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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: Adam Scott’s Rolex GMT-Master II “Root Beer”

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Adam Scott was wearing what looked to be a Rolex GMT-Master II watch in stainless steel and rose gold on Sunday. Riviera played tough for the final group at the Genesis Invitational yesterday, but Adam Scott shot one-under for the day to win by two strokes. It was Scott’s first win since 2016, and he was excited to hold that silver trophy while wearing his “Root Beer” Rolex GMT-Master II (ref 126711chnr-0002) in steel and rose gold.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex GMT-Master II “Root Beer”
Reference: 126711chnr-0002
Case: 904L Oystersteel and Everose Gold
Bezel: Bi-Color Cerachrom Ceramic Everose Gold
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3285, 31 Jewels
Power reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Water resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Everose Rolesor
Price: $14,800

Rolex is the biggest name in watches, and currently, there is a waiting list for most of their popular models. In the 1950s, Rolex created the GMT-Master for pilots who were looking to track multiple time zones. The GMT-Master was durable, precise, and had a versatile appearance that has made it such a popular timepiece. Rolex is so obsessed with the quality of its timepieces that they created their own alloys in their own foundries to make sure these metals are up to spec. This watch contains a few of those metals: Oystersteel, Everose Gold, and Everose Rolesor. Osytersteel is a 904L stainless steel that has been formulated to eliminate corrosion as well as hold a fantastic polish. Everose Gold is an 18ct gold alloy that again is made to hold its color through the harsh conditions of everyday wear. Everose Rolesor is the use of both Oystersteel and Everose Gold in harmony with each other.

Adam Scott’s GMT-Master II was introduced in 2018 and gets its “Root Beer” nickname from the brown and black ceramic bezel. That bezel is crafted from 18 ct Everose gold and is bidirectional for use with the GMT function. You can turn the dial to set the additional time zone and is read with the engraved 24-hour numerals. Inside the bezel is a black dial that is surrounded by Everose hour markers with matching Everose hands that will resist tarnishing. Those hour markers are filled with Chromalight for a blue luminescence that will last hours making reading them in low light a simple task.

All that is covered by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with a cyclops magnifying lens over the date at 3 o’clock. The 40mm Oyster case is made from Everose Rolesor and contains a monobloc middle case, a screw-down case back, and a triple lock screw-down crown for a water resistance rating of 100m. The GMT Master-II contains Rolex’s COSC Certified 3285 self-winding automatic movement. The 3285 features 31 jewels, 70 hours of power reserve, and Rolex’s patented Chronergy escapement for better efficiency. The movement is made from mostly nickel-phosphorus so that magnetic fields have little effect on the precision of the timekeeping. The Oyster bracelet on the “Root Beer” GMT is crafted from Everose Rolesor and has a two-tone finish with Everose gold center links. The folding Oyster lock clasp carries the matching two-tone finish and Rolex’s Easylink adjustment.

Adam has been a long-time Rolex ambassador and tends to wear quite a few different models. This “Root Beer” GMT is undoubtedly my favorite of his collection. The two-tone bezel goes perfect with the rose gold and gives the GMT a subtle flashiness that isn’t easy to pull off. Congratulations to Adam on his win, it was great to see him celebrate with a (root) beer!

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WOTW: Webb Simpson’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Black Ceramic

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Webb Simpson was wearing what looked like a Rolex Daytona Black Ceramic watch after his win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Webb birdied the last two holes of regulation to tie Tony Finau and force a playoff. On the first playoff hole, Webb made birdie and hoisted the crystal trophy high in the air wearing one of the hottest and most sought-after watches on the planet: the Rolex Daytona.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Black Ceramic
Reference: 116500ln-0002
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Cerachrom Ceramic / Stainless Steel
Size: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 4130, 44 Jewels
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: 904L Oystersteel
Price: $13,150 (Market value: $20,000+)

The Rolex Daytona was introduced the first “Daytona” in 1955 under the simple name of “Chronograph”. In 1963 Rolex created the Cosmograph (Ref: 6239) and nicknamed the watch “Daytona” to show affiliation with the now-famous auto race. The 6239 Daytona was famously worn by Paul Newman, a celebrity and racer, for so long that they are now referred to as “Paul Newman” Daytonas. Those Paul Newman Daytonas now trade for over $100,000 depending on condition and other factors. Currently, there is a waiting list of a few years to get your hands on a Rolex Daytona at retail. To buy one right now, you will have to pay about $7,000-plus above the $13,150 retail price.

The current Rolex Daytona (ref: 116500ln-0002) debuted in 2016 and has taken on the nickname of “Ceramic” because of the proprietary Cerachrom Ceramic bezel. This is a tribute to the 1965 Daytona that also had a black bezel but made from much less scratch-resistant Plexiglass. The Daytona’s 40mm case is made from Rolex’s own 904L Oystersteel that is much more corrosion resistant than standard stainless steel. Oystersteel was created by Rolex to make sure that it would maintain its luxurious look in even the harshest environments.

On the side of the case are three pushers for working the chronograph that screw down when not in use. This screw down system for the pushers helps give the Daytona its 100-meter waterproof rating. At the heart of the Daytona is Rolex’s own 4130 movement. This self-winding mechanical chronograph movement was developed, and built, in house by Rolex. It contains 44 jewels, a substantial 72 hours of power reserve, and features a Parachrom hairspring for resistance to shocks and temperature changes. Like all Rolex movements, it is certified by the COSC to ensure its extreme accuracy.

The black dial has sub-dials that are silver and black for easy reading while driving. On the outside of the dial are polished hour makers filled with a long-lasting Chromolight luminescent material that can also be found in the hour and minute hands. Covering and protecting the dial is a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The Oyster bracelet is made from the same 904L Oystersteel as the case. The steel bracelet is 2-tone with the center links being polished to a mirror-like finish and outlined by finely brushed links. A folding Oysterlock clasp locks the bracelet to your wrist while Rolex’s Easylink extension allows for 5mm of adjustment without the use of tools.

Rolex 4130 Self-Winding Automatic Movement

I always enjoy seeing a tournament go to a playoff, and congrats to Webb not only winning the Waste Management but also getting his hands on a very coveted watch! I am willing to bet he didn’t have to put his name on the waiting list very long to get his Black Ceramic Daytona!

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WOTW: Brian Knudson’s Seiko Orange Monster Dive watch

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Some weeks, I think players are out to sabotage me and this column by not wearing watches! This week the winners on the PGA and European Tour decided to go without a timepiece, so I had to go with a lesser-known watch wearer…me! I am also going to write this in the third person (deal with it). So, here is GolfWRX staff member Brian Knudson’s Gen 1 Seiko Orange Monster (ref: SKX781).

WOTW Specs

Watch: Seiko Monster Diver
Reference: SKX781
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Orange
Size: 43mm
Movement: 7S26-0350, 21 Jewels
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Glass: Hardlex Glass
Water Resistance: 200 Meters
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Price: $300

Seiko was started way back in 1881 by a young man named Kintaro Hattori in Tokyo. He repaired and sold clocks and watches until 1892 when he opened his factory making his own clocks. Three years later he created his first pocket watch and in 1913 built his first wristwatches, under the Laurel name. This was also the first wristwatch made in Japan and before it, there were very few wristwatches imported to the country.

Seiko made its first dive watch in 1965 and in 2000 released a new dive watch that was nicknamed “Monster” on forums and websites. The Monster was available with either a black or orange dial, with the orange becoming one of the most recognizable dive watches on the planet. The Orange Monster is a great value tool watch that can stand up to just about anything you can throw at it. These aren’t rare watches and Seiko made this model for well over a decade, so you can still get them at a fair price on the secondary market.

Monsters are somewhat large at 43mm but not too overwhelming on even the average-sized wrist. The 43mm case is made from stainless steel and really only contributes to about half of the bulky 14mm watch height. The case has a groove pattern that matches the large toothy bezel as well as bezel protection from 3:30 to 7:30 and 10:30 to 1:30. The ratcheting bezel is also made from a matching stainless steel but finished in a glare-reducing brushed finish. The large groves, or teeth, make using the bezel easy to do underwater while wearing gloves.

The Orange Monster has a crown that is down at the 4 o’clock position, instead of traditionally being at 3, and is protected by steel extensions of the case sometimes called shoulders. Add in a stainless steel screw-down case back and all this armor give the Monsters a significant water resistance rating of 200m. Inside the steel case is a Seiko 7S26 self-winding automatic movement containing 21 jewels and has about a 40-hour power reserve. This workhorse movement is very durable and has decent accuracy for this price range.

The orange dial is of course what gives this watch its name and it is surrounded by blocks of luminescent material that mark the hours. The block markers are one of the main design features of the 1st generation Monsters and the next version had a pointed design that looked like a shark tooth. The hands are finished in black and filled with a hefty amount of the same luminescent material. The SKX781 also includes not just the date at 3 o’clock but also the day. Covering the dial is glass that Seiko has called Hardlex and is very scratch resistant.

Orange Monsters come with either a rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. This Monster started out life with the ribbed rubber strap with the Seiko diver logo on it, but after going through a couple of those, it was switched out for the stainless bracelet. The solid link bracelet features a 2-button folding clasp with a safety lock and an extension for use with a wetsuit.

I know this isn’t the celebrity watch sighting that you were hoping for this week, but maybe it is the watch sighting you need? This will also probably be the cheapest timepiece we ever feature on WOTW. Maybe one day Knudson will save a couple of nickels and upgrade, but until then the Orange Monster will be the star of his videos.

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