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Watching the watches: 6 players who wore timepieces on-court in Melbourne
From Rafael Nadal's staple Richard Mille to Donna Vekic's 'élégante' wrist watch, there was no expense spared when it comes to these accessories.
Published Jan 22, 2023
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Back in 2008, it took a monumental effort from watchmaker Richard Mille to convince Rafael Nadal to take the court wearing one of its ultra-light timepieces. Fast forward more than a decade, and Nadal is still wearing his signature watch during competition—and high-end watches have now become a staple of pro tennis attire.
It used to be part of a winning player’s post-match routine to swap out a sweaty wristband for a luxury Rolex before waving to the crowd or lifting the trophy, all while posing strategically in front of a scrum of photographers.
But with watches becoming ever more lightweight and durable—and with many ATP and WTA players earning disproportionately more of their income through sponsorships—watchmakers are keen to claim precious real estate on tennis pros’ wrists on and off the court.
From Nadal's staple Richard Mille to Donna Vekic's 'élégante' accessory, here are six tennis players who rocked their watches at the 2023 Australian Open:
This ultra-thin watch is made of Grade 5 titanium, weighs only 50 grams and retails for $19,000.00 USD.
Brooksby has been sponsored by Gerald Charles, an independent Swiss watchmaker, since 2022.
The FP Journe Elegante retails for approximately $47,500 USD (boutique only).
Vekic has been a longtime partner of F. P. Journe, a rare independent Swiss watchmaker still based in Geneva.
Since 2010, the 22-time Grand Slam winner has been wearing ultra-light, ultra-thin watches by Richard Mille during his tennis matches.
In Melbourne, Nadal wore his signature RM 27-04 Tourbillion with a white strap.
Only 50 pieces were produced by Richard Mille in 2020, in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the brand's partnership with Nadal.
The RM 27-04's estimated market price now sits somewhere around $2,300,000 USD.
The American keeps it all in the family, and he joined his sister, champion golfer Nelly Korda, as a Richard Mille ambassador in 2022.
The 21-year-old has been wearing the RM 67-02 in Melbourne. It's the brand's lightest commercially available watch, weighing in at just 32 grams and retailing for approximately $300,000 USD.
The 27-year-old has been wearing Swedish watch brand Daniel Wellington since at least 2019—long before she lifted her first Grand Slam trophy at the 2021 French Open.
In Melbourne, Krejcikova stuck to her go-to style wearing the brand's Classic Southampton in stainless steel.
Likely the most affordable timepiece on this list, the watch retails for $209 USD.
Bonus: Novak Djokovic
While he rarely wears a watch during matches, a custom version of Hublot's Big Bang Meca-10 has become a staple of Djokovic's off-court attire.
The watch features a microblasted and polished blue ceramic case with matching blue-colored rubber straps and a skeletonized dial.