Right before our eyes, Anthony Davis is making the leap. It’s all well and good to dominate during the regular season, but basketball’s #RINGZ culture demands that those big-time performances translate into playoff wins—and eventually championships. As Lakers fans have joyfully noted, bitter Pelicans fans used to complain that “When the lights are the brightest, that’s when AD fails to rise to the occasion.” AD has risen to the occasion time after time in the NBA bubble—he’s playing like a superstar. He’s dressing like one, too. This all-black ceramic version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a tourbillon is a rare version of the very iconic watch. Only 100 pieces were made in total. With stardom comes greater scrutiny and it’s hard to look at this very specific murdered-out Royal Oak without Davis strapping it on and embracing the villain role he’s been tagged with since busting his way out of New Orleans. You merely adopted the darkness, but AD and this watch were born in it, molded by it. Below, old Royal Oaks, iced-out Royal Oaks, and a new take on the classic Rolex Submariner.
Anthony Davis’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
In a vacuum, this is an incredible watch—an icon redone in an intense black hue. But there’s also some nice synergy between Davis’s all-black Royal Oak and what the Lakers have been wearing on the court. During L.A.’s run to the finals, the team has gone 3-0 while wearing their similarly blacked-out Mamba-edition jerseys. That Kobe-related colorway means a lot to the squad—Davis himself told ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, “If we lose in those jerseys, we just feel like we’re letting him down.”
Justin Bieber’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Justin Bieber, posing like he’s in a modern remake of Grease, wears the vintage Audemars Piguet Royal Oak he bought himself as a wedding present last year. The watch is an early ‘80s edition of the now-iconic watch. Few things have changed on the watch over the last several decades, but it’s worth paying attention to the details that distinguish this one. Rather than the stylized “Audemars Piguet” logo that appears on modern versions of the watch, Bieber’s version of the brand name looks to be smashed out on a typewriter. It’s a small change, but those are exactly the type of details that serious collectors get psyched about.
Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC
Andrea Pirlo’s custom Rolex Submariner
This watch isn’t technically from the last week—Pirlo wore it closer to the middle of September—but what is time in 2020, anyway? Plus, we couldn’t miss an opportunity to dive deeper into this watch. The Juventus coach approached watch customizers Artisans de Genève with a challenge to remake the Sub, his favorite model. The quest to do so was apparently arduous. “It took more than two years of research and development and the most passionate craftsmen from all over Switzerland to achieve the modifications of the mythic 3130 movement,” AdG’s website reads. The result is a totally wild skeletonized version of the Submariner—blending the haute horology of openworked dials with the more duty-oriented spirit of the Sub.
Courtesy of Alex Moss
Christian Combs’s custom Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
While modeling his new men’s underwear collection with Rihanna’s lingerie line Fenty X Savage, Christian Combs wore what might be the iciest Royal Oak on the planet. Custom-made with jeweler Alex Moss, the watch features over 28 carats of diamonds in total—a quick count shows there are 32 massive ones on the bezel alone. And while the Royal Oak already features a distinctive bracelet, Combs tossed that one to the wayside and replaced it with this Cuban-link band. Combs is used to getting things just the way he wants them, whether it’s underwear made in partnership with Rihanna or a retooling of what is already one of the most legendary watches on the planet.
Bad Bunny’s Cartier Ballon Bleu
Some watches show themselves to be legends over time. Cartier’s Tank, for instance, is even more impressive now because, a hundred years on, it’s remained a favorite among the rich and famous as well as regular watch collectors. The Cartier Ballon Bleu, on the other hand, is what we call an instant classic. Although it has the air of a watch steeped in old-world wealth, it was only introduced in 2007. And despite the fact it didn’t have the backing of a century’s worth of fans, the Ballon Bleu immediately became a bestseller. The watch is pure Cartier: slightly unusual design, Roman numerals, and a whiff of precious jewelry. Bad Bunny wears it well.