The LeBron James of Wrists Sports a Secret Rolex

The LeBron James of Wrists Sports a Secret Rolex

Photographs: Getty Images, Rolex; Collage: Gabe Conte
Also this week: Hugh Grant wore a watch fit for an action hero, and Ben Affleck brought out his Hermès.

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

The end of the NBA season is upon us, but out-of-catalog Rolex season is just getting started. Last weekend, before the “LeBron James of feet” got him back on the floor, James wore one of the wildest Rolex watches in the brand’s history, the gold “Eye of the Tiger” Cosmograph Daytona. 

Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images

First released in 2018, the blingy gold watch’s design evokes big-cat stripes. Or it does for me, at least; it’s also known as the “Rorschach Test Daytona.”). When you see a Rolex this wild, it’s safe to assume that it’s not an official release. Rolexes have tiers: there are the general releases, which are available for anyone to buy, and there are also announced but out-of-catalog releases. The new “jigsaw” Day-Date, despite generating a ton of heat and conversation, is technically out of catalog. Click around Rolex’s website for it and you’ll come up empty. But there’s another level of watches that are buried even deeper. I saw them this week at Watches & Wonders—but was told explicitly no photos. 

Before it hit the market, the “Eye of the Tiger” was under wraps. Rolex’s secret releases are typically its high-gem pieces, featuring outrageous amounts of diamonds and other precious jewels, sometimes arranged in wacky patterns. This year, the new out-of-catalog pieces were a Yacht-Master set with just under five carats of diamonds on the bezel alone and a pair of platinum Daytonas. It probably won’t be long until we get to see these—quite possibly on the LeBron James of wrists. 

JC Olivera/GA/Getty Images
Ben Affleck’s Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune

The Affleckaissance is fully complete. He’s back with Jennifer Lopez, starring in a highly anticipated movie about Nike, and no pap shots of him sucking on a vape,  looking defeated, have surfaced lately. Funnily enough, this lucky streak seemed to start with a watch: the Franck Muller Lopez gave him in the early 2000s and that he brought out of storage when the pair rekindled their romance. Now, Affleck is wearing another very nice watch, this one from Hermès. The Arceau uses two rotating discs, one for the time and another for the date. 

Medios y Media/Getty Images
Medios y Media/Getty Images
Hugh Grant’s Panerai Luminor

Typically, Panerai’s hulking watches are associated with the biggest action stars of the 21st century, from Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarznegger to Dwyane Johnson. So it’s a little funny to see Hugh Grant, the king of the romcom, wearing the brand this week. Then again, Grant’s large-and-in-charge Luminor makes more sense when you consider his latest role, in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Anthony Mackie’s Montblanc TimeWalker 

Montblanc has pretty seriously rebranded  its watches over the past several years; Mackie has an artifact from before that time. This mid-2010s TimeWalker was Montblanc’s version of an oversized sport watch. It comes equipped with a chronograph, big numerals, and a 43 millimeter case, which tilts toward the very large end of watch sizes. 

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Nicholas Hoult’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Calendar Watch 

It’s the 60th anniversary of the Reverso, and JLC went hard with new editions at Watches & Wonders this week—a new version includes a tourbillon that appears on both sides of the watch, which is, famously, reversible. Hoult is wearing a special-edition Reverso that was released last year, and itis incredibly photogenic. Break out your tiny violin, but sometimes luxury watches struggle under the flashbulbs: beautiful navy dials, for example, can get reduced to washed-out and textureless black holes. This Reverso’s silver sunburst finish is ready for its close up, though. Even the dark blue sky of the moon phase complication somehow takes on a bright turquoise tint. These are important things to consider when you’re in someone like Hoult’s shoes. 


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