Colin Kaepernick’s Watch Welcomes the Haters

Fashion
Also, Jay-Z wears his custom Reverso with a very special engraving.

A collage of Colin Kapernick smiling and a steel watch with a grey face

Photograph courtesy Getty Images; Collage by Gabe Conte

Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.

Colin Kaepernick has mostly laid low since his playing days came to an abrupt halt. He’s done the occasional photoshoot and Nike commercial but has mostly eschewed interviews and the splashy tell-all book. Those days of flying under the radar appear to be over, though. He’s got a new Netflix series, Colin in Black and White, directed by Ava DuVernay—and, predictably, conservative talking heads filled a lot of airtime screeching over a comment Kaepernick makes in the show, comparing the NFL draft combine to a slavery auction. Meanwhile, he pulled up to the Los Angeles premiere of the series with a watch that said, “Oh, you mad, huh?” Also this week, Jay-Z’s very special Reverso and Drew Barrymore brings out a watch from her killer collection.

Kevin Winter
Colin Kaepernick’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

AP describes Kaepernick’s sparkling Royal Oak as “frosted.” But “frosted,” a word that evokes delicate gold particles gently slathered down on the watch like icing on a cupcake, is an rather deceptive here. The watch gets its frosted look from a diamond-tipped “hammer” that pulverizes the case of the watch creating tiny indentations. AP shared a video of the technique and the process looks similar to a tattoo gun’s needle pounding the watch repeatedly. That said, it’s hard to look at Kaepernick‘s wrist and think it wasn’t all worth it.

Kevin Mazur
Jay -Z’s Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso “Tribute to 1931” edition

The Reverso’s secret weapon has always been its flippable two-sided case. When the watch was originally invented in 1931, polo players took advantage of this feature by flipping the watch over to a plain hard shell to protect the more delicate time-telling side. Since then, JLC has used the alternative side as an extra canvas to add more complications, art, and engravings. Hov’s special-edition falls in the latter camp. At the ceremony for his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, Jay wore his Reverso set to the side with an engraving of Carnegie Hall—he got the watch after headlining the venue for two back-to-back nights almost a decade ago now.

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin
Dwayne Johnson’s IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar

Dwayne Johnson knows which types of watches work for him. The Rock leans towards Panerai, which sells hefty, monstrous watches as their standard models, and IWC’s pilot watches, which are equally big watches all in the name of legibility. Anything smaller might look like a Swatch on Johnson’s beefy forearms. IWC fitted this Portugieser with a fancy annual calendar complication, but the 44-millimeter watch looks like the average luxury timepiece on Johnson.

Kevin Mazur
Drew Barrymore’s Rolex Datejust

Barrymore quietly has a mega Rolex collection. The actress and talk show host owns many of the brand’s greatest hits, including a Submariner and GMT. For that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, where she did a bit in a towel and face mask, she opted for something a little less flashy in her Rolex Datejust. She’s clearly dressed up like this as a gag, but there’s something funny about this image from a watch-observing perspective. Barrymore, fresh out of the shower and still in a towel, still makes sure she gets a watch on her wrist first thing. Smart.

Michael Reaves
Jayson Tatum’s Audemars Piguet openworked Royal Oak

Last week, the Boston Celtics held the dreaded players-only meeting—the vow renewal of the NBA, a sign of reaffirmation that attempts to plaster over a shaky foundation. And while the conversation was probably about being a good teammate, I can’t help but wonder if style advice also came up. Because later in the week, Tatum showed up to play the Miami Heat wearing a shirt from Kapital and an AP Royal Oak. Like Kaepernick’s, Tatum’s watch is frosted. Unlike Kaepernick’s, Tatum’s is also openworked. Tatum and his Boston Celtics then went on to pound the NBA’s hottest team in the Heat.

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