Tokyo-based cultural icon, rapper, and co-founder of clothing brand Ambush Verbal was seen on Instagram wearing the game-changing Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept CW1 — the very first Concept model released in 2002.
Launched to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak, the AP’s Concept line was created with the aim of integrating contemporary design language with exceptional watchmaking know-how, all while utilizing the most avant-garde materials.
The CW1 featured a alagam of unconventional, ultra-modern materials, with a kevlar strap, titanium bezel and a case made of alacrite 602: an alloy consisting of carbon, cobalt, chromium, iron and tungsten nickel — virtually unscratchable and originally developed for the aerospace industry. And the cherry on top? A tourbillon, a torque indicator, and a linear power reserve indicator.
Priced at approximately 250,000 CHF — which at the time seemed ludicrous to the industry for a high-performance luxury sports watch, and while still a eye-watering amount of money, is less of a shock today — the introduction of the Concept line effectively established an entirely new segment of the market: ultra-expensive, durable watches that differed pretty drastically from what was traditionally found in that price range — which typically consisted of complicated suit watches cased in precious metals that were exquisite but delicate in nature. The Concept introduced a more resilient, sporty and modern option — with a premium price tag.
It’s safe to say that the CW1 is an horological icon, and we can’t wait to see more from Verbal’s impressive collection.
Reference: CW1 (Limited edition of 150 pieces)
Retail price: Approx. CHF 250,000
Est. market value: USD 154,000+ / HKD 1,200,000
23-year-old rapper Jack Harlow was spotted at the 2021 BET Awards wearing his stainless-steel Rolex Sky-Dweller with a blue dial (ref. 326934). While the Sky-Dweller model as a whole is already extremely sought-after, the blue-dial variant without a doubt reigns supreme over its counterparts, going for double its retail price on the secondhand market.
Made of Rolex’s White Rolesor, which is a combination of a white gold fluted bezel and stainless steel case and bracelet, this Sky Dweller’s combination of material and dial colour plays right into the ever-prevailing white metal / blue dial watch trend that continues to govern the mainstream market today.
It also boasts a unique dial layout unlike any other Rolex model: home to an array of functions from hours, minutes, running seconds, a date display, month indicator, GMT functionality to an annual calendar — making it as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. Reportedly wanting to build his collection, this is no doubt an excellent starting point and we’ll keep our eyes peeled on what the rising star picks up next.
Retail price: USD 14,800 / HKD 115,600
Est. market value: USD 27,600+ / HKD 215,000+
American designer, DJ and founder of his eponymous clothing brand Heron Preston was spotted wearing the brand-new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (ref. 26574OR) in 18-carat pink gold.
This Royal Oak has been outfitted with a new silvery-blue dial colour that appears much lighter than the blue in the previous iteration of the same model. With a lighter configuration of warm hues of gold contrasted by splashes of icy blue, this update has been given the perfect palette for summer — and the perpetual calendar function is the icing on the cake.
As far as we know, no other photos of this watch have surfaced on the internet so far other than on Heron’s Instagram, and as a key figure in the fashion industry fresh off his recent collaboration with Calvin Klein, it’s great to see this RO make its glorious debut on his wrist.
Retail price: USD 136,740 / HKD 766,000
Est. market value: USD 199,412+ / HKD 1,550,000+
Canadian singer and songwriter The Weeknd was seen wearing the 250-piece limited edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept ‘Black Panther’ Flying Tourbillon ref. 26620IO, released earlier this year.
Pop culture meets Haute Horlogerie in this collaboration between AP and Marvel Entertainment: a tribute to Marvel’s Black Panther, the watch draws inspiration from the superhero’s suit — the ‘Panther Habit’. It’s encased in 42mm of sandblasted titanium and modestly sized, nestling in between AP’s other Concept lines in 44mm or 38.5mm. As with prior iterations in the Concept family, at the heart of the ‘Black Panther’ sits a high-level execution of the ‘flying’ tourbillon below the dial-spanning depiction of the Black Panther.
Despite stirring up controversy upon its release (love it or hate it, you have to admit that this watch has clearly captured the hearts of buyers across the globe — with the likes of high-profile celebrities Lebron James and Neymar Jr. also seen sporting the piece), it’s safe to say that all 250 pieces have definitely been snapped up already.
Retail price: USD 162,000 (HKD $1,274,896)
Est. market value: USD $480,000 / HKD $3,725,000 (approx.)
Making his return to the spotlight promoting his upcoming studio album after a hiatus, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran made an appearance on the popular Youtube show “Hot Ones,” presented by Sean Evans, to suffer through the famous hot wings challenge while sharing stories about Eminem and Eric Clapton. On his wrist, however, viewers may have picked up on the special timepiece he was wearing.
While it looked at first like a standard Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 5270G with a blue dial, upon closer inspection, the dial reveals Breguet numerals as hour markers. This configuration was never available in the standard Patek Philippe catalogue, so it’s safe to assume that Ed’s watch was a special order made at the request of the “Bad Habits” singer.
The reference 5270 was released in 2011 as the latest subject in a long line of perpetual calendar chronograph timepieces that Patek have produced. It’s also the first reference with these two complications to feature an in-house movement. The watch is well proportioned at 41mm, and no doubt represents the quintessential complicated Patek Philippe to own.
Ed Sheeran, known for being an avid watch collector, has sported numerous Patek Philippe watches while playing concerts across the world, so it comes as no surprise that the Genevan maison would agree to create a special piece for him.
Retail price: USD 176,300 / HKD 1,230,700 (Standard version)
Est. market value: N/A
Robert De Niro
Legendary American actor, director and producer Robert De Niro was spotted wearing an F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu.
Released in 2009 and comfortably maintaining its position amongst independent watchmaker F.P. Journe's catalogue as one of their most highly-coveted offerings, the Chronomètre Bleu is housed within a grey 39mm tantalum case and features one of the most beautiful and dynamic blue dials in watchmaking, taking on shades of iridescent candy blue to a matte navy at the turn of a wrist.
Powered by F.P. Journe's 18kt rose gold in-house cal. 1304 movement, the Chronomètre Bleu houses as much visual oomph behind its exhibition caseback as it does from the front. Perhaps one of the most highly prized blue-dialled watches in the world, the Chronometre Bleu epitomises understated elegance that seems fit for an industry titan like De Niro.
Reference: Chronometre Bleu
Retail price: USD 28,155 / HKD 218,000
Est. market value: USD 109,000+ / HKD 850.000+
Many people don’t know this about Mark Cavendish, but he’s a real watch enthusiast, and he’s even been known to give specially engraved watches to his teammates! Before striking up a friendship with Richard Mille, the man, he was already a fan of Richard Mille, the brand; so the relationship between the two came about naturally.
The Deceuninck-QuickStep sprinter has been making waves in this year’s Tour de France by equaling Eddy Merckx’s record for most stage wins (34). Throughout the event, he was seen wearing the RM67-02 Alexander Zrevev with a black, red, and yellow colour scheme which he paired with a blue strap — the watch was clearly visible while he was riding, and also when he appeared on podiums.
The RM67-02 is a favorite of athletes such as Wayde Van Niekerk, Alexis Pinturault, or Mutaz Essa Barshim due to its lightness and thin profile. The watch that Mark Cavendish was wearing weighs only 32 grams and is made of ultra-light and durable Carbon Quartz TPT, and the screws used to secure the case are in grade 5 titanium, just like the dial; all to keep the weight as light as possible.
Reference: RM67-02 Alexander Zrevev
Retail price: USD 120,500 / HKD 938,000
Est. market value: USD 308,000+ / HKD 2,400,000+
“I just (...) put a Richard on the card.”
Rapper Drake was spotted wearing the new Richard Mille RM 27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal, limited to 50 pieces. This is the fifth iteration of the RM 27, made in celebration of the brand’s 10-year relationship with tennis phenom Rafael “Rafa” Nadal.
Measuring 38.4mm across, 47.25mm lug-to-lug and 11.4mm in thickness, the 27-04 is a skeletonized tonneau-shaped watch cased in RM’s TitaCarb, a high-performance polyamide comprised of 38.5% of carbon fiber — making it lightweight and extremely resistant to wear and tear. The entire watch weighs in at only 30 grams — strap included — and was made to withstand accelerative forces of up to 12,000 Gs, to accommodate extreme motion like the swing of a tennis racquet. Its movement sits majestically in full view, suspended within a mesh lattice — reminiscent of a tennis racquet — fashioned with a 0.27mm diameter steel cable.
Billboard’s Artist of the Decade repping an RM in collaboration with a 13-time French Open champion. Gotta keep your wrist as decorated as you are.
Reference: RM 27-04 (Limited to 50 pieces)
Retail price: USD 1,050,000 / HKD 8,454,000
Est. market value: USD 2,250,000+ / HKD 17,500,000+
There are clear advantages to being a brand ambassador and ‘The Maestro’ Roger Federer knows this better than most. As a long time partner and friend of Rolex, this special relationship gives him access to pieces that are impossible to find at your local authorized dealer.
Case in point: Federer was spotted during a Wimbledon press conference wearing the 41mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a sought-after yellow dial. In 2020, Rolex surprised everyone when they updated the Oyster perpetual line, their entry-level collection, with colourful lacquer dials. The watches were so popular that they instantly became some of the hottest pieces on the market — and there’s still a long waiting list to get any of them, even a year later. Flexing on us yet again, he was spotted later in the competition wearing the same model but with a green dial.
Retail price: USD 5,900 / HKD 46,000
Est. market value: USD 13,890+ / HKD 108,000+
Charles Leclerc and Richard Mille have been partners since 2011, when the racing driver was still in karting. Over the years, the relationship has only grown stronger — and now that RM is finally sponsoring Ferrari, Leclerc can proudly represent the brand that has been by his side all these years in the paddock.
To cement the partnership even more, Richard Mille made an exclusive and unique prototype RM 67-02 watch for him, hand-painted in the colours of Charles Leclerc’s flag (Monaco) and made of white and red Quartz TPT. Unfortunately, you won’t see him wearing the watch any more as the timepiece is set to be auctioned in November during Only Watch 2021 to raise funds for research into duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The future owner of this RM 67-02 will receive two passes for the next F1 Monaco Grand Prix. As VIP Guests of Scuderia Ferrari, they will have the opportunity to meet Charles Leclerc and attend the race at the heart of the Scuderia paddock.
Reference: RM 67-02 ‘Charles Leclerc’
Retail price: N/A - prototype watch
Est. market value: USD 1,250,000+ / HKD 9,700,000+
“Yep, bling-bling if the watch out.”
While on social media promoting her new single Whole Lotta Money, rapper Nicki Minaj was seen sporting a Richard Mille RM 07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire, with a custom pink sapphire case and gold crown executed by New York-based jeweller Rafaello & Co.
A suitably blinged-out piece for the Pinkprint rapper, the 07-02 is a gem-set, purple and pink coloured sapphire-cased watch that measures in at 32.90mm in diameter and 14.35mm in thickness. With its case crafted from sections of coloured sapphire taken from a single block, its mother-of pearl dial sits front and centre amongst the madness that is its iced-out surroundings.
It’s powered by RM’s automatic in-house calibre CRMA5 (set with hundreds of diamonds, naturally) — a skeletonized movement that packs around 50 hours of power reserve. As one of the best selling female rap artists of all time, it’s no surprise that this aptly named Pink Lady Sapphire, an ultra-exclusive display of wealth, made its way onto her wrist.
Reference: RM 07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire
Retail price: USD 980,000 / HKD 7,620,000
Est. market value: USD 1,300,000+ / HKD 10,100,000