Given his stature as one of the most stylish players in basketball, it’s little surprise that LeBron James’s watch collection is both vast and full of pieces we mortals would have trouble ever getting our hands on. (See here, here, and here.) The face of Louis Vuitton’s latest menswear campaign under the direction of Pharrell, King James is constantly bringing the sartorial and horological heat—and all this while remaining the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
At the Browns-Rams game this past Sunday, he was spotted with yet another excellent watch: a Rolex Yacht-Master 40 ref. 126655. The Yacht-Master, which debuted in 1992, is a sort of elevated take on the Submariner inspired by the yachting world. With its bi-directional, 60-minute Cerachrom bezel, it could otherwise be confused with the brand’s famed dive watch—but its precious-metal (and titanium) configurations, optional rubber bracelets, and special dials set it apart.
The ref. 126655, cased in Everose gold and paired to a rubber Oysterflex strap, is available with a sporty black dial—but that’s not the option Bron sprang for. James’s particular example features a sparkling, pavé diamond dial that could conceivably reflect sunlight back into space, it’s so darn lustrous. With its applied, luminous hour plots, Mercedes handset, and date window at 3 o’clock, it’s still readily identifiable as a Rolex sports watch—only with a luxurious twist. Sure, you could take this watch for a swim—it’s water resistant to 300m, after all—but put it in a stadium seat on the wrist of one of the most famous athletes in the world, and it truly shines.
What’s notable about this piece is that it’s a factory-dial watch; visible on the Rolex website, it’s (theoretically) out there in the world for anyone with $46,600—and a long-established history with their authorized dealer—to snag. James seems to embrace both catalog and off-catalog pieces, meaning those whose sales are restricted and which aren’t publicized; these are typically high-gem pieces such as the “Eye of the Tiger” Daytona previously seen on his wrist earlier this year.
With a collection that spans Rolex sport watches, crazy Richard Mille pieces, black ceramic Royal Oaks, and more, James has more than proven his horological bona fides. All he needs to do now is work with Pharrell on a La Fabriques du Temps-produced Louis Vuitton watch. Now that would be a collab for the ages.
Robert Downey Jr’s Cartier Santos Dumont
One can always count on RDJ for a good horological showing—I mean, who else moves seamlessly from fairly standard fare like the TAG Heuer Monaco to a liquid-filled HYT? The Iron Man star shook things up further this week when he strapped on a most excellent (and highly rare) Cartier Santos-Dumont for the Academy Museum Gala in Los Angeles. A recent debut from this past year’s Watches & Wonders show in Geneva, the ref. CRWGSA0053 features a 31.5mm lacquered burgundy case paired to a silver Roman numeral dial and a matching red ruby cabochon crown. Powered by an ultra-thin, hand-wound movement, it’s a striking take on a historically important watch—and the perfect accessory for an actor as gripping and unpredictable as Downey.
Mark Wahlberg’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Rolex made subtle updates to its nearly-impossible-to-snag Cosmograph Daytona chronograph for its 60th anniversary this year, including small changes to the hour markers and (for the first time since 2000) a new movement. Wahlberg was clearly quick to secure himself an allocation of the “panda dial” variant, a reference 126500LN. With its 40mm Oystersteel case, black Cerachrom bezel, triple-register chronograph, and matching Oyster bracelet, the modern Daytona is one of the best-wearing, best-looking watches on the market. Walhberg, a noted Rolex collector, has quite a few classic models from the Crown in his collection—but that hasn’t stopped him from branching out into other marques, including Patek.
Henry Golding’s Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711
It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a 5711 in the wild—but that doesn’t diminish the singular importance of this most sought-after (discontinued) reference from Patek Philippe. Spotted on the wrist of Crazy Rich Asians heartthrob Henry Golding at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, the Nautilus luxury sports watch sprang from the mind of famed Swiss designer Gérald Genta in 1976. Famously discontinued by Patek boss Thierry Stern in 2021, the 40mm ref. 5711 was succeeded by the 41mm ref. 5811 in 2022—but that hasn’t diminished demand for the former, which start at roughly $90K on reseller Chrono24.com. Golding, a noted watch fanatic, wears it exceptionally well.
Charles Melton’s Alpine Eagle Frozen
American actor Charles Melton was also present at the 2023 Academy Museum Gala alongside RDJ—but wearing a very different watch. The May December star was seen in a Chopard Alpine Eagle Frozen, a completely iced-out take on the brand’s luxury sports watch that debuted back in 2019. Powered by a chronometer-certified automatic movement, the watch is cased in 18K white gold and is positively dripping with diamonds—over seven carats’ worth, to be exact. The Alpine Eagle line, a spiritual successor to the St. Mortiz collection from the 1980s, is available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, and the brand doesn’t differentiate between men’s and women’s models on its website. Melton’s watch, measuring 36mm, is perfect for any wrist.