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Jay Z Watch Collection


By Wristcheck
3 Jul 2024
12 min read

The godfather of all celebrity watch collectors, JAY-Z has accumulated some of the rarest, most elusive timepieces throughout his career. 

An avid watch collector since the 90s, JAY-Z can be largely credited with bringing watches to the mainstream – it’s suffice to say that he played a huge role in the shaping of watch culture as we know it today. His frequent public appearances sporting watches spurred a trend among hip-hop and pop artists worldwide, as watches became a staple in music videos, red carpets, and candid paparazzi shots. Dare we say legend? Decide for yourself. 

Richard Mille RM001

The rapper was among the first to sport this legendary watch – the RM001 aka the first timepiece ever made by the maison – which was one of only 17 released by the brand when it first launched. With an extravagant price tag of $135,000 and limited quantity of just 80 pieces, this veritable piece of horological history has been JAY’s loyal companion throughout his career, from the photo shoots for top hip-hop magazines to glitzy appearances at star-studded events like the Soul Train Music Awards in 2002. In 2022, this piece was sold at Christie's for CHF 2,094,000, which makes it approximately USD 2.3 million.

100 million crib, three million watch. All facts– Boss (2018)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Platinum “Jay-Z 10th Anniversary” ref. 26055PT

This iconic Royal Oak Offshore was co-created by JAY-Z and AP in 2006 to honor the rapper's 10-year milestone in the music industry. This paradigm-shifting partnership, under the leadership of AP's then U.S. CEO François-Henry Bennahmias, made history as the first-ever collaboration between a luxury watch brand and a hip-hop artist. The watch itself is a testament to both the man and his achievements – its blue dial comes adorned with a diamond-studded "10" index. Limited to just 100 pieces (50 in stainless steel, 30 in rose gold) with a mere 20 crafted in platinum, this Royal Oak Offshore stands as a monumental milestone in watchmaking history. 

Audemars Piguet, with the alligator strap– Show You How (2002)

Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra-Thin “Shawn Carter”

The stars aligned in 2013 when Hublot and JAY-Z Carter joined forces for a truly legendary collaboration. Their creative partnership resulted in two striking timepieces, available in either 18k yellow gold or ceramic, as part of the exclusive Shawn Carter Collection. Both versions come 45mm in diameter, outfitted with black alligator straps, and house Hublot’s ultra-thin manually-wound HUB1300 mechanical movement.

“New watch alert, Hublots” – Otis (2011)

Rolex Day Date “Arabic” in Platinum with Ice Blue Dial ref. 228206

In a 2017 interview with the New York Times, JAY-Z was spotted wearing a stunning platinum Rolex Day Date with an ice blue dial. Upon a closer look, it transpired that the watch also had Arabic numerals (no, not the kind used in the West everyday), but the Eastern Arabic ones, which date back to the 8th century and are still used in the Arab World. Rolex variants with arabic numerals are already considered quite rare, so imagine how covetable would a piece like that be if it came in platinum? 

“You guessed it, manifest it in tangible goods/Platinum Rolexed it, we don't lease/we buy the whole car, as you should.” – Can I Live (1996)

Richard Mille RM056 “The Blueprint”

There couldn’t be a union more logical than one between JAY-Z and Richard Mille’s “The Blueprint” RM056 – it’s quite literally in the name. Named after JAY-Z’s sixth studio album (certified platinum thrice – naturally), this blue sapphire “racing machine” – a Flyback Split-Second Tourbillon, one of the most complex movements ever made by Richard Mille – was designed by jeweler Alex Todd and reportedly took around 3,000 hours to make. The blue sapphire distinction of this model is quite literal – every part of the case, from the front bezel to the back bezel, was carefully cut and milled from solid blocks of sapphire – using technology that took years of R&D. 

But this particular watch be a one of one / That means none before it, none to come / The homie that’s rappin’ be the only one that has it.” – Show You How (2002)

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300G

In 2019, JAY-Z was spotted wearing the legendary Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300G – the brand's most complicated wristwatch ever with 20 complications, nestled beneath the folds of his opulent velvet tuxedo. This ultra-heavy-hitter was the highly anticipated follow-up to the original Grandmaster Chime, released in 2016 as part of Patek Philippe's 175th anniversary collection. The first edition, known as the ref. 5175, was limited to only six exquisitely-engraved yellow-gold models. The newer 6300G boasts a sleeker white-gold case and two contrasting black and white dials, with a hobnail guilloché pattern at its center.

“No jewels in this Patek Philippe/ It’s complicated, three million apiece” – Top Off (2019)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Carbon ref. 26265FO

Arguably the most futuristic watch in JAY-Z’s collection (at least judging from what we’ve seen so far), the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Carbon measures to an impressive 44mm width and 16mm in thickness. Forged out of carbon and equipped with a ceramic bezel and titanium screws, the skeletonized case reveals an incredibly complex in-house movement, which features a red power reserve and a unique linear chronograph display – a rather fresh take on the beloved complication. Powered by the 388-component hand-wound Calibre 2895, the watch's tourbillon escapement is visible from the dial, along with its fully integrated column-wheel chronograph.

“I'm so tomorrow the Audemars says yesterday.” – Off That (2009)

Rolex Datejust Perpetual Calendar

At NBA games, the front rows are a haven for more than just star-studded faces. It's also a treasure trove of rare and coveted watches. During the 2020 Toronto Raptors' quest to dominate in the NBA Finals, JAY-Z flaunted not just any watch, but a stunning Rolex Datejust with a moon phase and perpetual calendar. This unique watch has an intriguing backstory – it was originally a simple Datejust before watchmaker Franck Muller added these complications to it back in the 80s, making it one-of-a-kind. 

Ball so hard, got a broke clock. Rollies that don’t tick tock– N***** in Paris (2011)

Patek Philippe Sky Moon Celestial ref. 6102P

At the highly-anticipated NFL championship game in Miami's Hard Rock Stadium in 2020, the rapper-turned-business mogul adorned himself with a stunning platinum Patek Philippe Sky Moon Celestial Ref. 6102P timepiece. This luxurious watch has been making waves in both horological and fashion circles since its release in 2015. Inspired by the Swiss brand's rich history of crafting astronomical pocket watches, the Sky Moon Celestial boasts an intricately designed blue sapphire-crystal dial featuring a rotating display of the celestial bodies. With this coveted timepiece, wearers can get an accurate glimpse of the northern hemisphere's night sky on any given day. 

Why would I not have a watch like a Saudi Prince?– Flux Capacitor (2020)

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711 “Tiffany & Co.”

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠The purpose of this watch is, in many ways, to legitimize the status of influential cultural figures and to serve as a glimmering beacon for the aspirants to – well – aspire to. Having sold for a whopping US$ 6,503,000 at a Phillips auction in 2021, it comes as no surprise that this iteration of the Patek Philippe Nautilus with the unmistakable Tiffany-blue dial now resides inside JAY-Z’s seemingly bottomless watch collection.

“So many watches I need eight arms/One neck but got eight charms.” – Who Gon Stop Me (2011)

Cartier Crash Skeleton in Rose Gold

The Cartier Crash is a true marvel – its rarity and unmatched design have been talked about endlessly. But each time it deserves to be written about, as its skeletonized 18k rose gold case, adorned with a blue sapphire cabochon and sword-shaped hands, elevates the concept of surrealism to new levels. The intricate movement of the Crash boasts 138 parts, including 21 jewels, specifically crafted to fit the unique asymmetrical shape of its iconic case.

“I got watches I ain't seen in months/Apartment at the Trump; I only slept in once” – Success (2007)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Tourbillon Openworked “50th Anniversary” ref. 26735ST

JAY-Z was the first one to do many things – both in music and popular culture, so it came as no surprise when he became the first celebrity to wear the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Tourbillon Openworked “50th Anniversary”. Spotted on the rapper in 2022 at a basketball game, the watch commands as much awe as it does reverence. It's the first skeletonised watch that’s openworked both horizontally and vertically – the pièce de résistance in Audemars Piguet's current catalogue, launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak.

“Audemars before all of y’alls” Biking (2007)

Richard Mille RM056 Green Sapphire Tourbillon

One of the most talked about watches these past few years was undoubtedly the one-of-a-kind green sapphire Richard Mille RM056 Tourbillon, proudly worn by JAY-Z during a basketball game in 2022. The RM056 movement is a marvel of intricate engineering comprising more than 500 components – boasting an array of impressive features, including a 30-minute split-second chronograph, a torque indicator, a power reserve indicator, and, of course, a tourbillon. This exclusive timepiece was commissioned by the music mogul himself and ordered directly from the Maison – existing as a perfect companion for his RM056 “The Blueprint”.

Feast your eyes, the piece unique, it’s sapphireNeck & Wrist (2022)

Patek Philippe World Time ref. 5230G-10

JAY-Z's love for Patek Philippe watches goes beyond just the popular sport models. He has been spotted wearing a Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5230G-10, which features unique complications. In addition to the standard hours and minutes, this watch also displays 24 different time zones and has indicators for both day and night. The blue inner dial signals that this watch is a limited-edition piece – it features the outline of the skyline of the music mogul’s hometown, New York. This version is a limited edition exclusive to the city.

I’m mixing in Switzerland, trying to buy time” – All Around The World (2002)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic ref. 26585CE

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is a ubiquitous luxury timepiece, beloved by connoisseurs and celebrities alike. Seen adorning the wrist of JAY-Z himself, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Black Ceramic Ref. 26585CE, released in 2019, is a standout iteration of this classic watch. With its beautifully hand-finished skeletonized dial and perpetual calendar function, it’s both visually stunning and highly functional.

“Bathing Ape kicks, Audemars Piguet wrist” – Allure (2003)

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar with Baguette Cut Diamonds ref. 5961R "Tiffany & Co." Stamped

In a recent appearance at the LA Clippers and LA Lakers game, JAY-Z made a statement with his Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph, adorned with Tiffany's iconic stamp and crafted from 18k rose gold. Coming with the ebony-black opaline dial, the watch is outlined with eight baguette diamonds as hour markers. Additionally, the watch featured a gem-set bezel with 36 baguette diamonds totaling 3.48 carats, elevating its red-carpet-worthy status. Known as reference 5961R, this watch boasts a chronograph function and an annual calendar that displays day, date, and months through apertures on the face. 

“Yo the watch too rocky, need shades/Continental sitting on blades, spinning like waves/Gun too Brock-y, behave.” – Watch Me (1999)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a Yves Klein Blue “Aubergine” Tropical Dial ref. 25820ST

An undisputed rare gem, this Royal Oak is fashioned with a retina-busting blue dial that speaks to the owner's unrivaled appetite for extraordinary timepieces. The "Yves Klein" moniker in the model’s lengthy name pays homage to the esteemed post-war French artist who developed this arresting hue. With its limited availability, catching a glimpse of this masterpiece in person is like witnessing a rare astronomical event – an elusive and almost mythical experience.

“And plus I get paper dog, don't let me forget/The watch face so blue like it's holding its breath” – Hovi Baby (2002)

Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 “Paul Newman Panda” “Tiffany & Co.” Stamped

One of JAY-Z’s latest timepieces is a coveted Rolex Daytona 6263, known as the holy grail among collectors. One particular model holds a special place in the hearts of diehard watch enthusiasts – the Rolex Daytona with an exotic “Paul Newman” dial. The iconic actor helped popularize this version of the watch, with its Art Deco numerals and striking track around the edge of the dial, to the point that his own personal piece sold for a record-breaking $17.8 million in 2017. And when it comes to adding prestige to a watch, nothing beats a Tiffany stamp on the dial, symbolizing its original purchase from the renowned New York jeweler. In 2016, the Daytona 6263 was sold for approximately USD 975,000.

"I flex the Rol', sign a check for yo' hoe" – Money Ain't a Thang (1998)

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 5004P

A prized addition to JAY-Z’s already impressive collection: a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph 5004P in platinum. The iconic pairing of platinum and black arabic numbers on the dial makes this specific model highly coveted among dedicated collectors, and, even more so does the bracelet. The watch first made its debut in 1996 as the brand's inaugural split-second perpetual chronograph watch, solidifying its status as a true grail for any luxury timepiece enthusiast.

“This time around, it’s platinum, like the shit on my wrist.” – Where I’m From (1997)

Richard Mille RM047 Tourbillon “Samurai”

In 2023, JAY-Z flaunted a limited-edition Richard Mille Tourbillon “Samurai” at The Superbowl. Like any Richard Mille piece, this machine stuns with its sophisticated details, the most apparent being, of course, the samurai miniature – hand-carved by the esteemed French engraver Pierre-Alan Lozeron – wearing a titanium and Carbon TPT crown polished with gold at the dial. The motif hides a compact yet complex Calibre RM47 manual winding tourbillon movement, which holds a power reserve of 72 hours. The piece is encased in TZP black ceramic, known for its scratch resistance and a low thermal conductivity coefficient.  

Bueller had a Muller but I switched it for a Mille cos I'm richer” – Gotta Have It (2011)

Patek Philippe ref. 2499/101J Piece Unique

Considered by many collectors as the greatest wristwatch ever made, the tales of this elusive Patek Philippe 2499 date back the mid 20th century – when the Maison had a monopoly on serially produced watches featuring a perpetual calendar, chronograph and moonphase. The reference saw a few iterations over the years, but the 1980 one with a factory-made chain link bracelet is, by far, the most unique ref. 2499 we've come by. So, when JAY-Z sported the piece at his post-Oscar party, our initial bewilderment made way for the resounding “Duh!” reverberating through our heads – it’s the king of hip hop we’re talking about. One of Patek Philippe's most coveted vintage references with only 349 examples made from 1950-1985 (approximately 10 per year), this one was sold to the rapper by watch collector Tony Kavak, who had sourced it from a private collector. At the time, 2400/101J had lost its bracelet and acquired lugs. So, Patek Philippe restored the piece to its original form at Kavak's request before he showed it to JAY-Z with no, as we heard, intention to sell. But, he wouldn’t be the O.G. celebrity watch collector if he passed on a piece of such immense cultural and horological value.

“The Izod bucket on, I'm so old school/Yellow wrist watch, Gucci flip flops/Six top model chicks, who is this hot?” – Jigga that N**** (2001)

Patek Philippe Grand Complications Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 6002R

A time comes in any star’s career when they must make an appearance at an athlete’s birthday (or a new Kardashian baby’s baptism). And in 2023, when JAY-Z attended basketball player LeBron James’s birthday, our eyes immediately traveled to his wrist and saw none other than Patek Philippe Grand Complications Sky Moon Tourbillon. Now, this timepiece – nay, machine – is the Maison’s second most elaborate watch ever created with a whopping 12 complications, including a tourbillon and a chiming minute repeater. Front-dial-side, you’ll see the watch’s perpetual calendar with a retrograde date, moon phase display, and leap year cycle. On the reverse side, a celestial map comes alive as three overlapping disks mimic the movements of celestial bodies in the Northern Hemisphere.

“I don’t got the bright watch, I got the right watch" – 30 Something (2006)

Patek Philippe ref. 1518 in Rose Gold

Launched in 1941 amidst World War II with a limited production of only 281 pieces, the Patek Philippe reference 1518 was the world’s first serially-produced perpetual calendar chronograph and the pre-cursor to the legendary Patek Philippe ref. 2499. This horological masterpiece was historically available in yellow and rose gold, and most expressively showcased the Maison’s expertise in chronographs, featuring a day-of-week and month aperture at 12 o’ clock, chronograph subdials at 3 and 9, and a moonphase and date indicator at 6, all set against an enamel tachymetric scale. Apart from the leather strap variant, which JAY-Z was spotted wearing, the watch also sometimes appears with a gold bracelet.

“No more Mr. Nice Guy, hello Mr. Nice Watch” – Mr. Nice Watch (2011)

These are all but mere highlights of JAY-Z's expansive watch collection – so stay tuned for part 2. As one can imagine, a figure of such prominence would have horological treasures beyond imagination (and, perhaps, even never seen in public) in his possession. But, even from the watches we've seen this hip-hop royalty sport over the past couple of decades, one thing remains clear: JAY-Z's influence over the watch world is undeniable and its bounds – untested.