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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: Justin Thomas’ Rolex Sea-Dweller from the FedEx St. Jude Invitational

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Justin Thomas worked his way up from being five strokes down on the start of Sunday to win the FedEx St. Jude Invitational. His final-round 65 was more than enough as he won by three strokes and he notched third win of the modified season. After the win, JT held that WGC trophy up with a big smile on his face and a Rolex Sea-Dweller in stainless steel on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Sea-Dweller
Reference: 126600-0001
Limited: No
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Cerachrom Ceramic
Size: 43mm
Movement: Rolex 3235, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Waterproof: 1,220 Meters (4,000ft)
Helium Escape Valve
Bracelet: 904L Oystersteel
Price: $11,700

JT was wearing the same Sea-Dweller that he has worn a few times in previous wins. He wore this same watch back in January when he won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in a playoff with Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller is the big brother to Rolex’s most recognizable dive watch, the Submariner. Sea-Dwellers are extremely rugged and capable dive watches that were first introduced in 1967. Those first Sea-Dwellers where also the first dive watches available to the public with a helium escape valve. Since then the Sea-Dweller has gone through a few versions with updates to its water resistance rating as well as mechanical movement. The Sea-Dweller is water-resistant to 1,220m (4,000ft), making it more than capable for any dive that a human could put it through. The Helium Escape Valve allows high-pressure gases to escape, saving the movement, when diving to extreme depths.

The Sea-Dweller’s main protection from extreme water pressure is its 904L Oystersteel case. Rolex’s Oystersteel is their own stainless steel alloy that resists corrosion better than traditional stainless steel. The case is 43mm, about 3mm larger than the Submariner, and contains Rolex’s 3235 self-winding, automatic movement. The 3235 contains 31 jewels and offers an impressive 70 hours of power reserve. All Rolex movements are COSC certified for precision and Rolex actually demands that its movements are twice that accurate.

After certification, Rolex tests the accuracy on their own high-end equipment to ensure that precision even after casing. Covering the 3235 is a black dial with larger hands and hour markers filled with Rolex’s Chromalight for easy reading in dark conditions. Rolex’s Chromalight is said to last up to 8 hours, twice as long as standard luminescent, and glows a distinct blue color.

The Sea-Dweller dial features the date at 3 o’clock and there is a cyclops lens above it to magnify the numbers for easy reading. The Oyster bracelet holding this timepiece to your wrist is made from solid links of matching 904L Oystersteel and features a Fliplock extension link to easily fit over a wetsuit. Rolex’s Glidelock system is also included so you are able to adjust the band without tools a few millimeters for that perfect fit.

Congrats to JT on his third win of the season, current No.1 ranking on the FedEx Cup points list, and No. 1 ranking in the world. He is such a fun player to watch and a fan favorite. I hope he has a great finish to the year and we can maybe see something new on his wrist!

JT, I suggest an Everose “Rootbeer” GMT-Master II, if you happen to read this…

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WOTW: Michael Thompson’s Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300M “Alabama”

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Michael Thompson won his second PGA Tour event in seven years this weekend, battling for the 3M Open. He emotionally explained how much this win meant to him and his family after the round and held that crystal trophy in the air with what looked like a Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300M Quartz on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300M Quartz
Reference: WAP1112.BA0831
Date: 2013
Limited: No
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Size: 39mm
Movement: ETA F06.111 Quartz, 3 Jewels
Power Reserve: 3 Years
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 300 Meters
Price: $1,585

Tag Heuer is typically considered motorsport and racing-inspired luxury watch brand, but the Aquaracer is their dive watch line for water sports. The line started back in 1982 as the Heuer 2000 line and was renamed in 2005 as Tag Heuer moved away from numeral designations.

Thompson’s Aquaracer may not be the most expensive watch we have featured, but I am willing to bet it probably has the most sentimental value. His version features the University of Alabama printed at 6 o’clock and the “A” logo at 9 o’clock. This is typically something that is purchased after graduation as a gift or moments of the time and work put into graduating. Thompson went to Alabama after transferring from Tulane, who’s golf program was shut down after Hurricane Katrina.

University of Alabama logo on the current Aquaracer 300M

The 2013 Aquaracer has a 39mm case that was built from stainless steel. The solid, stainless steel caseback helps seal out water to its 300-meter water resistance rating. The caseback has an old diving helmet engraved into it to remind the wearer that this was was designed for use underwater. On top of the case is a unidirectional, stainless steel bezel with numerals for use in timing dives. The blue dial has a sunburst effect that shines in the sunlight to give this Swiss timepiece a more luxurious look. Hour markers are done in polished steel and filled with luminescent material for viewing in deep, dark water. The dial also features a date window at 3 o’clock but the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal omits a magnifying cyclops lens.

Inside the Aquaracer 300M is a quartz movement made by ETA, yes this watch is battery powered. The ETA F06.111 is a 3 jewel movement that should run for 3 years on a battery while keeping extremely accurate time! A stainless steel, 3 lug, bracelet holds the 300M on your wrist. The middle lugs are larger and machines at a more aggressive edge to give the appearance of a 2 tone look. A deployant clasp keeps the band secured, but I am a little surprised that it doesn’t add the fold-over latch for added security.

It was great to see Michael Thompson win his second tournament, knowing the hard work and perseverance that he went through to get it. This win gets him into majors as well as the FedEx Cup Playoffs with chances to win some big money. I hope he plays well and can take a little to buy another timepiece as a reward!

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WOTW: Jon Rahm’s Rolex Sky-Dweller in stainless steel and white gold

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Jon Rahm got to shake (fist bump) Jack’s hand and hoist the Memorial trophy up while wearing a Rolex Sky-Dweller in stainless steel. He won by three strokes and Muirfield and that win propelled him to #1 in the world.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller
Reference: 326934-0003
Limited: No
Case: Oystersteel 904L Stainless Steel
Bezel: White Gold Fluted Ring Command
Size: 42mm
Movement: Rolex 9001, 40 Jewels
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal (Cyclops lens over date)
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Oystersteel 904L Stainless Steel Oyster
Price: $14,800

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is a watch aimed at travelers. It was introduced in 2012. The Sky-Dweller stands out from other watches with its iconic dual time zone display. This off-center disk rotates to show the home time zone in a 24hr format while the hands show the current time zone. The Sky-Dweller also offers a unique integrated calendar. The day of the month is shown at 3 o’clock like most watches, but the month is marked in a contrasting rectangle above the numerals on the face. This way you don’t have to reset the date for months that are 28 or 30 days. The date system only requires one adjustment a year on the first of March. The date functions on the Sky-Dweller are very simple to adjust, just rotating the fluted Ring Command bezel counter-clockwise allows the date, local time, or reference time to be changed.

To handle all the time zones and dates, Rolex created the 9001 movement with 40 jewels and extra gears for those functions. The 9001 is a COSC certified movement with a 72-hour power reserve and is one of the more complicated movements Rolex has created. Rahm’s model has the blue dial that is protected by a Sapphire Crystal that is extremely scratch resistant. That crystal also has a cyclops lens over the date that magnifies those numbers, making them easier to read. The Sky-Dweller case and bracelet are made from Rolex’s Oystersteel, a 904L stainless steel that offers superior corrosion resistance. Oystersteel is harder to machine but offers a much more durable and consistent polish. The Sky-Dweller is water-resistant to 100 meters and offered in Stainless Steel, Yellow Gold, and Everose Gold.


I don’t know if Rahm could have asked for a better week on the course. Hopefully, we see this world number 1 winning again soon and wearing something new on the wrist!

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