Kylian Mbappé and His Watch Are Both Award Winners
Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Saviors, leaders of a new generation, champions, and hardware collectors: Kylian Mbappé and his Hublot Big Bang have a lot in common. The French soccer star, fresh off an oh-so-close run for back-to-back World Cup trophies, wore a watch that’s right on his level in Brooklyn this week.
Hublot was searching for a star—an Mbappé-level talent, you might say—when they brought on watch-brand whisperer Jean Claude Biver in 2004. Biver had helped resuscitate and bring glory back to brands like Blancpain and Omega during his previous stops, and Hublot brought Biver in with the hopes that he could deliver similar magic for them. The brand got results almost immediately. In 2005, just a year after Biver came on, Hublot introduced the Big Bang, which was inspired by the very first piece Hublot made when it started in 1980 and borrowed its shape and exposed screws on the bezel. While some iconic watches take years to catch on, the Big Bang immediately became, and remains, Hublot’s best-selling piece. And like Mbappé, it collected hardware, taking home the prize of Best Design at the Grand Prix d’Horologie de Geneve the same year it was introduced.
Now, Hublot releases its Big Bang in every flavor imaginable. Mbappé’s version is particularly striking. The bezel is set with 36 diamonds and comes on an alligator-leather strap. And of course the Les Bleus superstar would wear a version of the watch in his country’s color.
More than a year after its original release, the Tiffany-edition Nautilus hype is still going strong. The watch’s brief history is like a well-known superhero origin story at this point: Patek discontinued the beloved and pared-down version of the Nautilus (the 5711) but not before sending it out on an epic farewell tour. Right before it was set to go out of production at the end of 2022, the brand announced this Tiffany-blue-dial edition—versions of the watch simply stamped with the jeweler’s logo were already collector catnip—and one was promptly auctioned off for $6.5 million. The arrow on the hype meter broke and celebrities like Beckham have spent the last year showing off the piece.
Only Kevin McCarthy’s ongoing humiliation has the power to distract us from the less-humiliating but still truly mortifying saga involving Santos, who lied about his education, career, finances, and even the circumstances around his mother’s death. It’s very funny that he owns the (maybe fake, too!) watch with which he shares a name. Next, he’ll tell us he’s somehow related to the Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont who inspired the Santos’ 1904 invention when he commissioned this watch to wear during flight from his friend Louis Cartier.
A few weeks ago, I told you that the only tiny silver lining of Curry’s shoulder injury is that we’d get to see lots more watches while he was healing up on the bench. The Golden State Warrior flamethrower has made that prediction look like a good one. He’s always shown off great variety on his wrist and he did it again last week when he wore Shinola’s Runwell Sport. That burgundy bezel is really handsome, and while the sub-$1,000 watch is now out of production, Shinola continues to produce sporty models like Curry’s at not-demoralizing prices.
After surviving his Urban Meyer-tainted rookie season, Jackson Jaguars sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence is putting up big numbers. (Though not last week when I started him in my fantasy football league championship, but whatever.) Much of that is thanks to his offensive linemen. Lawrence returned the favor over the holidays by gifting all 12 linemen a watch that’s as burly as they are. These guys are practically the target audience for 45-millimeter case watches.
And now there’s an excellent new Speedmaster adding even more fuel to Omega’s fire. By Cam Wolf February 2,…