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LeBron James Wears the Watch of a Champion
Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we'll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Typically, the events following an NBA championship are as precision-coordinated as the Oscars. In the arena, fans stay to revel as their team takes the podium. The locker room practically turns into a kiddie pool of sprayed champagne. And a few days later, a massive championship parade rolls through the winning team’s city. It’s an excuse to smoke more cigars on a float, and wear some pretty great watches: in 2016, after leading the Cavs past the Warriors, James wore a gold Rolex Day-Date II. More recently, Patrick Mahomes chose a Rolex Yacht-Master while celebrating the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win, and Alex Morgan went with an Hublot Big Bang after the U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup.
This year, of course, all that careful planning goes out the window. There were no fans on hand in the bubble, and there will be no championship parade. So the title-winning Lakers squad pulled together their own private celebration at Malibu sushi hotspot Nobu. And they didn’t stint on the watches: LeBron James broke out a 50th anniversary edition of a Richard Mille RM 11-03. Also this week, John Mayer wears an underrated piece and Cardi B is back with… her watch.
LeBron James’s Richard Mille RM 11-03
While celebrating, James wore the “Jean Todt” edition of Richard Mille’s super-popular RM 11-03 model, distinguished by its Tide Pod-blue case. Todt is a former rally driver (and the current CEO of Ferrari), but there might be a deeper meaning to the connection between him and James. Here’s how RM describes the driver on its site: “His quest for excellence, an almost manic attention to detail and exceptional performances, Jean Todt is a legend in himself who has constantly aimed for dizzying heights.” Sounds an awful lot like the man wearing the watch.
John Mayer’s Philippe Calatrava “Small Seconds”
Here’s wishing a happy belated birthday to John Mayer: he’s another year older, and rocking another great watch. The Patek Philippe Calatrava is an unusually low-key watch for Mayer, who is better known for big statement pieces like Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Concept, throwbacks to Casio’s heyday, wild flavors of Rolex, and super-rare Pateks. The Calatrava is Patek’s entry-level piece, one of the few that don’t require a waitlist or network of connections. But this is the John Mayer way when it comes to collecting watches: he’s always sniffing out pieces others aren’t paying close attention to.
Meghan Markle’s Cartier Tank Française
There’s a really sweet story that goes along with Markle’s Cartier Tank. In the 2017 documentary The Diana Story, Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell says that the year she died, her sons William and Harry were allowed to choose pieces from her jewelry collection to keep. Harry selected his late mother’s engagement ring, while Prince William chose this gold Cartier Tank Française. But when William was getting hitched to Kate Middleton in 2010, the brothers swapped jewelry so that William could propose with the ring. Harry held onto the Cartier Tank and gave it to Markle, who recently wore it during an appearance on the Teenager Therapy podcast.
Princess Diana was a loyal Tank wearer—something she shares with Markle. Even before her marriage to Harry, Markle was a fan of the iconic watch. “I’ve always coveted the Cartier French Tank watch,” she told Hello in 2015. “When I found out Suits had been picked up for our third season—which, at the time, felt like such a milestone—I totally splurged and bought the two-tone version. I had it engraved on the back, ‘To M.M. From M.M.’ and I plan to give it to my daughter one day. That’s what makes pieces special, the connection you have to them.”
Cardi B’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Another week, another very blingy Royal Oak. This week’s is more than just a timepiece: it’s symbolic of Cardi’s relationship with her soon-to-be ex-husband (we think) Offset. Last year on Mother’s Day, Offset gave this watch to Cardi, and bought one for himself so the couple could have matching iced-out Royal Oaks. What says love like a pair of matching Royal Oaks? So naturally, when Cardi went out with Offset last weekend, despite filing for divorce last month, the watch was back on her wrist.
Jharrel Jerome’s Bvlgari Aluminum watch
Bvlgari revamped its sporty Aluminum model this year, with one savvy addition: a can’t-miss “Panda” dial. Everyone from Zenith to Tag Heuer to Omega has played with a white-and-black combination on the dial, although the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is probably the most famous example. Actor Jharrel Jerome wore this Bvlgari to the Billboard Music Awards, and showed why it’s such a classic color combo.
Credit: BY CAM WOLF, GQ