Richard Mille’s alliance with American Golfer Bubba Watson looks more prescient than ever as the long-driving, self-taught golf phenom won his second Masters (and Major) this past Sunday. In 2010 when Richard Mille signed him to an athlete-ambassador, Bubba was relatively unknown, having won only 1 PGA Tour event after four years on the Tour. Of course it all started with the limited RM 038 Golfer’s Tourbillon released in 2011, and as usual the sight of a peculiarly styled watch on the wrist of Bubba Watson during match play did not take long to make its way into the sports headlines.
This time around, 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 new RM 38-01 Bubba Watson includes Mille’s patented G-sensor along with a tourbillon mechanism, thus providing new insights for Watson during his game. The Richard Mille mechanical G-sensor, a Richard Mille world first in 2012, contains more than 50 moving parts within a mere 17mm and allows the user to see the accumulated motion of their swing in G’s.
On looking at the RM 38-01 Bubba Watson, one immediately observes the unique, matte-finished green bezel and caseback — a fitting evolution from the prior white-only version. We saw some hints of this color-set in the Bubba Watson RM 38 “Victory Watch” but the materials approach is entirely new here. 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; the resultant material offers 20 – 30% more stiffness in comparison to traditional ceramics. 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 case band is grade 5 titanium molded with white rubber.
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 upwards of 200 miles 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. Aside from being a technological marvel, the movement is also quite appealing in its design, with skeletonized, asymmetrical flying bridges and plates machined from grade 5 titanium with PVD treatment.
The Richard Mille RM 38-01 G-sensor Bubba Watson is a limited edition of 50 pieces, and yes, certainly a nice evolution from the original Bubba Watston watch, the RM 38 (yes, the exact watch he wore while winning his first, the 2012 Masters) and the 4 piece LE RM 38 Victory Watch which supported Bubba’s charity>>>