Perfect Match: Tennis and Timepieces
BY ROBERTA NAAS
Tennis is a sport that requires lightening speed, exactness, and split-second strokes. “Timing, precision, and accuracy are vitally important for me, whether that relates to fitness drills, measuring my performance, or striking a tennis ball,” says Andy Murray, gold and silver Olympic medalist tennis player and brand ambassador for Rado. Throughout the past two decades, the luxury Swiss watchmaker has served as the official timekeeper for a host of international tournaments, including the Aegon Championships in London, for which the brand recently signed on as the official watch partner. “Tennis is a sport that perfectly embodies key values of our brand, heritage, and products, including relentless determination, a proven love of pushing the boundaries and uncompromising attention to detail,” says Rado CEO Matthias Breschan.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary as the official timekeeper of the US Open tennis championships, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.—a staunch supporter of the USTA—is releasing a series of limited-edition US Open timepieces with Eco-Drive (light-powered) technology.
A host of other watch spokespersons will be competing at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open (which takes place August 27 through September 9) including last year’s US Open winner Novak Djokovic, tennis brand ambassador for Audemars Piguet; TAG Heuer’s Maria Sharapova; and Roger Federer, one of Rolex’s more than half-dozen professional tennis player ambassadors. (Rolex has also served as the official timekeeper of the Wimbledon Championships since 1978.) Additionally Longines signed tennis greats Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf as Ambassadors of Elegance.
Richard Mille designed a line in collaboration with 2012 French Open winner Rafael Nadal. So he could wear his watch while playing, Mille first created the RM 027 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal (the lightest mechanical watch). The limited edition of 50 pieces sold out this year; the RM 035 Rafael Nadal Chronofiable Certified with magnesium aluminum alloy case is the second watch in the Rafael Nadal series.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BPI/ELLA LING (NADAL); GEORGE MAURO STUDIO LLC (CITIZEN)