If there’s one thing that should be clear from perusing our little watch-centric corner of GQ.com, it’s that Jay-Z has a voracious appetite for rare, beautiful timepieces. (And that nobody rocks them better than he does.)
Just this week, Hov was spotted wearing a super rare Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Yves Klein Blue” ref. 25820ST while enjoying a cigar. The Royal Oak, of course, is one of Swiss watch designer Gérald Genta’s masterpieces—since its debut in 1972, it’s become a veritable icon of industrial design, achieved full-on cult status in the watch world, and morphed into one of the most difficult timepieces to buy in the horological sphere, regardless of execution.
No rules regarding availability apply to Jay-Z, of course. The ref. 25820ST is the rarest expression of an already ultra-complicated Royal Oak, with very few coming to market each year. It appears that Jay sourced his from @only_therarest, a Stockholm-based purveyor of rare and special watches. Featuring what AP calls a “sapphire blue” Grand Tapisserie dial, its face has become known to collectors as “Yves Klein blue”—a nod to the French artist of the Nouveau-Réalisme movement who favored the color.
But the specialness doesn’t end with the color scheme. The ref. 25820ST is a perpetual calendar, meaning it can keep track of the time, day, date, month, phase of the moon, and leap year, all mechanically and automatically, and all without interaction from the wearer (provided the watch is kept wound). Featuring a movement derived from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ultra-thin JLC Calibre 920, it’s housed in a stainless steel case paired to a matching, integrated bracelet.
At 39mm by just 9.3mm thick, this is a perfect everyday watch—if you can get your hands on one. Trading for north of $300,000, they’re certainly not going to be any easier to come by now that one’s been spotted on Hov’s wrist.
Lionel Messi’s Rolex Sky-Dweller
Another week, another stellar Messi timepiece. Whatever the Inter Miami captain throws on his tanned wrist is gonna look superb, but there’s something about the mix of the solid gold case and the rubber Oysterflex bracelet on this Rolex Sky-Dweller that seems particularly appropriate on Messi. Sporty yet sophisticated (and expensive, to boot), it’s also the Crown’s most complicated offering, featuring an ingeniously designed annual calendar mechanism integrated into the dial’s indices.
Spike Lee’s Rolex Daytona
Oscar-winning director (and noted Rolex devotee) Spike Lee threw on a yellow gold Rolex Daytona to attend a Braves-Yankees game in Atlanta earlier this week with Quavo. Measuring 40mm and featuring a black dial, Chromalight lume, and a black Cerachrom bezel, the watch is paired to a black rubber Oysterflex bracelet and powered by Rolex’s in-house Calibre 4131 automatic movement. Both sporty and beautiful, it’s the perfect wrist candy for someone as accomplished and sartorially bold as Lee.
Bukayo Saka’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Arsenal star Bukao Saka has a taste in watches to go along with his powerful left foot. Rather than springing for a more standard time-only Royal Oak in steel, he was recently spotted rocking a black ceramic Royal Oak Chronograph ref. 26240CE. Measuring 41mm by just 12.4mm thick and featuring an in-house movement, this special, 50th-anniversary R.O. features the family’s signature “Grand Tapisserie” dial with pink gold applied markers and hands.
Tom Brady’s Rolex Rolex Day-Date 36 “Puzzle Dial”
Following hot on the heels of one John Mayer, Tom Brady was spotted wearing a brand spankin’ new Rolex Day-Date 36 “Puzzle Dial” in Everose gold. Housed in a sumptuous precious metal case and featuring a champlevé enamel dial in a “puzzle” motif; baguette cut sapphire indices; an emoji date wheel; and a day wheel with days of the week replaced with uplifting words such as “Love” and “Hope,” this new Rollie is certainly not for everyone. But there’s also no denying how great it looks on this GOAT’s wrist.