Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Back in my day (precisely four months ago, when I started writing this column), celebrity watches were slightly predictable: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, rinse and repeat. Times change! A whole spectrum of watches revealed itself this week, from rarely seen classics to a piece from an under-the-radar German brand. Wunderbar! The watch that really caught my attention, though, was the one Denzel Washington wore out to dinner with Kris Jenner and her boyfriend Corey Gamble. The watch didn’t stand out because it’s flashy, ostentatious, or super-fine and super-expensive. No, Denzel’s Montblanc Star Classique stood out precisely because it is none of those things. It’s a simple, classique watch that can be yours for less than $2,000. (A far cry from the $50,000-plus Rolex Lil Uzi Vert wore this week.) That Denzel Washington, one of the world’s biggest movie stars, consistently reaches for his Montblanc is a big-time co-sign. Plenty of legends this week: in addition to Denzel, Lionel Richie, and Stone Cold Steve Austin wore special watches.
Denzel Washington’s Montblanc Star Classique
Denzel’s watch comes from fancy pen brand Montblanc, which even produces a line of pens called the Classique. That is not a coincidence! “The first pieces we produced really looked like a Montblanc pen, as though you took the pen and brought it into the shape of a watch,” Montblanc’s then-president of North America Jan-Patrick Schmitz told TimeZone in 2010. A watch…inspired by a pen! What will they think of next?
Lil Uzi Vert’s Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 Fancy Orange Bezel
For a good part of the year, there was something unusual about Lil Uzi Vert’s watches—or, uh, watch. While the rapper ascended to Fit Pic God status, constantly trading out the latest hot designer gear for even hotter, even more latest designer gear, the same Richard Mille RM030 watch stayed strapped to his wrist. But Uzi’s solved for that over the past couple weeks, showing off an icy Rolex Day-Date, a Patek Philippe 5205, and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. My favorite, though, is this Rolex Datejust with a “Fancy Orange” bezel. Debuting at Baselworld 2015, the watch’s bezel is set with sapphires the color of an Orange Julius smoothie that earned it the nickname “Cognac.” Not satisfied to just bling up the bezel, Rolex uses diamonds for the hour markers, and even the big Air King-style numerals are lined with diamonds.
Lionel Richie’s Zodiac ZMX-02
This watch is what Lionel Richie was looking for. The Zodiac ZMX-02 was made for the 24-Hour Le Mans race, but the singer wears it during practically all of his concert performances—either way, it was built for endurance. Although you might not hear as much about Zodiac as you do Rolex or Omega, the brand has been around since 1882. And like those two aforementioned heavyweights, Zodiac emphasizes functional tool watches for divers, drivers, and pilots. But Zodiac’s watches are extremely affordable. Case in point: Richie’s watch, when it was available in 2011, retailed for under a grand.
Drake’s Patek Philippe Nautilus
Here is a good lesson that occasion matters. While Drake’s roughly $400,000 Patek Philippe Nautilus is undeniably spectacular, he wore it to a collector’s dinner for a different watch brand. But it’s hard to totally blame Drake for wanting to wear this specific watch no matter the occasion. This reference, the 5719/10G, is set with 1,343 diamonds (for a total of 18.73 carats) and is made completely out of 18k white gold.
Nicholas Hoult’s Jaeger-Lecoultre Reverso Classic Large Duoface Small Seconds
Personally, I’m a sucker for square watches—but I doubt you’d find many who’d squabble with the description of the Reverso as an all-time icon. The watch’s face flips over—a function that was originally invented in the early 1930s, so that polo players could keep their timepieces safe while they rode horseback and swung mallets around. The first models of the Reverso were outfitted with a glass dial on one side and hard protective steel on the other. As Watches to Be Worn During Polo Matches died down as a category over the ensuing decades, JLC found more modern uses for its two-faced piece. Hoult’s Reverso comes with a white daytime dial on one side and a perfect-for-evening black option on the opposite side.
Steve Austin’s Sinn Spezialuhren U1 SDR
I’m going to let Stone Cold Austin himself, who left a lengthy comment about this watch on Worn and Wound’s Instagram, take this one away: “I lost that watch for about 6 or 7 years. I had left it at a friend’s house. He was gonna put some skulls on the nato strap. Time passes by, no pun intended, and he sent me a picture of the watch. I said Hey, man that’s my watch! I just figured I had lost it. He Fedexed it to me in LA from Portland, OR. It was like Christmas. The U1 is one of my absolute favorite watches because it’s so readable and bulletproof. I have a Sinn U212 as well. But I like the U1 much more. The Hands on the U212 should have been a little bigger. Have a good weekend.” Have a good weekend, also, from me.