Richard Mille Reveals How an F1 Driver Opened the Pathway for Rafael Nadal to Take Their Brand Endorsement in a Different Stratosphere

Published 01/15/2022, 5:29 AM EST


Richard Mille is one of the biggest names in the world of brands. It is one of the top watchmakers in the world. The Swiss watches can be found on the wrists of many sports icons such as Rafael Nadal, Charles Leclerc, and Felipe Massa.

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The most famous ambassador for the brand is the tennis legend, Rafael Nadal. The Spanish superstar always wears his Richard Mille watch, whether he is on the court or off-court. Interestingly, the founder of Richard Mille, Dominique Guenat, mentioned that former F1 driver Felipe Massa was the first athlete to wear their watch.

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We didn’t add partner Rafael Nadal until 2010: Richard Mille founder

As reported by Hodinkee.com, in a recent interview celebrating the 20 years of the brand, Guenat mentioned that the 20-time Grand Slam winner joined them in 2010. He mentioned it was then Sauber driver Felipe Massa who first wore a Richard Mille watch in a sporting event.

“Felipe Massa was the first partner to join the Richard Mille family in 2004. Everything went smoothly, and he understood the brand philosophy perfectly. At the time, there weren’t athletes wearing timepieces in real-life competitions,” said Dominique.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

“Back then, we didn’t rush to sign with other partners; instead, we took our time to build and learn from Felipe’s experiences wearing the watch. We didn’t add partner Rafael Nadal until 2010.

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We had to convince some of them, which meant explaining our concepts–materials, design, shock- and stress-resistance, and more. The partnerships we make are based not just on choosing a sport. It also depends on the person and their personality. I have to be inspired by them, too,” said the Richard Mille founder.

It is interesting to know that Massa helped shape the watch brand in the world of sports. Many athletes such as Nadal, Zverev, Lando Norris, and Charles Leclerc are proud members of the Richard Mille family.

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Devang Chauhan

756 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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