Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Michael Jordan and his dad jeans might not have fit into today’s fashion-forward NBA, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t left his sartorial mark. For starters, there’s the sneaker empire that bears his name and logo. He maintains his signature hoop earring, so famous it’s the subject of a Drake bar: “Don’t Michael Jordan still got his hoop earring in?” And the G.O.A.T. has stockpiled one of the more interesting and diverse watch collections on the planet. While most athletes are happy to rotate the classics—the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Rolex Daytona, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak—across their wrists, MJ has gone in a totally different direction by picking out high-priced pieces from niche high-minded watchmakers.
Jordan owns plenty of out-there watches from Ulysse Nardin, Richard Mille, and Roger Dubuis, but the brand he always seems to come back to is Urwerk. We last saw him wearing a custom piece with the numerals remade in Chicago-Bulls red and MJ’s number 23 etched in gold Roman numerals. At the Ally 400 race in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend, Jordan showed off another new piece from his go-to brand: His UR-220 in red gold with a clean white rubber strap is a brand-new release that was announced just last month. This particular piece, limited to only 10, marks the very last edition of the UR-220.
Urwerk founders Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner said in a press release that the inspiration for the watch was none other than the ‘80s TV show Miami Vice and the golden tans and pearly white smiles of its stars. Strange inspirations are what make Urwerk Urwerk–the brand is all about creating watches that make people “conscious about their time,” Baumgartner told me in 2020. “Real luxury is to have time. And, actually, to not even know the time by the second, to just have your own feel of time.” Safe to say, for Jordan, it’s also about a Miami Vice-inspired, red gold, roughly $150,000 watch.
Odell Beckham’s Patek Philippe Nautilus
When you’re a premiere athlete, apparently no watches are off limits. There are levels to this, even when it comes to the already extremely in-demand Nautilus. Beckham’s piece is a version of the Nautilus that wasn’t even made available to the public—only Patek’s best customers were granted access to it. What a year for Beckham: Super Bowl champion, new dad, and the owner of this special-edition Nautilus featuring 44 rubies.
Rick Ross’s Jacob & Co. Billionaire III
Jacob & Co. pieces look like Rick Ross lyrics sound—aggressive, unfiltered braggadocio. To wit: the name of Ross’s watch is the Billionaire III. (Please, Billionaire was my father, call me Billionaire the Third.) You can always count on a Jacob & Co. watch to pair pyrotechnic mechanisms with over-the-top bling, and this watch is no different. Where else can you find a tourbillon—the spinning cage that rotates at the center of this watch—and 504 white diamonds (just over 90 carats worth) in one place?
Kevin Love’s Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Nautilus
Love got married over the weekend in a ceremony that doubled as a reunion of the 2016 Finals-winning Cleveland Cavaliers team. The wedding was inspired by The Great Gatsby and Love couldn’t have picked a better watch for the theme. While the Nautilus wasn’t around in the ‘20s when Gatsby threw his own lavish parties, this is the watch the old sport would have worn today. No watch signals wealth and access to the highest forms of luxury better than the Nautilus equipped with a perpetual calendar function.
Jerry Lorenzo’s Rolex Day-Date
The watch is known as the President, but this week, the Day-Date showed it’s a favorite among fashion designers, too. Thom Browne embroidered the watch on shirt sleeves and Fear of God designer Lorenzo wore the real thing while enjoying the festivities in Paris. Earlier this year, Lorenzo released a collection he called “Eternal”—clothes designed to transcend trends. If eternal cool is what Lorenzo’s interested in, he couldn’t have picked a better watch.