Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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    One Thing Worked for LeBron James This Season: His Watches

    Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.

    Well, it’s not the season LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers hoped for. But! the thing that awed me most even during a down season was his rotation of watches: the Tiffany-dial Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual in (unofficial) Tiffany blue, killer Richard Milles, and experimental Audemars Piguets. James’s cherry-on-top is this AP Royal Oak 50th anniversary edition.

    Like it sounds, this special-edition Royal Oak was recently released to commemorate the model’s 50th birthday. It features a yellow-gold case with a “smoked” dial—yellow gold in the center that dissipates into a track of black running along the edge of the watch’s face. A rep for the brand says James is the first person, at least in the US, to wear the watch out in public. Add that to James’s GOAT resume. Another thing I like about this watch is how well it fits into the Lakers’ universe—not just because the Lakers wear gold and purple, but because it’s so gaudy, so Showtime! Winning Time, the new HBO show about the making of the Lakers dynasty, features plenty of gold watches on characters like Jerry West and Norm Nixon. Even if his season isn’t ending the way he expected, at least LeBron’s got that. Also this week, Barack Obama, Baby Keem, and the next Rafael Nadal.

    Kent Nishimura

    Barack Obama’s Rolex Cellini

    Nowadays, most Rolex fans gravitate to the brand’s smoking-hot sport models like the Submariner, GMT, and Daytona. The Crown’s dressier Cellini, though, has at least one important co-signer in Barack Obama. This is Obama’s important-event piece. He wore it to the White House this week—and it’s also the piece he’s wearing in his official presidential portrait.

    Emma McIntyre

    Baby Keem’s Rolex GMT-Master II

    On Baby Keem’s now-Grammy-award-winning track “Family Ties,” Kendrick Lamar claims allegiance to the “Rollie gang.” So it’s only fitting that Keem would wear an excellent Rolex GMT to accept the trophy. The black-and-brown GMT known as the Root Beer is currently trending in the Rolex universe— Rolex-owned Tudor just announced its own GMT with this color combination.

    Nathaniel S. Butler

    Blake Griffin’s Patek Philippe Aquanaut

    Like Keem, Griffin wore a traditionally stainless-steel sport watch cast in much more luxurious rose gold. The Brooklyn Net has a thing for these warm gold watches: he showed off his Root Beer GMT earlier this season.

    Matthew Stockman

    Carlos Alcaraz’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

    18-year-old tennis phenom Alcaraz is hailed as the next Rafael Nadal despite the fact the two have little in common besides their Spanish heritage. Among their differences is their watch preferences. Nadal is a longtime Richard Mille man who collaborates on special-edition pieces, while Alcaraz is taking the more traditional route for great tennis players. After winning the Miami Open last weekend, Alcaraz was seen wearing a Rolex Daytona. In that sense, at least, Alcaraz is more like the next Roger Federer.

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