Thursday, September 21, 2023

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    Oscar Isaac’s Watch Comes From a Great Line of Record Breakers

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

    Oscar Isaac is on the circuit promoting his new Marvel Comics series Moon Knight, by far the most confusing superhero to receive a dedicated TV show. He’s Marvel’s answer to Batman, received his powers from a vengeance-seeking Egyptian God, and has multiple personalities? I can’t wait for this show. The gotta-just-watch character arc makes me even more grateful for Isaac’s watch, which is just straightforwardly awesome: a Bulgari Octo Finissimo he wore in rose gold for Moon Knight’s Los Angeles premiere.

    Not totally unlike a Marvel hero, the Octo Finissimo comes with its own epic backstory. For years, Bulgari has been locked in a back-and-forth battle with Piaget over who can make the world’s thinnest watch. Bulgari wages war with its Finissimo line, which is only eight years old—a baby in the watch world. Bulgari scored another victory in that war with its release of the 1.8-millimeters-thick Octo Finissimo Ultra, beating out Piaget’s Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch by just .2 millimeters. For those keeping score at home, that means a Bulgari Finissimo now holds the record for the thinnest watch in existence plus it comes with a tourbillon, minute repeater, chronograph, tourbillon chronograph, and perpetual calendar. And on top of all that, it also now holds the record for Thinnest Watch to Look Fantastic on the Red Carpet with Oscar Isaac.

    Mark Blinch

    Drake’s Rolex Day-Date

    In the 1950s, Rolex started producing watches with Eastern Arabic numerals, as a way to build up its clients in the Middle East. One particular “Arabic” Day-Date with a silvered dial and platinum case was particularly sought after. Collectors started calling this watch the “Scheherazade” after the storyteller and sultan’s wife in One Thousand and One Nights, the legendary collection of Middle Eastern folk tales. In 2016, Rolex released a very limited edition tribute to that watch with this ice-blue Day-Date, a piece that’s a favorite of rap royalty like Jay-Z and now Drake.

    Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos

    Bill Self’s Tudor Black Bay Burgundy

    Last weekend, while coaching his Kansas Jayhawks against Texas Southern in March Madness, Bill Self wore an important Tudor. Tudor, Rolex’s more-affordable little brother, relaunched after a long hiatus in 2007. But the brand wouldn’t have its first big hit until 2012 when it debuted its Black Bay, inspired by Tudor’s version of the Submariner from the ‘50s. That first version of the Black Bay came with a burgundy bezel like Self’s. I call it important because this is the watch that solidified the Tudor relaunch and gave the brand an exciting foundational piece. Fifteen years on, the brand is well established, but Self clearly hasn’t forgotten about its roots.

    Clive Brunskill

    Ben Stiller’s Panerai Luminor GMT 10 Days

    Stiller isn’t the type of guy we usually find in Panerai, a brand mostly reserved for meaty action stars like Dwayne Johnson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone. Turns out the watch would fit into Along Came Polly just as seamlessly as it did Johnson’s G.I. Joe Retaliation. Stiller wore his Panerai to the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, where its beefy 44-millimeter case certainly stood out among the crowd.

    JNI/Star Max
    Ralph Lauren

    Angus Cloud’s Ralph Lauren RL867

    Angus Cloud attended Ralph Lauren’s fashion show decked out in head-to-toe Ralph. As a wise man once rapped, “Horsepower, horsepower, all this Polo on, I got horsepower.” The Ralph takeover extends to Cloud’s watch, a RL867. The watch is named after the address of Ralph Lauren’s New York flagship store on 867 Madison Avenue and features a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals on the dial, for when you want telling the time to be a real brain teaser.

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