Welcome to watches of the weekwhere we track the rarest, wildest and most coveted watches spotted on celebrities.
Roger Federer played what is being described as his last “competitive” match on Friday. But judging by the photos from the Smiley training sessions earlier in the week, it doesn’t take long for Federer to pick up some new moves from his longtime rival Rafael Nadal.
It was no surprise to see the watch on Nadal’s wrist. The Spaniard always wears one of his tickers, made in collaboration with Richard Mille, the maker of super-powered sports watches. Lately, Nadal has been religiously wearing the RM 27-04, the latest piece to emerge from his partnership with the brand. The watch features a single steel cable that is threaded through the case and crossed to mimic a tennis racquet.
What made the rivalry between Federer and Nadal special was that they seemed to be polar opposites on everything: playing style, personality, handedness. Watches were another point where they differed. Where Nadal rocks his RMs on the pitch, Federer never wore a watch during the game; He was more comfortable with the post-game routine and pre-championship ceremony of gathering his belongings and pulling his chosen Rolex out of his pocket.
However, Federer changed his approach during his training sessions with Nadal. Rog came out wearing not just any Rolex but one of Crown’s most exciting new releases this year: the “destro” (left-hand) GMT-Master II. This is the first watch Rolex makes specifically for left-handers, and the green and black color combination (dubbed “Sprite” by collectors) is also new for the brand. Coincidentally, the “destro” layout is perfect for a tennis player: the watch’s winding crown faces up toward Feds, not risking digging into his wrist during a swing. (Audemars Piguet customized a watch for Serena Williams with this configuration so that she can wear it during the game.) In any case, the new GMT was a fitting partner for Federer’s last dance.
Drake’s Rolex Day-Date
This week’s Watches of the Week features only heavyweights wearing hefty watches. The party kicks off with Drake in a very icy version of Day-Date. Known as the “Presidential” watch, the Day-Date often comes dressed to suit an oval office: sophisticated, subtle, buttoned up. That’s what makes Drake’s version so funny – she throws the grace out the window for a blizzard of diamonds and sapphires.
Ed Sheeran’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
You know it’s a good week for watches when outstanding collector Ed Sheeran and his fresh-off-the-line Royal Oak takes only third place. This Papa Smurf watch was only officially announced earlier this week (after it was leaked in late August), so Sheeran is really showing off. The new watch furthers AP’s already fun experimentation with ceramics – the brand is making the Royal Oak in everything white and all Black– by using the material to craft this blueberry clock. This watch leaves nothing to be desired: the ceramic material is robust and scratch-resistant, the perpetual calendar shows technical refinements and the blue color is fun.
John Mayer’s Apple Watch Ultra
As he wrote on Instagram, the Apple Watch isn’t typically John Mayer’s thing as a mechanical watch collector. What convinced him? The all-around Apple Watch Ultra is packed with features like an 86-decibel emergency siren and pinpoint GPS that tracks the wearer’s hiking trails. This is a win-win: Mayer adds another piece to its dazzling collection, and Apple gets the most important co-mark in the watch world.
Patek Philippe Nautilus by Melinda Gates
While ex-husband is Bill Gates famous for carrying a sub $50 Casio, Melinda has shown that she is not afraid to spend her vast fortune. That means mostly give large portions of it away to charity– but also spend a (relatively) small part to buy a powerhouse watch. Gates wore a pretty gold Nautilus at Michael Kors’ NYFW show. The collector’s favorite Nautilus has gotten a bad rap as the choice of the Bitcoin brothers and nouveau riche, but Gates proves that it is indeed a watch that can bring all wealthy people together. How nice.