Since several prestigious brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe decided to push all their upcoming releases to 2021, every new watch launch feels like an occasion. That’s especially true when a timepiece like the Black Bay from the Rolex-owned Tudor drops in our laps. Celebrating the occasion? None other than Tudor man David Beckham, who shared a moody, pensive photo of himself and the new watch. (An impossible question for you: which is more handsome?) It’s funny—or maybe just sad—to think about the party that would have been thrown to celebrate this new watch, the little canapés that would have been eaten, and the open-bar drinks that would have been indulged in. But folks like Beckham are proving that watches look just as good stuck at home as they do out to parties. Over the past couple weeks, with the world still mostly on pause, rapper 21 Savage paired his watch with a Grammy (and no shirt), while Phoenix Suns up-and-comer Devin Booker wore a sporty watch with a big dog.
David Beckham’s Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
Papa Beckham’s got a brand-new watch. Seriously: this version of Tudor’s Black Bay going through its own personal blue period was just officially released Wednesday of this week. The Black Bay is the flagship model for Rolex’s little brother brand, and it typically comes in black. This new, all-blue version of the watch is pulled straight from Tudor’s history books. The brand introduced a blue model like this one in 1969 and the French Navy, known as the Marine Nationale, issued it to their divers in the ‘70s. Naturally, Beckham’s watch is labeled the Black Bay Navy Blue.
Virgil Van Dijk’s Patek Philippe Aquanaut
Choosing a watch for a championship celebration is an art all its own. You want to wear something special, of course—something that makes a champion-sized statement. But a trophy celebration comes with its own challenges, including geysers of champagne (or Bud Light), and off-duty apparel befitting more casual models. The sweet spot? A high-glamour watch with a sporty pedigree: this year’s Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes wore a rubber-strapped Rolex Yachtmaster with a diamond-set dial to his parade, while Alex Morgan celebrated the US women’s World Cup victory with a Hublot Big Bang with a bezel lined with 42 gems. New Premier League champion Virgil Van Dijk got the memo. He celebrated Liverpool’s historically dominant season in a Patek Philippe Aquanaut in the watchmaker’s relatively new “Khaki” green color (almost identical to the one Drake wore while crashing the Toronto Raptors’ victory float). The rubber strap is champagne-ready, and the highly desirable watch is champion-worthy.
21 Savage’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Rainbow”
It takes a commanding presence to go toe-to-toe with a Grammy award, but 21 seems to have this under control. Here, the rapper wears a never-announced-to-the-public version of Audemars Piguet’s iconic Royal Oak set with a dizzying 487 diamonds on the dial. Bluntly: it makes other “Rainbow” watches look like a kindergartner’s doodle. The watch is just more proof that 21 is a discerning collector. Not satisfied with the more widely available skeleton-dial Royal Oak, worn by folks like Travis Scott, 21 went out in search of something even rarer. The watch was produced exclusively for Italian watch boutique Dobner.
Kylian Mbappe’s Hublot Big Bang steel white diamonds
As Kylian Mbappe is to PSG, the Big Bang is to Hublot. Meaning: the watch is the brand’s do-it-all superstar. Since its debut in 2005, the Big Bang’s versatility has made it a hit, and it now comes in almost every form imaginable. Smart watch? Yes. Skeleton dial in full gold? You betcha. A collaborative model with Ferrari? Do you really need to ask? There’s a reason Mbappe owns a handful of Big Bangs, but this one in full white and set with 114 diamonds is the most striking.
Devin Booker’s Patek Philippe Aquanaut
Soon, Devin Booker will be inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble, competing in the wackiest sports tournament since, well, ever. But for now, he’s home celebrating the birthday of his dog—or “son,” as he writes—while wearing a version of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut released in 2018. If this were still 2018, I might write something like, 14/10 very good wotch and the first Aquanaut to feature a chronograph. Would chronograph again. But it is not 2018, so I absolutely will not write that.