Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Imagine being a Bristol Farms shopper in Los Angeles who happened to stop in this past Monday evening. There you are, between the prepared mac and cheese and the potato salad, when, BAM! There’s Rihanna. But even if Rihanna shops like a regular person, she wears a damn good watch to do it: a gold Cartier Santos, a watch most celebrities reserve for the red carpet. Rihanna, of course is not “most celebrities.” She’s not even most watch collectors—the Bad Gal has amassed an impressive array of timepieces over her career. She owns collector-favorites like the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Rolex Day-Date, and Cartier Panthère. And now, one of her watches has gone grocery shopping. Also this week, a Root Beer watch and Travis Scott can’t stop wearing his new favorite Richard Mille.
Rihanna’s Cartier Santos
Cartier is the perfect brand for someone as fashion-forward as Rihanna. While traditional watchmakers obsess over the movements inside watches, Cartier is just as interested in making the cases the movements sit in look like pieces of fine jewelry. There’s a reason it’s emerged as the favorite brand among perennial best-dressed chart toppers like Tyler, the Creator, Kanye, and Henry Golding.
Brandom Ingram’s Rolex GMT-Master II “Root Beer”
Continuing the groceries trend: we’ve got a “Root Beer” GMT. The watch gets its moniker, obviously, from its two-tone black-and-brown bezel. The new Root Beer GMT, released in 2018, has a more interesting arc than the rest of its soda-aisle compatriots like the “Pepsi” or “Coke.” While those pieces have remained relatively static over the decades, Rolex has routinely retooled the Root Beer. The first, released around 1963, featured a solid brown bezel and matching dial, while later iterations featured a two-tone bezel with chocolate and cream tones. The latter is known as the “Clint Eastwood” because the actor wore the piece in several movies in the ‘80s and ‘90s. This new black-and-brown is a favorite among lanky NBA players like Ingram and Philadelphia 76er Ben Simmons.
Rick Ross’s Cartier Santos
First Rihanna and now Rick Ross—it was a good week for the Santos. Whether you’re keeping it simple in gold or customizing the piece with a bucket of diamonds, the Cartier delivers. Ross’s comes with a skeletonized dial, which is the preferred Santos of other rappers like Young Thug, Swae Lee, and Meek Mill.
Travis Scott Richard Mille RM-69
I wouldn’t necessarily call a watch with panels displaying explicit messages an “everyday” piece, but Travis Scott clearly has a different definition than I do. Ever since first wearing this horny Richard Mille watch back in January, it’s been on his wrist for seemingly every possible public appearance. For those unfamiliar, the RM-69 is a watch with three panels that randomize a variety of sexual phrases (“I lust to caress your body” is one of the more PG-13 settings). Richard Mille says it’s part of a long history of lewd timepieces. (Not a lie: check this NSFW Jacob & Co. piece, for instance.) The watch is all part of Richard Mille’s long-running mission. As Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer points out in his most recent GQ column, “The most innovative part of Richard Mille’s legacy might be knocking the stuffiness out of luxury watchmaking.”
Jack Harlow’s Rolex Sky Dweller
A big look on Saturday Night Live requires a big watch to go along with it. The rapper went with the Rolex Sky-Dweller, which is like a GMT with a new operating system. They’re both built to tell two different time zones, but go about it in completely different ways. The inner ring on the Sky-Dweller’s dial does the work of the extra hour hand on the GMT—and in more dramatic fashion.