Star Time: 13 Celebrity-Branded Sports Watches


There is no shortage of celebrities, many of them celebrity athletes, who serve as “brand ambassadors” for watch brands, appearing in ads and attending events wearing their watches. However, a few of these stars go the extra mile, giving input and often even becoming involved in the design process, for special celebrity watches to which they lend their names. Below is a list of 13 celebrity watches developed in honor of, and named for, their famous representatives.

Richard Mille has developed several watches in collaboration tennis star Rafael Nadal, including the RM 035 Chronofiable® certified, the RM 027 Tourbillon, and most recently the RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal. Nadal often wears (and occasionally loses) his Richard Mille watches during his games. The RM-027 worn by Nadal was donated to the Only Watch auction in 2011 to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A subsequent model, the RM 27-01, debuted as the “the world’s lightest tourbillon” at 19 grams.

Nadal wearing the Richard Mille RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal
Nadal wearing the RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel tournament in Acapulco.
Richard Mille RM 027 Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal RM 027

Richard Mille also designed a watch for professional golfer Bubba Watson, the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson. As Watson golfs while wearing a watch, Richard Mille designed the watch with an emphasis on shock resistance, so that the tourbillon could endure the force of a golf swing. The RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is a limited edition of 38 pieces priced at $525,000. Click here for more details.

Richard Mille RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson
Richard Mille RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson

After partnering with the L.A. Lakers, Hublot made NBA star and known watch lover Kobe Bryant its newest brand ambassador. The brand subsequently unveiled the King Power Black Mamba, named for Bryant’s NBA nickname. The watch, priced at $25,200, is a limited edition of 250 pieces, of which part of the proceeds will go toward the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. The watch features gold and purple details as an homage to the L.A. Lakers’ uniform colors. More on the watch, and the partnership can be found here.

Kobe Bryant and the Hublot King Power Black Mamba
Kobe Bryant and the Hublot King Power Black Mamba

Hublot previously partnered with another NBA player, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, to create the Hublot King Power “D-Wade.” Wade collaborated with the brand to design the watch, which features a dial resembling a basketball and a strap with a basketball net-like pattern. The watch also has the color scheme of the Miami Heat uniform. Proceeds from sales of the watch — a limited edition of 500 pieces — went to Wade’s charity, the Wade World Foundation. (Click here for WatchTime’s interview with Wade about the watch. Hublot has also produced a special Miami Heat “team” watch; you can read about it here.)

Dwyane Wade wearing the Hublot King Power “D-Wade”
Dwyane Wade wearing the Hublot King Power “D-Wade”

Ulysse Nardin produced a watch in honor of official “friend of the brand” and baseball legend Randy Johnson, aka “The Big Unit.” The Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph features several baseball-related details, including the number “51″ on the bezel — Johnson’s number — where the “50″ would normally be, as well as a small baseball icon as the counterweight of the seconds hand. The watch has a retail price of $15,500. Each of the 100 watches in the limited edition comes with a baseball autographed by Johnson. Click here for more on the Ulysse Nardin Big Unit and its origins.

Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph
Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph

Audemars Piguet has produced a series of watches for a longtime friend of the brand, actor and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an avid watch collector. Their collaboration resulted in several special editions, all with Schwarzenegger’s design input, most recently the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph. (Click here for audio excerpts from WatchTime’s exclusive interview with Schwarzenegger about his partnership with AP and his love of watches.) Schwarzenegger has subsequently announced plans to launch his own watch brand, some details of which can be found here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph

In 2013, yet another NBA superstar got his own personalized watch, also from Audemars Piguet. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James limited edition, designed with the input of “King James” himself, combines a rose-gold case with a brushed titanium bezel for a more understated look than that of his former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade’s Hublot. (Click here for details on the LeBron watch.)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James - front
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James
5 Responses to “Star Time: 13 Celebrity-Branded Sports Watches”

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  1. Robinoz

    This article has obviously been published numerous times. Would I buy a specific brand of watch because it’s worn by a so-called celebrity? No. So, what is the point of the brand ambassadors? Probably the fact that they get a lot more press than the rest of us and do so wearing a particular watch brand.

    It’s also fair to say that they earn ridiculously high salaries and could therefore afford the high cost watches, unlike many of us poor plebs on ordinary salaries.

    Reply
  2. Jackal

    Ron,

    Ali is a legend, was voted sportsman of the century, considered the best heavyweight boxer ever and is a civil rights icon. Patrick has never won a race.

    Reply
  3. Robin Henry

    I read recently about a guy on Twitter who “outs” so-called celebrities with fake watches. Very interesting.

    I’d prefer something without someone else’s name on it except for the watch manufacturer.

    Reply
  4. All the more reason to NOT ever buy these watches – except for Tissot and Danica Patrick who has more skill the rest combined. What kind of wealthy fool would ever buy an IWC associated with someone like Ali? I see where wealth doesn’t always mean a higher IQ.

    Reply
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