Welcome to Watches of the Weekwhere we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Close observers of the NBA complain that Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nugget’s hulking passing sorcerer and reigning MVP, doesn’t get enough appreciation. I’m here to agree: We do not appreciate Nikola Jokic’s watches enough. Much like his bananas cross-court frisbee passes, this watch left me wide-eyed, confused, and ultimately amazed. The Joker is wearing a Cartier Caliber Chronograph, a now-discontinued model that was possibly too far ahead of its time.
When Cartier introduced the original Caliber in 2010 as its take on a sports watch, it arrived with all the necessary credentials. At 42 millimeters this watch was beefy, especially by Cartier’s typical standards. (The dimensions on the brand’s flagship Tank are 29.5×22 millimeters.) The watch arrived on a metal bracelet, with big-ass numerals on the dial, and those fat rugged lugs (the arms that cinch the case to the leather bracelet). Cartier even traded out its square and oddball case shapes for a traditional round one, fully dipping its toes into the world of sport.
Over the years, Cartier rolled out a version of the Caliber meant for diving, as well as this Chronograph iteration. How this watch came to Jokic is hard to fathom. Why this piece, discontinued in 2018, rather than something like its spiritual successor, the Cartier Drive (or literally any of the handful of massively popular sport watches we see a lot on the wrists of NBA players)? And while the standard Caliber pieces aren’t difficult to come by secondhand, the secondary market isn’t exactly teeming with this rose-gold chronograph piece. The Caliber may have arrived just a little too early to the huge sport watch wave that collectors now love.
Jokic isn’t a dude who I often spot wearing a watch, but with this one piece he’s demonstrated some great taste and a more-than-casual interest in collecting.
Also this week, not one but two Europe cast members wore some awesome and unique watches.
Jacob Elordi’s Tag Heuer Monaco
It’s so easy for young Hollywood stars to follow the tried-and-true watch-collecting blueprint. Even occasional readers of this column will know the pieces celebrities eagerly hoover up. So it’s refreshing to see folks like Elordi (and Tom Holland) taking a slightly different approach by picking up the distinctive Monaco and all its sharp 90° angles. Plus, the watch has a history with Hollywood royalty because of its history with Steve McQueen.
Pharrell’s Richard Mille RM 74-01
Pharrell has his own Richard Mille made in collaboration with the high-concept watchmaker, but the brand isn’t handing that honor out to just anybody. Before he was a collaborator, Pharrell was a pretty serious RM collector: We already know he owns the 25-01 and the 70-01, while his wife Helen Lasichanh has the “Kiwi” 37-01. Here he’s wearing the relatively new RM 74-01, which was released last May. The watch’s case is made out of a specialty material called Cermet, which is a combination of titanium and ceramic. Richard Mille very coolly describes the process used to fuse these two materials as FLASH SINTERING. I’ll spare you most of the technical mumbo jumbo of what that means but just know it involves bursts of high-voltage electricity.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Memovox
Between 1949 and 1950, the first two wrist watches with alarm functions crashed onto the scene. The first was the Vulcain Cricket; the second was the JLC Memovox. The watches were beloved by sitting US presidents and anyone else who wanted to show they were busy men with many appointments and business deals to settle. Over the years, JLC also realized it could deploy its alarm function in several different ways. The brand introduced the Memovox Deep Sea in 1959 as an alarm watch for divers who needed a stern reminder it was time to resurface. In 1965, JLC debuted the even-louder divers watch, the Polaris. Now, the watch is helping Benedict Cumberbatch arrive punctually to his Walk of Fame ceremony.
Angus Cloud’s Ralph Lauren Tuxedo Polo Bear
For decades, the Polo Bear has starred on sweaters, shirts, ties, scarves, mugs, and even coloring books. In 2019 Ralph Lauren finally brought its furry mascot over to a watch. The first batch included four different pieces that showed the Bear dressed up as a regatta attendee and/or Bruce Springsteen cosplayer. Cloud is wearing the watch with the Tuxedo Bear, which dons a jacket with faded denim. “I have always loved contradictions, blending a tuxedo jacket with a pair of jeans and boots,” Ralph Lauren said about the watch. Cloud also appears to love contradictions: a full Burberry set, Tom Ford Socks, a Ralph Lauren watch, and a Kangol hat?? Ralph Lauren would approve.