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!
WOTW: Hideki Matsuyama’s Rolex Submariner Date in Blue and 18ct Gold
Hideki Matsuyama is the 2021 Masters champion after an exciting round on Sunday. His round got a little shaky on the back nine, but he held on for a one-stroke win. Former champion Dustin Johnson put the green jacket on Hideki, who was wearing a very nice two-tone Rolex Submariner in blue and 18ct gold after his win!
Watch: Rolex Submariner Date
Date: 2013 – 2020
Case: 904L Oystersteel
Bezel: Blue Cerachrom Ceramic
Dial: Sunburst Royal Blue
Movement: Rolex 3135, 31 Jewels
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal Cyclops Lens
Waterproof: 300 Meters
Bracelet: 18ct Gold and Oystersteel
If you say the word “watch” to someone, I am willing to bet that majority of people will picture a Rolex Submariner in their head. The Submariner, or Sub as it is nicknamed, is THE sport watch to own in the watch world. It has influenced watch design for decades and could be considered one of the most historical watch lines ever produced.
The Submariner was officially released to the public in 1954 after years of prototyping and testing. Rolex had waterproof watches back in 1926, but the Sub was born from the needs of professional and recreational divers. Diving was getting very popular after the war and many divers were looking for watches that could handle deeper depths. The Submariner in stainless steel and black is one of the most classic and sought-after sport watches in the world right now, but Rolex also offers more luxurious versions.
Hideki’s Sub is crafted from Rolex’s Rolesor, a combination of 904L Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold. Each of those alloys comes from Rolex’s own foundries where they control the metals to make sure they meet the rigorous demands of everyday wear and use underwater.
I believe Hideki is wearing the previous Sub that was released in 2013 and discontinued in 2020, since I have seen it on his wrist in many photos over the years. The reference 116613 has a case that is 40mm, compared to the 41mm in the current Sub, and made from 904L Oystersteel.
The case contains a screw-down back and a Triplock screw-down crown to give the watch a 300-meter waterproof rating. The bezel is crafted from yellow gold and contains a blue Cerachrom ceramic insert with 60-minute graduations etched into it. Those graduations are filled with gold paint that contains actual gold for a long-lasting luster that won’t fade. The dial is Royal Blue and finished with a sunburst effect to shimmer in the sunlight. The hour markers are large and done in matching yellow gold, filled with Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent material for easy reading even underwater.
There is a date window at 3 o’clock that changes over instantly at midnight. Less expensive, and precise, movements start to change as midnight approaches and the date becomes off-center in the window. Rolex’s date windows stay perfectly centered until the stroke of midnight where they change over faster than you can blink. Inside is Rolex’s own 3135 self-winding, automatic movement. The 3135 is COSC certified as an Official Swiss Chronometer and gives the wearer 48 hours of power reserve. This movement contains Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring, offering resistance to shocks and temperature changes. The bracelet is Rolex’s Oyster, made from flat 3 piece links with an Oysterlock safety clasp. The outer links are made from brushed Oystersteel while the center links are made from 18ct yellow gold.
It was a great weekend for Hideki to get his first career major. The green jacket looks good on him, and I think everyone is excited to see what he does in the future. I would like to see him add a few watches to his collection, maybe a new 2021 Datejust with an olive green palm dial?
WOTW: Jordan Spieth’s Rolex Daytona Oysterflex in White Gold
Jordan Spieth is a winner again after winning the Valero Texas Open! It has been over 1,300 days since he last won, and I think we are all happy to see him playing at this level again! After his fantastic win, he put on the legendary black cowboy boots while wearing a white gold Rolex Daytona with an Oysterflex strap!
Watch: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Date: 2017 – Present
Case: 18ct White Gold
Dial: Steel and Black
Bezel: Black Cerachrom Ceramic
Size: 40 mm
Movement: Rolex 4130, 44 Jewels
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Black Oysterflex
I said it 3 weeks ago when Justin Thomas was wearing a Rolex Daytona, and I will say it again here, the Rolex Daytona is the hottest watch on the planet right now! Watch enthusiasts and collectors all over the world are either waiting years for one or paying the substantial premium on the secondary market for one of these sport watches.
The Daytona was originally released as the Chronograph back in 1955 and it was far from popular with customers. In 1963 Rolex officially changed the name to Daytona as it coincided with their sponsorship of the famous auto race. Some of the oldest and rarest Daytona models can fetch $100,000 to over $1,000,000 depending on the model and condition.
Jordan’s Daytona is the reference 116519LN crafted from 18ct white gold. That 40mm white gold case is Rolex’s own alloy that was crafted to hold its lustrous color through years of everyday wear. This Daytona doesn’t share the mirrored high shine finish like its stainless steel siblings, but more of a warmer tone that lets you know it is something special. The iconic bezel is made from black Cerachrom ceramic that features a tachymeter scale filled with silver paint that contains actual platinum in it. The ceramic bezel is very lightweight and extremely scratch-resistant. The silver dial is called Steel and features a sunburst texture that allows light to reflect off it from every angle. The subdials are done in black for contrast and easy readying when using the chronograph. The hour markers on the outside of the dial are made from white gold, polished to perfection, and filled with Chromalight for a bright glow in low light. Inside the precious metal case is Rolex’s 4130 self-winding automatic movement. This movement was the first Daytona movement to be completely designed and built in-house by Rolex. Previous movements were made by Zenith and modified for use in the Daytona. The 4130 offers 72 hours of power and features Rolex’s classic blue Parachrom hairspring that offers shock and temperature resistance. The strap is Rolex’s Oysterflex made from black elastomer and titanium. Internally the rubber strap contains titanium “blades” that add durability while maintaining flexibility and comfort. The Osyterflex features the same Oysterlock safety clasp, with Easylink extension link, that the iconic steel or gold Oyster bracelet uses.
This is such a big win on so many levels. After the 2015 season that Jordan had, I don’t think too many of us expected a rough patch to last this long. It was great to see him win and get that weight off his shoulders right before the Masters. Keep the game sharp Jordan and don’t forget to wear something special—like a Hulk—at Augusta National!
WOTW: Billy Horschel’s Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Day GMT
Billy Horschel captured his sixth PGA Tour win at the WGC-Dell Match Play this weekend. He outlasted a tough field, including Scottie Scheffler, whom he beat 2&1 on Sunday.
You could tell that this win meant a lot to him after a three-year drought, and on his wrist looked to be his trusty Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Day GMT that he wore at his last win.
Watch: Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Day GMT
Date: 2009 – 2016
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Matte Black
Movement: Panerai P.9001, 29 Jewels
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 300 Meters
Bracelet: Caoutchouc Black Rubber
Price: $8,700 (Current ~$7,300)
Panerai isn’t a watch brand that we have featured on here very often. In fact, the only other time we have profiled one was this exact watch! Panerai is an Italian watch brand that was started back in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai. He not only owned a watch shop, but he also started Florence’s first watchmaking school. For many years Panerai watches were only available to military personnel. Fast forward to 1993 and this is when we see the first Panerai offered to the public, the Luminor.
The iconic Luminor has been the face of the Panerai brand since. The Luminor 1950 3 Day GMT is a large watch with a 44mm case made from stainless steel. On the right side of the case is the very famous, very large, and patented crown protector. This arch of stainless steel not only protects the crown from damage but is actually used to lock down the crown in order to give the 3 Day GMT a 300m water resistance rating. There is a lever built into the protector that opens to allow the crown to rotate in order to set the time, 2nd-time zone, or manually wind the watch.
The smooth bezel is made from matching stainless steel and contains a scratch-resistant, anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The dial is matte black and constructed using a sandwich technique. The 2 piece dial contains a layer that is filled with Super-LumiNova luminescent material. The top layer is matte black but the hour markers and numerals are cut out to allow that luminescent glow to shine through very bright. Panerai Luminor watches are highly regarded for their low-light glow.
Inside the 3 Day GMT is an in-house built P.9001 self-winding, automatic movement. The P.9001 contains 29 jewels and offers the wearer 72 hours, 3 days, of power reserve. This Panerai is a GMT and allows for the tracking of a second time zone for wearers like Billy who travel frequently. The back of the 3 Day GMT contains a sapphire crystal window to view that P.9001 movement and its power reserve gauge. This Luminor came with a crocodile leather strap with a stainless steel buckle, but it looks like Billy has changed that over to the Caoutchouc black rubber strap to hold this larger timepiece on his wrist.
I really want to see Billy in those octopus pants again, but since that probably isn’t going to happen, I would love to see him in a new watch or two. Hopefully, he can take a little of his winnings and put it towards another Panerai.
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