Does the US Open Tennis Championships going on now in New York inspire you to get out on the courts? Or, if you’re not the tennis playing type, maybe you enjoy watching some of those famous tennis champions smashing the ball back-and-forth. Starting on Monday August 26th through Sunday September 8, 2019, you can witness some of the most advanced tennis playing ever, with 256 men and women tennis greats coming together to compete.
Partnering with the USTA as the Official Timepiece, Rolex will not only have clocks strategically placed throughout the stadium, but also will have a host of brand ambassadors participating in the tournament (which offers a $3.5 million prize split among the 16 men and 16 women with three match wins). It is not unusual for tennis legends to team with top watch brands as ambassadors. After all, it is a win/win situation for the brands and the athletes.
Rafael Nadal, for instance, gets to wear a $725,000 watch on his wrist – on and off the courts. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to witness a match he’s in, you will see the bright orange Richard Mille watch on his wrist. The only tennis championship champion who actually wears his watch on the court is Nadal, and that’s because as a Richard Mille brand ambassador he is required to wear his watch in play. This is because Richard Mille specifically creates a watch that can withstand the significant G forces and rugged pounding it is subjected to while on the wrist of a championship player. In the case of the RM27-03 watch Rafael Nadal wears, for instance, the movement within is inside a tiny cage that offers some play with the move of the wrist so that the caliber is not too rigid that it breaks. The watch has a host of other important features built in, as well. Nadal gets the watch; Richard Mille gets the exposure. Win/win.
The Swiss-born Career Grand Slam winner is a Rolex brand ambassador. He has been spotted wearing several different Rolex watches, including an approximately $12,000 two-tone Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 with a two-tone (steel and gold) Oyster bracelet. As mentioned, Rolex has been avidly involved in tennis for more than 40 years, hosting tennis tournaments such as the US Open, The Championships at Wimbledon, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros and more. Rolex’s roster of tennis stars spans from Federer to Milos Raonic, Jo-Willfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, Caroline Wozniacki, Angela Kerber and more – most of whom will be on the courts during the US Open.
Novak Djokovic is a brand ambassador for Seiko watches, and even has his own eponymous watch. The Seiko Astron Novak Djokovic Limited Edition watch is a GPS solar-powered piece perfect for world travel. The minute markers are a nod to the great tame, with the points system (Love, 15,30,40) used for four of the markers. Additionally, the UTC codes for the world timer feature four cities that host Grand Slam tournaments that Novak has won. His signature is engraved on the caseback of the approximately $2,000 watch and just 1,500 pieces are being made. For those who love the written word and tennis, it is interesting to note that Djokovic recently teamed up with Montblanc, not for watches, but for a special collection of Novak Djokovic Special Edition StarWalker fineliner writing instruments, with the proceeds from the sale of the pieces going directly to the Novak Djokovic Foundation to support education for children. The writing instrument bears his signature, and is sold with a notebook that also bears his signature. Just 300 will be made.
Serena Williams has been an Audemars Piguet brand ambassador for some time now. I have been fortunate enough to have interviewed her, and I can honestly say she is passionate about the brand and watches, as well as tennis. (Ok, so probably not as much as tennis.) She has been seen wearing a host of different watches by the brand, including the approximately $30,000 white Royal Oak Offshore in 18-karat rose gold with diamonds and the brand’s Tapisserie dial motif. She was also seen wearing one of the brand’s unique high-jewelry watches.
Another interesting female tennis star to watch is Romanian Simona Halep. A “friend of the brand” for Hublot, Halep recently won her second Grand Slam title. While she wears a few different Hublot watches, we’ve seen her in the nearly $20,000 Big Bang One Click Italia Independent Dark Blue Velvet watch (the One Click watches have interchangeable straps), and in an $18,800 Big Bang Sang Bleu Titanium watch.
Hoping all of these tennis stars perform as precisely as their watches do at the US Open Tennis Championships.
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