For more insider watch coverage, get Box + Papers, GQ’s newsletter devoted to the watch world, sent to your inbox every Thursday. Sign up here.
Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid won his first NBA MVP this week. There were tears, bear hugs from teammates, and all-time classic Rolex watches. We have Embiid’s teammate James Harden to thank for that last part. The morning after the MVP award was announced, Harden showed up to the arena with a special watch for his newly anointed teammate: a rose-gold Rolex Day-Date.
The contents of the box, in Rolex’s signature green, would have been obvious to any watch enthusiast from the jump, and Embiid pops it open with genuine glee: “Oooooooh, my first Rolex,” he said. He later told ESPN’s Malika Andrews it was his first watch, period.
The watch, listed for $41,500 on Rolex’s site, is the perfect piece to start a collection off with. The Day-Date was the first watch to write out the days of the week and is known for its association with prominent and powerful figures. The watch’s bracelet is now referred to as the President because it was the piece Lyndon B. Johnson preferred.
To add to the gift, Harden also got it engraved with “23 MVP” on the caseback. It’s miraculous that Harden was able to not just source a difficult-to-find Rolex but also get it engraved in the course of a single night. Either Harden has a great hookup (not unlikely) or he prepared for Embiid’s likely win. But I like to imagine a third possibility: Harden, who apparently has more in common with Santa Claus than the beard, has a drawer full of exquisite watches he keeps on hand for last-minute gifts. (He famously gave a Richard Mille to Lil Baby, too.) The only misstep was that the watch was apparently too small for Embiid’s wrists. “We’ll get you more links,” Harden said to him. Hopefully Embiid catches the bug from his new Day-Date and we just witnessed the birth of a new collector.
Rihanna’s Jacob & Co. Boutique Collection watch
This year Rihanna is (almost) turning into a one-brand woman when it comes to watches. It’s the season of Jacob & Co. for the Bad Gal. She wore the jeweler’s crimson Brilliant Skeleton Northern Lights during her Super Bowl performance (and again while out a couple of weeks ago). She went to the brand again this week, with a piece that’s more jewelry than watch for CinemaCon. It is set with 20.48 (TWENTY!) carats of blue sapphires and almost 16 additional carats of diamonds. It’s the type of piece that most likely requires its own security detail.
Tom Holland’s Patek Philippe Aquanaut
Some people really do have it all: front-row seats to the Lakers-Warriors series, a Patek Aquanaut., and a British accent. The increasingly rare Aquanaut, one of the watchmaker’s two coveted sport models, is a favorite of Holland’s: He also owns one in rose gold. This version of the Aquanaut embraces its rugged roots with a khaki-green colorway.
On the broadcast there was a very cute image of Holland and Zendaya, who was wearing a Cartier Panthère. The couple that collects together stays together.
Lewis Hamilton’s IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar “Lake Tahoe”
The perks of being a watch-brand ambassador? Getting access to an unofficial and unreleased piece, for starters. Hamilton casually pulled up to Miami before this weekend’s F1 race in a never-before-seen version of IWC’s Big Pilot. We’ve seen Big Pilots with perpetual calendars—the complication that keeps track of the correct day and date until the year 2100. We’ve also seen Big Pilots made in this “Lake Tahoe” white ceramic. But never before have the two danced together like this. Hopefully this is Hamilton teasing an upcoming release rather than a piece made special just for him, like his all-black Big Pilot.
Stefon Digg’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Buffalo Bills receiver Diggs hid his watch from the Met Gala red carpet photographers but there’s only so long you can keep a watch like this under wraps. Inside the event, this all-black Audemars Piguet got its moment to shine. This is the flip side of Hamilton’s bright-white IWC: a perpetual calendar made in all-black ceramic. This was one of the hottest pieces in the world upon its release in 2017 and AP has followed it up with versions in a blueberry hue and snow white.
- The Best Jewelry At The 2023 Met Gala On Dua Lipa, Rihanna, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Lily Collins And More
- The 22 Best Necklaces for Women of 2023 That Are Worthy of Everyday Wear
- 27 Men's Jewelry Brands for Drip That Doesn't Quit
- Meghan Markle Wears Symbolic Jewelry on a Hike in California After the Coronation
- 25 gold necklaces, bracelets and earrings