind statement. No doubt about it. Featuring black – with exclusive “Méga Tapisserie” motif – numerals, hour markers in diamond-polished pink gold, and facetted hour and minute hands with luminescent coating, the Legacy Chronograph has found its match in the charming player, who is currently ranked as number one in the world by the ATP and considered by many to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. This black ceramic timepiece, with a pink gold disc, 6.2 mm in thickness and a total diameter of 29.92 mm, pulls no punches – kind of like Djokavic.
LI NA for ROLEX
Only 69 years young, the 36mm Datejust is the archetype of the classic watch, thanks to functions and aesthetics that are timeless. Now, this instantly recognizable watch (due to the characteristic shape of its Oyster case, the 18K gold-fluted bezel, the Cyclops lens over the date, and the five-piece link Jubilee bracelet) is joining forces with Li Na, the Chinese tennis star. The powerful offensive baseliner, who recently became the first Asian tennis player to reach the Australian Open finals, has signed an endorsement deal with Rolex, reinforcing the brand’s aspirations to take over the Asian market.
RAFAEL NADAL for RICHARD MILLE
One of the lightest watches ever produced, RM 027 Tourbillon has found a worthy partner in Rafael Nadal, who is light on his feet and hits well on the run. But like most other champs, the intricately built RM 027’s road to glory wasn’t an easy one. Conventional wisdom suggests that a timepiece made from titanium could never be considered luxurious since its 20 gram weight (including the strap) wasn’t substantial enough. “When I first produced Tourbillons with titanium and Alusic cases and carbon base plates, I was fighting against perceived value,” admitted Richard Mille, the brand’s creator. Yet, the result of an horological experiment that involved putting the RM 027 to a “Nadal test” spoke for itself. Despite the abrupt, extreme movements and shocks, typical of high level tennis matches, the RM 027 Tourbillon proved its durability, while enabling Nadal to have total freedom of movement. The limited edition of fifty RM 027 Tourbillons is expected to be priced upwards of $500,000 each.
STEFANI GRAFF for LONGINESS
The Swiss watch manufacturer is so vested in the sport, that Longines has been the official partner and timekeeper of the French Open at Roland-Garros since 2007. But the camaraderie doesn’t end there. Each year, the brand organizes the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament, bringing together 16 players aged under 13 from around the world. This is an extension of the Longines Rising Tennis Stars program, which aims to encourage the development of talented young players. It’s befitting that Longines turned to Stefani Graff, an icon in women’s tennis, to represent the Longines DolceVita, a uniquely rectangular-shaped, L176 Quartz, stainless steel timepiece with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and featuring 32 top Wesselton VS diamonds. This champ – with an unbroken record as number one in WTA ranking for 377 weeks – has set up a foundation titled “Children for Tomorrow,” which aims to provide help for children and families who have suffered the trauma of war, exile, and violence. Synchronicity, indeed!