Wrist Watching: 4 Athletes’ Wristwatches At the 2020 Olympic Games In Tokyo From Omega, Richard Mille, And TAG Heuer
As our eagle-eyed spotter Nick Gould has remarked, not all sports are wristwatch friendly. But luckily there have been some athletes who have worn watches while competing, and he and I (well, mostly Nick) saw a few interesting timepieces competing along with their owners in the Olympics. Together, we present four wrists to have watched at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Irish golfer Rory McIlroy wore a wonderfully personal Omega thanks to the special message inscribed into its NATO strap: the name and birthdate of his daughter.
McIlroy, an Omega ambassador, sported the Aqua Terra 150 M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41 mm Ultra Light with the strap specially crafted by his sponsor. The case of this watch is extremely light at just 55 grams, which makes it particularly easy to wear by golfers and other athletes.
Its manually wound Caliber 8928 Ti with co-axial escapement is interesting too, and not just because of its METAS Master Chronometer certification ensuring precision. With bridges and a base plate in ceramized titanium, this movement contains the co-axial escapement invented by Dr. George Daniels, whose free-sprung balance Omega has modified with a silicon balance spring. The movement’s special elements are rounded out by resistance to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss and twin serially operating spring barrels that provide 72 hours’ worth of power reserve.
Like McIlroy, American-born Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis is an Omega ambassador.
The current world record holder in pole vaulting, 21-year-old Duplantis wore the same model as McIlroy during the Olympic Games in Tokyo minus the special strap.
Mutaz Essa Barshim
At 32 total grams in weight, the RM 67-02 is the lightest automatic watch in the Richard Mille collection thanks to its case made of Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT (for more on this material and how it’s used in watchmaking see Surprising Use Of Quartz: Richard Mille RM 011 Red TPT Quartz Automatic Flyback Chronograph).
And it has another exciting element that Richard Mille developed for this line: the elastic strap known at the company as the “comfort band.” The comfort band is presently worn by the athletes of the Richard Mille ambassador family as it offers a real alternative to the previous double-closure Velcro strap.
The entirely seamless, non-slip comfort band – the result of Richard Mille’s engineers researching into the lightness, support, and sensation transmission of sports shoes – offers reinforced elasticity and perfectly fits the contours of each athlete’s individual wrist thanks to its special weave, which requires no closure or buckle. Titanium reinforcement inserts are placed where the strap joins the case, ensuring longevity.
Sydney McLaughlin joined TAG Heuer as an ambassador earlier this year. She is the current world record holder in women’s 400-meter hurdles.
Tokyo 2020 marked her second appearance at the Olympics after Rio in 2016, where she competed in the 400-meter hurdles event wearing a TAG Heuer Aquaracer – though a different model than tennis player Naomi Osaka chose to wear during competition. This elegant champion has decided to don an example with a diamond-set bezel during the track-and-field events.
Quick Facts Richard Mille RM 67-02
Case: 38.7 x 7.8 mm, TPT carbon and red quartz TPT
Movement: automatic Caliber CRMA7 with plates and bridges in Grade 5 titanium, 50-hour power reserve, variable geometry rotor in TPT carbon and white gold, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, variable inertia balance
Functions: hours, minutes
Quick Facts Omega Aqua Terra 150 M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41 mm Ultra Light
Case: 41 x 13.2 mm, titanium
Movement: manual winding Caliber 8928 Ti with co-axial escapement, 72-hour power reserve, 25,200 vph frequency, Master Chronometer certification by METAS, resistance to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss, free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring, bridges and base plate in ceramized titanium, twin serially operating spring barrels
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Remark: 5-year warranty