This weekend, none other than noted watch collector and undeniable GOAT Lionel Messi was seen sporting the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Spider-Man during an MLS match between Inter Miami CF and New York City FC in Fort Lauderdale. Considering what else this guy has been spotted with on his wrist—solid-gold Louis Vuitton, complicated Patek, etc.—it’s safe to say that he has wide-ranging and eclectic taste.
While the watch had its detractors upon its release, it’s collected a coterie of famous fans during its short existence. Like: Remember the time John Mayer and Ed Sheeran wore matching Spider-Man tourbillons onstage while performing together? Allow us to jog your memory: At Mayer’s Heart and Armor Foundation benefit gig this past September, both superstars rocked limited-edition, tourbillon-equipped Royal Oak watches from Audemars Piguet with three-dimensional depictions of Spidey. Powered by the hand-wound Calibre 2974 movement, these watches are both irreverent and highly sophisticated, with the dials each requiring 50 hours of work to complete.
But what does it say about this Spidey watch that everyone with a fat enough checking account seems to be rocking one? Well, several things are true at once. For starters, watches are meant to be fun, and if a $215,000 Spider-Man-equipped tourbillon strikes your fancy, then more power to you. And it’s no small deal that John Mayer, one of the foremost tastemakers in watch collecting, digs the piece. History tells us that if he thinks something is cool—for whatever reason—other collectors are going to take note.
Maybe Messi was struck by the same childlike joy that Mayer and Sheeran felt when they first got the watch on their wrists. “We both put them on at the same time,” Mayer recently told GQ. “And you should have seen us for the rest of the day, we were like two kids who had these new toys. I’ve got to tell you, in person, that watch is cool.” Clearly, Messi agrees.