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WOTW: Bubba Watson’s Richard Mille watches over the years

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Bubba Watson made a huge splash in 2011 when he started wearing a white Richard Mille RM 038 while playing tournament rounds. Not may golfers wear a watch while playing in tournaments, Phil and Bubba are the only two that come to mind, due to their personal preference or the fact that the golf swing is a death sentence for most mechanical movement watches.

Bubba’s watches have made news headlines because of the stand out white color and the fact that they all pretty much have six-figure price tags. Since 2011, Richard Mille has created a few different models inspired by Bubba Watson and his powerful golf game. I know there have been a few limited edition models for other markets, like the awesome Dark Legend and All Grey Boutique, but we will hold off on those. Let’s take a look the three main Bubba Watson models over the years; The RM 038, RM 38-01, and the RM 055.

The RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson ($525,000)

This was the one that started it all! The white one with the over half-million-dollar price tag. The one that everyone was searching online for. The Richard Mille RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson. Only 38 lucky people on this planet own a RM 038 with its slightly grey tinted, white magnesium case. This timepiece was special because it combined a complicated movement, precise timekeeping, and extreme durability.

The case is made up of three pieces of magnesium WE 54 that is 89 percent magnesium, six percent yttrium, and five percent of rare earth metals. The material is extremely lightweight but very hard to machine, taking much longer than traditional metal. The case then goes through Miarox, an electro-plasma oxidation treatment, that coats the pieces in ceramic. Miarox is used in the medical and aerospace sectors, being extremely scratch and corrosion-resistant. The three pieces of the case are held together with 12 spline screws and the Nitrile O-ring seals give the watch water resistance to 50 meters. Inside that case is a RM038 calibre with 19 jewels, 42-hour power reserve, and a baseplate and bridges made from grade five titanium.

Those bridges and baseplate require rigidity and precise surface flatness for the perfect functioning of the gears. The tourbillon is used to rotate the balance wheel and escapement in order to negate the effects of gravity on the movement and is located at 6 o’clock. The manual wind calibre also contains a carbon fiber band that helps to reduce shock during the golf swing. The RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is finished off with a matching vented rubber strap and a sapphire crystal, making it fit for a Masters champion!

The RM 38-01 Manual Winding Tourbillon G-sensor Bubba Watson ($825,000)

If you thought the RM 038 was crazy, well hold because the RM-038-10 Manual Winding Tourbillon G-sensor Bubba Watson is next on the list. The RM 38-01 was an even more complicated version of the RM 038, adding a mechanical G-sensor. This G-sensor was inspired by Bubba Watson being one of the longest drivers of the golf ball on tour. This one component is composed of 50 moving parts, while only being a mere 17mm in size! The G-sensor is located at 12 0’clock and can read up to 20 Gs of acceleration during the swing, especially during impact. The RM 38-01, like its older sibling the RM 038, contains a tourbillon for more precise timekeeping but does have an upgraded 48-hour power reserve. Grade 5 titanium, with a PVD treatment, is used for the baseplate and flying bridges in order to make sure the entire mechanism is held securely in place during the golf swing.

Along with the case, the baseplate and flying bridge are held together with titanium spline screws. Instead of magnesium, the case on the RM 38-01 is made from titanium and either green TPZ ceramic or Quartz TPT. The green TPZ is made up of 95 percent yttrium-stabilised zirconium, offering excellent scratch resistance along with being very lightweight. Quartz TPT is made up of hundreds of 45 microns thin layers of quartz filaments. Each layer orientation is rotated 45 degrees for durability and then heated to 120 degrees Celcius before being machined to its final shape. Only 50 were made, water resistant to 50 meters and feature torque-limiting crowns to make sure the movement isn’t damaged from overwinding. This is one of the pieces of golf gear that I would love to try, just to see how many Gs I could produce!

The RM 055 Manual Winding Bubba Watson ($98,200)

And here is probably the tamest version, if you can call any Richard Mille watch tame, the RM 055 Manual Winding Bubba Watson. The RM 055 contains a manual winding, 24 jewel, calibre RMUL2 movement with a 55hr power reserve. The RMUL2, like its older siblings, has its baseplate and bridges made from grade 5 titanium coated in PVD and Titalyt to resist corrosion and long term wear. The movement is a skeleton design, meaning that you can see through it and the sapphire crystals on the front and back of the watch give it an open and airy look.

The skeleton frame for the RMUL2 goes through extensive testing to ensure it is durable enough for a golf swing, withstanding accelerations of over 5000 G’s. The energy from winding is stored in a double-barreled system allowing more rotations and less wear on the teeth, pivots, and bearings. To protect that movement, the RM 055 case is made from ATZ and grade 5 titanium, held together with signature titanium spline screws. The ATZ bezel is injection-molded, under high pressure, from yttria-stabilized zirconia and alumina to increase rigidity by about 20 percent.

Next, to diamond, ATZ is one of the hardest materials in the world and takes extensive machining to produce the finished product. The grade 5 titanium center of the case is encased in a rubber coating for shock resistance and comfort, while offering 30m water resistance. The RM 055 and RM 038 do look similar in design, but the RM 055 is a brighter white compared to the grey-tinted RM 038. This 43mm timepiece is the only one of the three that isn’t limited edition and is affordable…in comparison!

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. TLW

    Sep 13, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    And I’ve seen him have an emotional cry fest over donating 25k. True D Bag.

  2. Richard Tucker

    Sep 11, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    The PXG of the golf world!!

  3. the dude

    Sep 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    wearing a watch that is that expensive just screams I’m a real D Bag…

    • JP

      Sep 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Crying about how a successful person spends their money just screams, “I’m a jealous biaatch.”

  4. Joey5Picks

    Sep 10, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    6 figures for a watch? And I though spending 4 figures was nuts. I guess there are plenty of people out there with more money than sense.

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WOTW

WOTW: Dustin Johnson’s Hublot Big Bang Ceramic Blue

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Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship, fighting off a hard-charging Kevin Streelman on Sunday. It was DJ’s 21st win on tour and after the win, he put on the Champion’s blazer, held the trophy high in the air, and had on his wrist what looked to be a Hublot Big Bang 44 in Ceramic Blue.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Hublot Big Bang 44 Ceramic Blue
Reference: 301.CI.7170.LR
Limited: No
Date: Current
Case: Black Ceramic
Bezel: Black Ceramic
Dial: Blue
Size: 44mm
Movement: HUB4100, 25 Jewels
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Glass: Anti-reflective Saphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Rubber and Alligator Leather
Price: $16,100

Lens Position: 3175

If you are not big into watches you probably don’t hear the name Hublot a whole lot (and you are probably not reading this article). But Hublot is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that was started in 1976 by Carlo Crocco. Hublot, pronounced “oo-blow”, means porthole in French and many styles have a look influenced by that part of a ship. The Big Bang line was launched in 2005 at Baselworld as an attempt to resurrect the Hublot brand. Since then the Big Bang line of watches has been one of the most well known and highly sought after watches in the world.

Dustin Johnson has been a Hublot athlete since 2017, joining as the brand launched the Big Bang UNICO Golf watch. DJ’s Big Bang is the larger 44mm version, but they are available in smaller 41 and 38-millimeter sizes. Black Ceramic makes up the case and it is almost scratch-proof with only diamond being harder. Hublot ceramic is also lightweight and very durable, thanks to its base of zirconium that is sintered at high temperatures. The ceramic is then micro-blasted for a satin look and softer touch. Dark navy blue accents pieces are used on the side of the case and to separate the case from the bezel. A matching black ceramic bezel sits atop the case and is attached using 6 H-shaped titanium screws that have come to be synonymous with Hublot.

The outside of the bezel is knurled for a unique look but doesn’t aid in traction since the bezel does not rotate. A dark blue dial sits under a sapphire crystal that has had an anti-reflective treatment applied. The navy dial is finished in a sunray style that reflects light for a more luxurious look. This Big Bang also contains 3 sub-dials in matching navy blue at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock while a date window sits at 4:30. Brushed silver hands and hour markers are filled with luminescent material for easy reading in low light.

The back of the case is Black Ceramic and contains a display back for viewing the HUB4100 movement. Six traditional screws hold the back in place and help seal the watch, giving it a 100-meter water resistance rating. The 4100 is a self-winding automatic that contains 25 jewels and offers 42 hours of power reserve. The HUB4100 is a chronograph movement with an ETA Caliber 7753 base. The rubber and alligator skin strap is attached with 2 titanium H-screws on each side and comes together with a stainless steel deployment buckle clasp.

I reached out to Hublot and that is the reference they confirmed Dustin was wearing after his win at the Travelers. I think there is a mistake and he is wearing a different model, but have not been able to find it. Dustin’s watch to me clearly has silver sub-dials, a white date window background, and what could be a textured dial. Hublot thinks those differences are just light reflection, but every angle of the watch I saw looked different than the Big Bang Ceramic Blue. Here are the photos of the watch, let me know what you think.

Congrats to Dustin on his 21st win on the PGA Tour! There aren’t too many players who will ever get to that number, and it puts him in a special place. Wearing a Hublot Big Bang also puts you in a special place, since they are not something you see every day.

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WOTW: Webb Simpson’s Rolex Yacht-Master II

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Webb Simpson’s watch at the RBC Heritage was a Rolex Yacht-Master II in stainless steel. Simpson held off Abraham Ancer and last week’s champion, Daniel Berger (Also wearing a Yacht-Master!), to win at Harbour Town. Webb received the red tartan jacket for winning and peeking out from the sleeve was a white dial, with blue bezel, stainless steel Yacht-Master II.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Yacht-Master II
Reference: 116680-0002
Year: 2017 – Current
Limited: No
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Blue Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: White
Size: 44mm
Movement: Calibre 4161
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: 904L Oystersteel
Price: $18,700

The Rolex Yacht-Master II was first introduced in 2007 and features the first countdown timer that the wearer could program. That countdown timer also contains a mechanical memory and was designed for professional sailors racing sailing yachts. What sets the Yacht-Master II apart from everything else in the Rolex lineup is the Ring Command bezel that works with the mechanical movement to set the countdown timer between 1 and 10 minutes.

The Ring Command bezel is crafted from 904L Oystersteel and contains a Cerachrom ceramic in bright blue with engraved numerals. Cerachrom ceramic is very scratch-resistant and will not fade over time with exposure to UV rays and saltwater. The Yacht-Master II is a larger watch, measuring 44mm across, and is made from corrosion-resistant 904L Oystersteel. The screw-down caseback helps give the watch a 100-meter water resistance rating as well as the screw-down crown with Triplock.

The white dial is accented in blue and has hour markers finished in white gold and filled with Rolex’s own Chromalight luminescent material for a long-lasting glow. The hour hand has a round disc on it, making it much easier to distinguish and tell time in low light. Covering that dial is an almost scratchproof sapphire crystal. Inside the Yach-Master II is a Rolex designed and built self-winding automatic movement. The movement not only tells accurate time but also handles the countdown timer and mechanical memory.

Containing 360 components, this engineering marvel took Rolex over 35,000 hours to develop and contain parts made by UV-LiGA micro-manufacturing. The Oyster bracelet on the Yacht-Master II is made from the same 904L Oystersteel. The 3 piece Oyster bracelet contains polished inner and brushed outer lugs to give it the classic 2-tone look. A folding Oysterlock safety clasp holds the watch on the wrist and the Easylink extension adds added comfort.

Webb has been on WOTW before, wearing a Rolex Daytona, and it is great to see him back. Winning a PGA Tour event has to be one of the best Father’s Day gifts anyone could get, but a Yacht-Master II would be a close second.

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WOTW: Daniel Berger’s Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in Everose Gold

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Daniel Berger won the first PGA Tour event after a long hiatus, the Charles Schwab Challenge. It took one hole in a playoff against Collin Morikawa to pull out the win.

Daniel put on the winning red plaid jacket and on his wrist looked to be a Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in Everose gold with a black Oysterflex rubber strap.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Yacht-Master 40
Reference: 126655-0002
Year: 2019
Limited: No
Case: Everose Gold
Bezel: Black Cerachrom Ceramic
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3235, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Oysterflex rubber strap
Price: $27,300


The Yacht-Master is Rolex’s sport watch that is more luxurious than the “tool watch” Submariner and Sea-Dweller. Its design is still inspired by the sea and boating, but Rolex tends to include precious metals more frequently. The first Yacht-Master prototypes were created in the ’60s but a retail version didn’t hit stores until 1992. Those first Yacht-Masters were crafted in 18ct yellow gold and sported the chunkier bezel with large 60-minute markers. The current Yacht-Master line-up is larger consisting of 37, 40, and 42-millimeter sizes, many different precious metals, and even a Yacht-Master II that includes timing features for sailing.

Berger’s Yacht-Master 40 was updated in 2019 to include the Rolex 3135 movement and a new clasp with Glidelock. Without looking at the clasp or opening up the watch, there is only one small way to tell the difference from the 2018 version and that is a small Rolex crown between the “Swiss Made” text at the 6 o’clock position on the face.

Berger’s Yacht-Master 40 is crafted from Rolex’s own 18ct Everose gold. Their rose gold has been engineered and created in their own foundry to be corrosion resistant and to hold its color for generations. Everose gold is used through the entire 40mm case as well as the screw-down case back. At 3 o’clock, the case has protruding crown protection and the Everose gold crown is Triplock sealed to give the Yacht-Master 40 a 100-meter water resistance rating.

The iconic Yacht-Master bezel is made of Everose gold and contains a black Cerachrom ceramic insert. Cerachrom is ultra scratch-resistant, lightweight, and will resist fading from UV rays. The bezel is uni-directional and contains raised polished numerals and graduations. The matte black dial and Chromalight luminescent hour markers make reading the Yacht-Master 40 easy, even at night. Those hour markers and watch hands are all crafted from the same 18ct Everose gold and polished for years of shine and luster.

A sapphire crystal protects the dial and has a magnifying cyclops lens over the date at 3 o’clock. Inside the Yacht-Master 40 is Rolex’s own 3235 self-winding automatic movement with an impressive 70 hours of power reserve. The 3235 has 31 jewels and Rolex’s own Parachrom hairspring for more efficiency. The Paraflex shock absorbers help reduce the effects of shocks and vibration on the movement.

The Oysterflex rubber strap is connected to the case with a titanium and nickel blade that is molded into the rubber. Much of the rubber strap has metal “blades” inside it to increase durability as well as comfort. The Oysterflex band is had a cushioning system that helps the watch comfortably stay in place on your wrist. Rolex’s own Oysterclasp is made from Everose gold and contains the new Glidelock system to allow size adjustments without tools. The Glidelock allows 15mm of total adjustment in increments of 2.5mm.

It is great to see the PGA Tour back in action and finishing in a playoff couldn’t have been scripted better. Daniel Berger is a great young player who actually can pull off the red plaid jacket…or maybe it was the Rolex Yacht-Master 40.

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