Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
This week, Jay-Z solidified a deal with Roger Goodell and the NFL with one hand and wore a watch from the future on the other wrist. About that second part: Jay was wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Carbon that debuted at SIHH 2008, and retailed at the time for $309,800. Both the case and movement are made out of carbon, meaning the watch is likelier lighter than you’d expect. But the appearance is what really matters here—the all-black watch looks like something Darth Vader would wear while captaining the Death Star. Or maybe more simply: it looks like the kind of watch the guy who made The Black Album would wear while getting down to serious business. Also this week: Ben Simmons wears a very cool Rolex GMT and Henry Golding is forever classic.
Jay-Z’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Carbon Concept GMT Tourbillon
After riding the decades of success that followed the release of the Royal Oak in 1972, Audemars Piguet found a way to get even more out of the piece in 2002. The new “Concept” line was where AP could infuse cutting-edge technology into its classic. One piece that emerged from this collection is the Royal Oak Carbon Jay is wearing here. Besides the aforementioned very light carbon material, the watch also comes with a linear 30-minute timer, a tourbillon, and a skeletonized dial.
Ben Simmons’s Rolex GMT “Root Beer”
Rolex’s line of GMT watches have undoubtedly the most fun—and fizziest—nicknames. There’s the black-and-blue “Batman,” red-and-blue “Pepsi,” red-and-black “Coke,” and, continuing the tradition of soda-inspired names, the brown-and-black “Root Beer.” While the Pepsi and Batman models are the most popular, the Root Beer has its fair share of fans: John Mayer, Hunter S. Thompson, Bradley Cooper, Trevor Noah, and Clint Eastwood have been known to rock the colorway. You can now add Ben Simmons, who has been dutifully wearing this model over the past couple weeks, to that list.
Henry Golding’s Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
This week, my colleague Rachel Tashijan wrote about “New Outfit Synergy” in the Style Digest newsletter (SUBSCRIBE). It is, she explains, the moment when you “strike gold and realize that two garms you’ve never paired together are in fact the couple of the century.” I have massive respect for our buddy Henry Golding for finding a fit that works wonders for him. A couple weeks ago, at Wimbledon, Golding wore a tan double-breasted peak-lapel blazer with a white pocket square and his Patek Philippe Nautilus. This week, he turned to almost the exact same combination for an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, trading the DB blazer for a single-breasted one but keeping everything else pretty much intact. It’s a perfect Rich Dude outfit capped off by the flawless Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, the absolute hottest watch in the world.
Shawn Mendes’s Rolex Datejust
Over the past couple decades, watches have become ‘roided-up. Manufacturers pumped case sizes up past 40 millimeters, breaking a threshold rarely ever seen in vintage pieces. But we here at GQ are big fans of “small watches”—i.e. ones with cases that measure 36 millimeters or less. And it appears that popstar Shawn Mendes agrees: He was seen wearing a Rolex Datejust 36 with a snazzy blue dial and steel-gold bracelet.
Offset’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Purple
On its face, there is no news here: saying a famous rapper wore Audemars Piguet’s iconic watch the Royal Oak is like saying it was hot in New York in July. But Offset’s watch breaks the mold: rather than bringing it to a jeweler to give it a high-powered shine, the Migos’s comes already iced-out with a frosted-gold case. Plus, the dial is a very cool Fanta Grape purple.
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