This flashy Rolex, with rivulets of diamonds running across the dial, was released as one of the Crown’s super-secret Daytona drops in 2019. It is the ideal watch for an NBA superstar like Anthony Davis not just because of the scarcity and the straight-from-the-factory ice, but because of the nickname the watch quickly earned. Upon the watch’s release, collectors started referring to the striped piece with gleaming subdials as the “Eye of the Tiger.” Besides the iPad Davis uses to coach guys up on the bench, this watch is the most effective accessory the Brow has to get his team going while he’s out with a lingering Achilles injury. The piece has its own pump-up music: “It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight/Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival.” Until Rolex decides to release a watch nicknamed the “We Are the Champions” (champagne-dial something or other) or the “We Will Rock You” (Daytona with dial made from actual rocks), the Eye of the Tiger will continue to hold the title of best watch to ride the pine on. Also this week, great watches aren’t only for NBA players and Michael B. Jordan wears a similarly blingy Rolex.
Anthony Davis’s Rolex Daytona “Eye of the Tiger”
Rolex’s typical sobriety makes the brand’s gem-set pieces that much more exciting. An extra-icy version of the GMT “Pepsi” and a rare sapphire-set Submariner are two highlights, but no piece has been the beneficiary of Rolex’s fun streak like the Daytona. The watch has been remade in multiple “Rainbow” versions with multi-colored diamonds running around the bezel and in an absolutely wild “Leopard” pattern. When Rolex goes big it really goes for it: Davis’s Eye of the Tiger carries 36 diamonds on the bezel and 243 more on the dial. Even the hour markers on this watch are made of 18-carat gold.
Michael B. Jordan’s Rolex Day-Date
Davis isn’t the only one who can pull off a flashy Rolex. While Jordan’s Day Date with a diamond-covered bezel looks totally tame in comparison to the Eye of the Tiger, this is still a factory-set Rolex we’re talking about. Slowly but surely, A-list actors are starting to wear iced-out watches to sit courtside at NBA games again. If this isn’t a sign of coming normalcy, I don’t know what is.
Kyle Lowry’s Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A
The greatest Raptor ever wearing arguably the greatest sports watch ever. While dodging a series of rumored trades this week, Lowry seemed to add another jewel to his burgeoning watch collection. The Nautilus 5712 isn’t the beloved 5711 but what it lacks in prestige it makes up for with its added complications. The watch comes with a power reserve, date indicator, and a moon phase function.
Quin Snyder’s Breitling Chronospace Chronograph
Typically, the best watches are reserved for NBA players, while coaches equip themselves with G-Shocks or Apple Watches. But the Utah Jazz’s Quin Snyder is stealing a page out of the playbook of European soccer coaches who have custom Richard Mille and Rolex pieces. This week, while I was watching the Jazz lay the smackdown on my Brooklyn Nets, I couldn’t help but notice Snyder’s watch: a Breitling Chronospace Chronograph. It’s not one of the usual suspects you’d expect to end up on an NBA sideline. The watch, with its big “12” numeral, is a decade old at this point, and no longer in Breitling’s catalog. But Snyder has a track record of gravitating towards interesting watches. He wore the green Rolex “Hulk” Submariner while coaching a game in 2020.
Mark Cavendish’s Richard Mille RM67-02
Whether it’s Rafael Nadal, Bubba Watson, Odell Beckham Jr., or cyclist Julian Alaphilippe, it’s hard to get over star athletes wearing oversized sports watches while actually competing in their respective sports. That’s a testament to Richard Mille, which makes watches light enough they don’t throw off the delicate balance of a golf swing or follow through of a tennis racquet—and are welcome on the wrists of weight-conscious cyclists. Cavendish’s RM67 is custom made for him in a burnt-orange color. The exclusive colorway is a result of Cavendish’s time cycling for the short-lived Bahrain-McLaren team that made use of that same shade of orange on its uniforms.