Since American pro golfer Bubba Watson and high horology brand founder Richard Mille first connected 12 years ago in 2010, the partnership has led to the creation of four timepieces bearing the former’s name. These include one of our all-time favourite Richard Mille models, the RM 55, with its highly skeletonised, minimalist titanium movement. The fourth and latest timepiece inspired by the sportsman is the RM 38-02 Tourbillon Bubba Watson, which cemented itself among our most-loved RM models the moment we laid eyes on it.

Richard Mille Bubba Watson RM 38-02

The first thing you’ll notice about this 50-piece limited edition is its abundance of pink accents. By the way, they are a bright, candy pink — no subtle shades of blush here. Many are going to hate it, and a good number are going to love it. Consider us in the latter camp, together with Watson. If you are a golf fan, you’ll probably know that pink is the golfer’s signature hue. 

In the press notes for the RM 38-02, Watson shares of the colour: “My obsession with pink started when I was a child. Payne Stewart was my favourite golfer. He stood out from the crowd, not only because of the way he played, but because of (his elegant and retro style clothes). When I was turning pro, I wanted to stand out too, so I decided to do something no one had done before: I put a pink shaft on my club. It was basically just to be funny. Ever since, pink has been my thing. It’s on my clubs, my golf balls, my signature driver, my clothing.”

(Related: Richard Mille’s new tourbillons are true showstoppers)

Curved and tapered towards the ends, the asymmetrical case of the RM 38-02 features a bezel and caseback made from pink and white Quartz TPT, as well as a caseband combining layers of black Carbon TPT and pink Quartz TPT. Exclusive to Richard Mille, Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT are made of thin layers of carbon or silica threads, respectively, that are arranged in a single direction. Each layer is set with resin, and is modified by a special machine that changes the orientation of the fibres between each layer by 45 degrees. For Quartz TPT, the silica layers are interlaced with layers of Carbon TPT. In this material, specially developed coloured resins give rise to distinctive colours, such as the bright, saturated pink seen in the RM 38-02.

Carbon TPT is also the material of choice for the baseplate, a key component of the manual-winding movement. The material’s hardness makes it a challenge for the brand to machine and skeletonise. To ensure that skeletonisation did not compromise its mechanical properties, the baseplate was tested extensively, ensuring the movement can withstand shocks of up to 10,000 g’s — or Watson’s signature powerful swing, which has a top recorded speed of 125.78 mph (202 kmh).

Richard Mille Bubba Watson RM 38-02 baseplate

This baseplate supports grade 5 titanium bridges, which in turn hold the gears and the tourbillon. Made of grade 5 titanium and painted pink (of course), two rods pass through the movement on both sides, adding dynamism and more of Watson’s favourite colour.

Measuring 43.7mm by 50.04mm, with a thickness of 15.95mm, this timepiece is classic RM in terms of its comfy fit, thanks to its ergonomic curvature and light weight. It’s a cool evolution of the colourful (and still highly technical) timepieces that the brand has been creating, and offers a striking, Raspberry Ripple-esque variation on the enduringly popular summery white watch.

The airy architecture of the movement, and details such as the perforations at the edges of the bezel, complement the lightness of the palette. Even more than that, however, what we like most is how all this lightness belies the technical know-how that made it possible.

Richard Mille Bubba Watson RM 38-02

(Related: This is the safest place to rehome your old Richard Mille)

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