Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
Paul Newman, Eric Clapton, John Mayer—there are plenty of north stars to look towards when shaping a watch collection. Here’s a new one, courtesy of the Certified Lover Boy: Queen Elizabeth II. Last weekend, Drake posted an image of himself on Instagram wearing a rare version of the Patek Philippe Ellipse with a diamond-set bezel. The next slide in the rapper’s story was his apparent inspiration for acquiring the piece: the Queen herself, sitting for a 1984 portrait while wearing the same Patek. Rap royalty meets real-life royalty. Drake is onto something here, because the watch world needs new icons. Many collectors gravitate towards the same models, which means they’re all trying to buy the same watches, like the Patek Nautilus, Rolex Daytona, or Rolex Submariner. So next time you go watch shopping, maybe look towards the protagonists from Aliens, or Hamilton Pulsar-owner Sammy Davis Jr. Or do like Drake and look towards the UK monarchy.
This version of the Ellipse is unique enough that some thought Drake’s new piece was a custom job. However, the piece left the factory almost exactly like this (the mesh bracelet may be new, but that’s a small adjustment). The reference 3609/1G is a white gold Ellipse with diamond hour markers and 36 diamonds set on that blinding bezel. In the seemingly never-ending march of new green-dial Nautiluses—which Drake also owns—the Ellipse is a welcome sight. “It brought a smile to my face,” John Reardon, the founder of Patek marketplace Collectability, told me. “Finally the Ellipse is getting some love!” We can’t escape the Nautilus completely, though. What’s special about this particular Ellipse, Reardon pointed out, is that it uses the same automatic movement as the original Nautilus.
Spider-Man star Holland webbed one of the biggest releases from last year, the new ceramic green-bezel Submariner from Rolex. Green, the shade used in the Crown’s logo, is an important color for the Submariner line. In 2003, for the Submariner’s 50th anniversary, Rolex released a black-dial Sub with a green aluminum bezel that was nicknamed the Kermit. That watch was shuffled out in 2010 for the “Hulk” Submariner, which was green all over. In 2020, Rolex made another green-bezel black-dial Submariner. The watch got its “Cermit” nickname because the bezel is made out of ceramic.
Drake isn’t the only one flexing vintage Patek this week. Ed Sheeran showed up to the VMAs wearing this ‘40s-era Patek Philippe perpetual calendar. The reference 1518 is a very important piece in Patek’s history. When it was first released in 1941 it was the first watch ever to combine a perpetual calendar and chronograph and it set the groundwork for watches that are still being made today with that combination of complications.
The young musicians are wearing vintage legendary watches and the vintage legendary musician is wearing the young modern watch. Go figure. On Starr’s wrist is the Aquanaut, Patek’s sportiest model, in all black. Starr was born a full 57 years before the very first Aquanaut was ever released, in 1997.
The 2021 Emmys were a shockingly well-dressed affair. Seth Rogen had on a funky orange-brown-beige tux to prove his very stylish 2020 wasn’t a fluke. Jason Sudeikis wore a velvet Tom Ford tux in teal! And Anthony Anderson brought it on the wrist with an Omega Constellation in rose gold.