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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: Viktor Hovland’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked

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Viktor Hovland’s watch was what looked to be an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked after winning the Mayakoba Classic. Viktor made birdie on 18 Sunday to capture the win over Aaron Wise. The Mayakoba was Viktor’s second win on the PGA Tour and he was grinning ear-to-ear while holding up that chameleon trophy.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked
Reference: 15407ST.OO.1220ST.01
Year: 2016 – Present
Limited: No
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Slate Grey Openworked
Size: 41mm
Movement: Calibre 3132, 38 Jewels
Power Reserve: 45 Hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 50 Meters
Bracelet: Stainless steel
Price: $55,100 (secondary market: ~$110,000)

Hovland joined the very talented Audemars Piguet “Golf Dream Team” last year in July. But being new on the AP team didn’t stop him from wearing a very special piece! Audemars Piguet has been a big part of golf for years now, partnering with some of the biggest names in golf.

The Royal Oak has been the crown jewel in the Audemars Piguet line since 1972. Audemars Piguet’s Openworked is their take on skeleton dial where you can see the movement. AP has been making an Openworked model since 2010 and this current version since 2016.

The first thing you notice on this Royal Oak is the view of the beautiful movement in place of a traditional dial. The Calibre 3132 is built in-house by AP and contains 245 parts. Just about every slate grey, silver, and pink gold part of the 3132 are hand finished. The other big story of the 3132 is the double balance wheels and dual balance springs. The two are set against each other to self-regulate by reducing the force against the sides of the jewels.

The case on Viktor’s Royal Oak is 41mm and made from stainless steel, but is also fairly thin and just under 10mm tall. The bezel is of course the iconic Audemars Piguet octagon that is held down by 8 hex screws. The back of the case features a display window to view the back of the 3132 and its pink gold self-winding rotor.

That display window is made from the same sapphire crystal that the front of the watch uses. Surrounding the skeleton dial are pink gold hour markers and matching hour, minute, and second hands filled with luminescent material for reading in low light. The Royal Oak bracelet is crafted from stainless steel and comes together with a folding clasp with an AP logo. There is also an all pink gold version of this watch, that I personally love, for an additional $27,000.

Viktor Hovland is one of the young players that will be the future of the PGA Tour and it was great to see him get another win. I know we will see more of him winning and hopefully more beautiful watches on his wrist!

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WOTW: Christiaan Bezuidenhout’s IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42

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With the PGA Tour off this week, we head to South Africa for the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Local South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout won by 4 strokes over Richard Bland for his 2nd European Tour win! Christiaan held the feline-inspired trophy with a very beautiful IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 in stainless steel on his wrist.

WOTW Specs

Watch: IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42
Reference: IW344203
Year: 2020
Limited: No
Case: Stainless Steel
Dial: White Chronograph, Moonphase
Size: 42.4mm
Movement: 82650 Calibre, 46 Jewels
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 30 Meters
Bracelet: Santoni Black Alligator Strap
Price: $22,900

IWC. International Watch Company, was founded in 1868 by American engineer Florentine Ariosto Jones. He moved to Switzerland and purchased some of the most modern equipment with the idea of creating precision timepieces for the American market.

The Portugieser is one of the most iconic names under the IWC brand. Christiaan has on what looked like the Perpetual Calendar version of the legendary watch. A perpetual calendar is one of the most complicated movements to develop in the watch world. IWC’s 82650 Calibre movement will keep track of the time, date, day, month, leap year, and moon phase for the next 577 years! That means that you only have to set the watch one time, as long as you keep it wound, and it will accommodate all the different days of the months and leap years by itself.

The 82650 is a self-winding automatic movement with 60 hours of power reserve and containing 46 jewels. All the parts that are subject to any stress are crafted out of ceramic for its wear-free durability. The stainless steel case is finished in a perfect mirror polish and has a very classical look. It is 42.4mm with a sapphire crystal display back so you can admire that 82650 movement.

The dial on the Portugieser is done in a brilliant white and is finished with polished gold hour markers and hands. The subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock show the date and the day while the bottom subdial shows the month and contains the moon phase dial. The dial is covered by a large domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on each side.

The strap on the Portugieser is crafted out of black alligator leather by Santoni. Santoni has been a luxury leather crafter for many years and is known for its very high-end craftsmanship.

It was great to still be able to watch a little golf while the PGA Tour was off. I want to give a huge congratulations to Christiaan on his second win, and I love the fact that he was wearing such a classy IWC Portugieser on his wrist. They aren’t watches that you see every day, and that makes you appreciate them that much more.

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WOTW Special Edition: Masters champion Dustin Johnson’s partnership with Hublot Watches

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This past Sunday, Dustin Johnson won the Masters in historic fashion, setting the tournament scoring record with an impressive 20 under par final tally. As is the tradition at the Masters, Dustin received his green jacket from the previous year’s winner, Tiger Woods, and on DJ’s wrist was his usual timepiece, a Hublot Big Bang Chronograph “Beverly Hills.”

Dustin and Hublot formed their partnership back in 2017, but it wasn’t as simple as just shaking hands, signing a check, and putting DJ’s face in some ads. While doing research to find information on Dustin’s very rare Hublot watch—one of only 25 pieces in the world—I was fortunate enough to get in contact with his long-time manager, David Winkle. Being a fellow fan of watches, David was kind enough to put me in touch with a contact at Hublot who identified the limited edition piece on Dustin’s wrist. 

David also kindly offered to give me some details and peek behind the curtain of how the partnership between Dustin and Hublot came to be. As a fan of both golf and watches, you can imagine that it took me less than a second to say “Yes!”

But before we get to that, here are the specs of DJ’s favorite piece.

WOTW Specs

Watch: Hublot Big Bang Chronograph “Beverly Hills”
Reference: 301.KX.1779.LR.BHB17
Limited: Yes, 25 Pieces
Date: 2017
Case:  Tungsten
Bezel: Tungsten
Dial: Blue Carbon Fiber
Size: 44mm
Movement: HUB4100
Power Reserve: 42 Hours
Glass: Anti-reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Alligator and Blue Rubber
Price: Unknown

David Winkle, CEO of Hambric Sports and Dustin’s manager, has had the fortune of watching DJ grow up in golf, following him since he was a promising college player. From early on, he knew that Dustin was going to be a superstar on the PGA Tour, not only because he had incredible talent on the golf course, but because of the way he was always true to himself. 

Early on, Dustin showed that he was a little different than other golfers around him, having fantastic taste and a more advanced understanding of fashion and style at such a young age. But watch partnerships are very coveted and actually harder to put in place than one might think. Partnerships between companies have to be the right fit, and that doesn’t mean just the monetary amounts—style and being part of the athletes expression of themselves are major factors. Equally, brands are looking for partners that they can try new advertising ideas with and who are open to being a part of their culture. 

The “holy grail” of partnerships is one where you have a great, established brand that the athlete loves and the brand really loves the athlete. Dustin and Hublot found that perfect match, and from what David told me, Dustin has even become friends with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. 

Talks with Hublot started in 2014 as Dustin was a fan of their brand and loved the unique style that Hublot was offering in its watches. Nothing materialized from the initial discussion—and that frequently happens in these deals. Timing is such a big part of a watch partnership, and for the next two years, it just wasn’t right and no deal was signed. David told me that the issues in timing usually consist of brand initiatives, finances, and athlete status in their sport. 

Fast forward to 2016, and Dustin starts off the year playing very well and wins his first major championship, the U.S. Open at Oakmont. At the same time a good friend of David’s started working as a consultant for Hublot, so the two started talking again about a partnership. Dustin finally signed a deal with Hublot in 2017 to become an ambassador for the brand. Dustin loved that he got along so well with the executives and was open to being a part of the company’s advertising plan—when Hublot introduced the Big Bang UNICO Golf watch in Shanghai, Dustin was a huge part of the product launch.

Dustin and Hublot have found that perfect, “holy grail” partnership that so many athletes hope to land. It has to help to have a match-maker like David Winkle, who has been in the sports management world for 34 years, helping guide Dustin to these opportunities.

Now, how about that Hublot Spirit of Big Bang King Pave that he was wearing at the pre-Masters interview!

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