T he perfect watch is an expression of someone's status, taste, aesthetic and personal style. No wonder then that celebrities are picky about what they wrap around their wrists. And it's not just about owning one signature timepiece; nowadays, actors, musicians, fashion designers and athletes are building their own collections and showing them off. Jay Z loves a Cartier Crash, Virat Kohli opts for a Rolex Daytona, Kylie Jenner has a white gold Patek Phillipe and George Clooney is loyal to an Omega Speedmaster.
Here, we take a closer look at some high profile watches and the lots from Sotheby's Luxury Week in New York that could be the ideal celebrity-endorsed addition to any collection.
Travis Scott's Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
One of the most popular watches among the rich and famous, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is a classic octagonal design that works for day or night. Owners include everyone from Will Smith to John Legend to Justin Bieber, who bought himself one as a wedding present.
One big draw with the Royal Oak is the many ways in which it can be customised. Actress Millie Bobby Brown opted for a chic steel finish with white face, while Serena Williams has a special version designed not to dig into her wrist when she's on the court. Rapper Travis Scott's Royal Oak comes with a frosted gold finish although he also owns a rare model studded with rainbow coloured sapphires.
Drake's Rolex Day-Date
Drake is a serial watch-lover who appears to be amassing a huge collection of statement pieces including several Rolex Day-Dates. One particularly blinged-out yellow-gold version features a champagne dial, a diamond bezel and baguette diamond hour markers. Drake is also a fan of giving watches as gifts, presenting fellow rapper Lil Baby (who is known for wearing a watch on each wrist) with a Day-Date with Chrome Hearts bracelet. Drake himself also owns a Chrome Hearts x Rolex timepiece featuring diamond-encrusted flowers on the bracelet.
Other Day-Date fans include Roger Federer and Jennifer Aniston, while as mafia boss Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini wore an 18k yellow gold, champagne dial Rolex President Day-Date throughout the six series of The Sopranos.
Virgil Abloh's Patek Philippe Nautilus
The Patek Philippe Nautilus is another watch highly rated by celebrities. With a design based on a ship's porthole, the Nautilus is instantly recognisable and famously has a lengthy waiting list but those who have managed to get their hands on it include Jesse Lingard, Henry Golding, Brad Pitt and Victoria Beckham.
The late Louis Vuitton creative director and fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, who sadly died last month, was also a fan. Alongside his regular Nautilus, Abloh was seen wearing a customised model in a complete blacked-out finish on the Louis Vuitton catwalk. It was reportedly made by the entire watch being diassambled, every part of it coated in a diamond-like carbon dust (a process known as "ionic pulverisation") and then put back together again.
Drake also owns two Nautilus watches, including one emerald-encrusted version customised by Virgil Abloh – and he loves it so much, he even raps about it in his song “Life Is Good": “Vigil [Abloh] got that Patek on my wrist goin’ nuts”.
Charlize Theron's Rolex 'Double Red' Sea-Dweller
There are so many Rolex models to choose from and for Academy Award winning actress, Charlize Theron, it's the Sea-Dweller. More and more women – including Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah – are choosing the cool, over-sized look of watches traditionally designed for men. Theron's choice of the 44mm Sea-Dweller is particularly bold with the size in part due to the model's extreme underwater capability: should she want to, Theron could dive to 12,800 feet.
Other celebrities spotted wearing the Sea-Dweller include David Beckham, Ashton Kutcher and Tom Hanks.
Bradley Cooper's IWC Pilot's Watch
Seen as a modern classic, the aviation-inspired IWC Pilot's Watch offers several different models, making it popular with collectors and celebrities alike. One fan of the brand, and the Pilot's Watch in particular, is Bradley Cooper. Cooper has long worn the brand off-screen and also wore an IWC timepiece in his 2015 film, Aloha. He famously wore a Big Pilot's Watch Single Piece to the 2019 Academy Awards at which he was nominated for Best Actor for A Star is Born. It was later sold by Sotheby's as part of a charity auction.
It's sporty design makes it no wonder that it's also popular with Lewis Hamilton, Pep Guardiola, Tom Brady and Gerard Pique.