Fashion Men's Fashion

Even in the Watch-Crazy NBA, Chris Paul’s Ultra-Rare Patek Philippe Stands Out

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

Celebrities tend to wear a lot of the same watches: iconic models like the Rolex Submariner and Richard Mille 11-03 are iconic for a reason. (And both appear in this column.) Chris Paul’s Patek Philippe World Time is a different beast. The leather-strapped, gold-case watch interrupts the parade of souped-up stainless steel sports watches that dominate collectors’ attention today.

However, the World Time is still an object of cult adoration: a rare example of the model sold at auction for $5,545,999 last November. That’s because they’re exceedingly rare, too. The last time I wrote about this watch, I spoke with a man who sat on a waitlist for eight years just to get his hands on one. The World Time is an iconic and distinctive part of Patek’s catalog. The model was only reintroduced in 2000, having remained out of production since 1965. Only a few iterations have been released since. Paul’s 5130 is only the second generation of the modern World Time—it was introduced in 2006 and has long been out of production. CP3 happens to be having a great season—but we think he qualifies for the All-Star roster on the strength of his wrist game alone. Also this week, Gucci Mane gets a very gucci birthday present.

 Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns arrives to the arena before the game
Barry Gossage
A gold watch with a black leather strap and white face

Chris Paul’s Patek Philippe World Time

Think of the World Time as a much more powerful version of the GMT. While the GMT can keep track of two different time zones, Patek’s World Timer has you covered in all 24 of them (or at least all the zones that are divided by one-hour increments). The World Time function was developed in the 1930s by famed watchmaker Louis Cottier, who peddled his design all over the place. He developed World Timers for Vacheron Constantin and even made some very cool Rolex pocket watches with the complication. Patek made a series of watches with Cottier in the 1950s, too. Despite the fact that Patek took a three-decade-plus break from making the watch, the brand stuck Cottier’s original version. Modern World Time, like Paul’s, still use the watchmaker’s design.

Gucci Mane’s Bulgari Octo L’Originale Blue Full Baguette Diamonds

Even in the luxurious, super-opulent world of top-tier watches, this Bulgari made a stir upon its release a couple years ago. The watch has a lot in common with pieces worn by other celebrities, who take standard-issue pieces and flood them with diamonds. The difference with Gucci Mane’s piece is that all this bling comes directly from the brand. The watch is set with 1,172 diamonds or over 50 carats worth of stones—the bracelet alone boasts more diamonds than most watches have in total. Even the sides of each bracelet link are set with three baguette-cut stones. The watch was a fitting birthday present for Gucci Mane, one of the few people alive capable of pulling this piece off.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers arrives to the arena before the game
Tyler Ross
A red watch with a transparent face
Courtesy of Richard Mille

LeBron James’s Richard Mille RM 11-03 in red quartz

LeBron James has apparently added a new Richard Mille to his arsenal. This one is part of the 11-03 family that James is already well acquainted with: he owns the same model in standard rose gold as well, as a blue quartz special edition made for former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt. If James has proven anything over his career, it’s that when he likes something, he gets a whole mess of them.

Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts in her Women's Singles Quarterfinals match against SuWei Hsieh
Cameron Spencer
A silver watch with a blue strap and white face
Courtesy of Tag Heuer

Naomi Osaka’s Tag Heuer Aquaracer

Naomi Osaka signed on to become a Tag Heuer ambassador in January—and immediately went about making her new partner look great. She managed to topple Serena Williams in the Australian Open semifinals this week, and did so while wearing a Tag Heuer Aquaracer. Since its invention, the Aquaracer has been designed to take worn by athletes, but in the past that’s typically meant sailing or diving. Osaka proved this week that the watch doesn’t perform too shabbily on a tennis court, either.

Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers watches from the bench during the first half of the NBA game
Christian Petersen
A silver watch with a black bezel and black face

Doc Rivers’s Rolex Submariner

Typically it’s the NBA’s players who deliver the type of high-caliber watches we talk about here. Current NBA coaches gravitate towards the practical—Brooklyn’s Steve Nash wears an Apple Watch—or the cheap and clunky, like Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s G-Shock. Doc Rivers can go wrist for wrist with the NBA’s best, though. Lately, the Philadelphia 76ers coach has been wearing Rolex’s iconic Submariner model with a date function. This may be an encouraging sign for 76ers fans, who are watching their team shoot very poorly and infrequently from outside the three-point line. The Submariner is Rolex’s most recent big release, so there’s at least some proof the coach can keep up with modern trends.

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