The Weeknd’s Patek Philippe Excels After Hours
Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
It’s funny to think about the origins of Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut now. In the ‘90s, Patek was searching for a watch that would cater to the appetites of a new set of collectors flush with cash from the dot-com boom. The brand had plenty of heady, high-complication pieces for the black-tie set…but not much on tap for the emerging rich who wore a uniform of T-shirts and jeans. Enter the Aquanaut: an even sportier and more casual cousin to Patek’s Nautilus.
The very first Aquanaut, introduced in 1997, was given the reference number 5060A. The watch came with a black dial, white hour numerals, and, in a first for Patek, a black rubber-like strap (a “tropical” strap in the brand’s parlance). And when The Weeknd wore that very watch to a Los Angeles gala last week, it was a reminder of how much the watch world has changed: The watch designed to fit in with a casual wardrobe now looks just right at a gala and paired with a suit.
The Aquanaut was a newcomer in 1997, retailing for about $5,000, according to Hodinkee, but it now sells for $23,070 for those lucky enough to get one directly from Patek. (It’s more easily found now for multiple times that amount on the secondary market.) Maybe what’s changed the most is that, while the Aquanaut was once designated for the nouveau riche coming out of Silicon Valley, it is now very much the domain of famous actors, rappers, momagers (see below) and singers like The Weeknd.
When did Luka Doncic officially become an NBA superstar? Was it last year, when he led his team to the conference finals? How about this year, where he’s been averaging 36.1 points per game this season? I’d argue that it happened on TKNIGHT, when he broke out aRolex Daytona—also known as the Official Watch of NBA Superstars. LeBron James owns one, and so does Anthony Davis. Also: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Michael Jordan. Now, Doncic owns one in gold with a black dial and gold again on the subdials—the modern piece is reminiscent of the beloved “John Player Special” Daytona.
It took exactly eight (8) days for this watch to land on the wrist of Jenner. It was only a few weeks ago that Patek announced this new hilariously ostentatious version of its Aquanaut. The new version of the sporty model comes with two rings of diamonds on the bezel: a rainbow of 40 sapphires on the outer edge and 40 more diamonds stacked inside of those. Even the hour markers are represented by different colored gems. This watch is already being passed back and forth between Jenner and boyfriend Cory Gamble, who wore the Aquanaut to a Lakers game.
Redmayne’s Seamaster is linked to both James Bond (Pierce Brosnan wore the watch while in character), and Prince William (who received it as a gift from his mom Princess Diana). So what’s Redmayne trying to tell us with this watch? Obviously that’s he’s about to become either the new James Bond, or next-in-line to be the King of Britain. Big week!
Is that Rod Stewart wearing a bust-down Royal Oak? I think it is! Stewart has a particular weakness for diamond-set watches. He’s worn blinged-out versions of Cartier’s Francasie and Santos. Stewart is a longtime collector with the stories to prove it. In 1977, when Scotland beat England in a soccer tournament, Stewart was there and stormed the field with his fellow countrymen. But during the celebration “I got my Cartier watch stolen,” he said on a podcast last year. He doesn’t seem to mind parting with his watches, though. In 2020, during a radio interview, when he discovered the host was putting on an auction to raise money for the UK’s National Health Service, he gave away his Cartier Santos on the spot. So while Rod may have this Royal Oak now, there’s no telling when he might lose it while celebrating a Scottish victory or spontaneously donate it to charity.