Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Alberto Santos-Dumont was born in the cradle of high society. The heir to his family’s coffee fortune, he used his money and status to raise his ceiling even higher—literally. He moved from Brazil to Paris to pursue aviation and enthusiastically took to hot air balloons, even piloting one around the Eiffel Tower in 1901. But here’s a little secret: air travel in the early 1900s was an absolute death trap. The first “heavier-than-air machines” Santos invented, the 14-bis, looked like something assembled in the back room of a UPS store—boxes pressed up against more boxes. Adding to the danger was the fact that the wristwatch hadn’t yet been invented, leaving pilots like Santos to jerry-rig pocket watches with straps so they could keep time with a glance. So Santos asked his pal Louis Cartier to create a wristwatch, and in 1904 the jeweler proffered the square-shaped piece that now bears his name. Rami Malek wore one during an appearance on the Today show, and he looked terrific. Also this week: Samuel L. Jackson gets a m-f’ing watch on his m-f’ing wrist and Eddie Redmayne finds a good timepiece to pair with a teddy bear costume.
Rami Malek’s Cartier Santos-Dumont
Among Rami Malek’s finest qualities, which include a dynamite Freddie Mercy accent and eyes that Tom Hanks describes admiringly as “wide and sleepy at the same time, is that he’s a Cartier Boy through and through. To this year’s Met Gala, Mr. Robot wore a Cartier Tank MC. Here he wears Cartier’s Santos-Dumont model, a new model that was unveiled earlier this year at SIHH. The fine watch uses a quartz movement, which hardcore collectors look down on, but using the unfussy movement enables Cartier to get this piece’s price down to $5,600.
James Harden’s Richard Mille RM 11-03
Odell Beckham Jr. wore his RM 11-03 out onto the field for an NFL game. Drake practically ran onto the court while wearing his during the NBA finals. James Harden: it’s time for you to take this watch from the presser to the court.
Adrien Brody’s Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
This special-edition Montblanc Geosphere is dedicated to the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, which entails climbing to the highest mountains on each continent (Everest in Asia, Aconcagua in South America, Denali in North America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Puncak Jaya/Mount Kosciuszko in Australia). It is certainly no coincidence that at one point in this challenge’s history the tallest mountain in Europe was thought to be none other than Mont Blanc. Adrien Brody paired this adventurer’s watch with some gnarly leather gloves, because he’s on a different type of journey.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Panerai Luminor 1950 Tuttonero
Samuel L. Jackson, or Mr. L Jackson if you’re nasty, has quite the thing for these Panerai Luminor watches. In the 2003 film S.W.A.T., Jackson’s character Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson wears a Luminor. This is actually a case of paying good attention to the details. Hondo is a former Marine, and Panerai is best known for making sturdy waterproof watches for military units like the Royal Italian Navy. It’s no surprise, then, that the watch is a favorite of action movie stars. In fact, it was Sylvester Stallone who helped put Panerai on the map when he wore the Luminor in the movie Daylight (1996). Jackson now owns several variations of the Luminor, including this very cool-looking all-black ceramic version.
Eddie Redmayne’s Omega Speedmaster
Eddie Redmayne is dressed for a very sumptuous holiday party. And one where the actor needs to know the time. He opted for this simple variation of the Omega Speedmaster known as the “First Omega in Space.” You guessed it: the watch is inspired by the first Omega in space that Wally Shirra wore on the Sigma 7 mission that orbited the earth.
Stormzy’s Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G-001
The Aquanaut is certainly Patek Philippe’s funnest model—it’s the one that comes in khaki or fire-engine red. The watch was released in 1997 and sold as the little brother to the brand’s other sporty, and highly desirable, model the Nautilus. Since, the Aquanaut has come equipped with brightly colored rubber bands that makes it stand out from the rest of the brand’s incredibly fancy catalog. Grime rapper Stormzy wore a 20th-anniversary edition of the Aquanaut with a navy blue strap with “decidedly masculine looks,” according to the PP site.