I've stayed out of the whole "Rafa's Gonna Wear an Expensive Watch!?!? ZOMG?!?!" fray because, honestly, I don't really give a shit. It's a sponsorship deal. He didn't buy the watch for crying out loud. Feli just signed with Jaeger LeCoultre. Ana wears a $12,000 Rolex. Fed's is probably more than that. I don't see it as a character flaw.
But I thought this tidbit from Boyfriend's Mailbag was interesting. Miguel Seabra, a tennis and fancy watch expert (no really), weighs in on the whole brouhaha:
Hi there, colleague!
Regarding the Nadal watch issue: as a specialized tennis & watch journalist (I'm the only one editing a tennis and a watch magazine), my take is you missed the point regarding Nadal's new timepiece and what the sponsorship represents.
For one, Rafa's not paying those $525,000 dollars (of course) and that particular watch is not an expensive exercise of futility; Nadal's intense style of play provides an excellent test to Richard Mille experimental technology (just like Felipe Massa wears a Richard Mille while driving a Formula 1 car under immense trepidation). Secondly, Richard Mille is not a bling brand; it's a highly technical avantgarde watchmaker and that watch is not about the $525,000 price tag at all -- it's about the complex technique & spacelab material! ....The irony: a 'straightforward' character like Rafa endorses a highly complex watch by a ultra-prestigious niche brand (Richard Mille) while 'sophisticated' Roger is sponsored by a worldwide known luxury brand that produces uncomplicated timepieces (Rolex).
He's been practicing with the watch, supposedly he should start playing official matches with it at Roland Garros. But will he? Players and especially champions are creatures of habit...
I think the more interesting angle of this story is whether wearing the watch during play is going to bother Rafa. Brad Gilbert was talking about it yesterday. It's one thing for someone with a one-handed backhand to wear one (Justine used to), it's another for a two-handed backhander to wear one (though Caro used to). Add to that the fact that Rafa is right handed but plays tennis left-handed. Which arm do you put it on? Typically you wear watches on your non-writing/non-dominant hand. So...yeah. We'll see, I guess.