The U.S. Open for tennis has been in full swing over the past couple of weeks, and the drama of this event in New York City never fails to deliver incredible outcomes to watch at home. With the likes of Serena Williams chasing the true Grand Slam and Roger Federer playing like a young teenager again, it is one of the best tennis events ever year. Beyond the lights, camera, action, I found an interesting money story about Rafael Nadal and the famous watch that he wears on his wrist.
Many players have deals with watch companies, but this roughly $850,000 watch is something that only 50 people will experience around the world (that is how many the maker Richard Mille will make this year). At $850,000 that is easily the cost in many cities of a mini McMansion and in some parts of America could be a 5,000+ square foot house.
What makes this watch so unbelievable? It uses complex and sensitive mechanics found in the finest watches, yet can withstand the punishment of tennis, dirt and water—and the effects of gravity—and still keep accurate time according to Nadal. It is made of carbon and quartz with titanium screws. The band is the color of the red clay of Roland Garros. It can withstand 5,000 Gs of force, according to the Mille website. (source: WSJ)
Would you wear a 3,000 square foot house on your wrist? Nadal has lost a couple of the watches already and the cost of these watches has skyrocketed. In 2010, the first watch made for him was about $500,000, and now the cost has gone up to almost $850,000. So, in that manner, one could argue that these luxury watches may have been a better investment than a home. But, we know it’s pretty hard to lose a 3,000 square foot home and you might imagine that even Nadal gets worried when he wears the watch out in public.
Watch companies such as Rolex and Tag Hueur have done a great job of marketing their watches through celebrities over the years. The strategy Richard Mille has used appears to be an effective one. If you can create some shock value, more people will learn about your brand. Wouldn’t we all like someone to give us an $850,000 watch? I’m ready to start advertising today!