7 Personalized Watches Made for World Champion Athletes

With baseball season heating up and the NBA and NHL finals underway, we at WatchTime thought it would be the perfect time to re-post (with a few updates) our article on the elite fraternity of athletes who have not only won a world championship in their sports but also boast a watch made specifically for them. Here are seven notable watches of champions.

Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson won baseball’s World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. A longtime watch lover, particularly of the Ulysse Nardin Freak, Johnson partnered with Ulysse Nardin in 2012 to create the limited-edition Big Unit Chronograph. The personalized watch has a tiny baseball as the counterweight of the central seconds hand, and Johnson’s number “51″ replaces the typical “50″ minute marker on the bezel. Each watch is delivered with a baseball autographed by Johnson. More details on the watch can be found by clicking here.

Ulysse Nardin brand ambassador, Randy Johnson
Randy Johnson (above) and his signature timepiece, the Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chrono (below)
Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph
Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph with baseball autographed by Johnson.
Each of the 100 watches with an autographed baseball.

The L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who has won multiple NBA championships, is nicknamed “Black Mamba” for his slippery, on-court athleticism, “Black Mamba” is also the nickname of his personal Hublot King Power wristwatch, which has a purple-and-gold Lakers color scheme on the dial’s hands, indices and numerals; a Kobe Bryant signature in gold on the sapphire caseback; and a python leather strap. The Hublot King Power Black Mamba is limited to 250 pieces. For more on the watch, click here.

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

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal stands out even among this elite group of champions in that he is the only one who actually wears his watch while winning titles. And not just any watch: a six-figure tourbillon timepiece from Richard Mille. The brand created its RM 027-01 Tourbillon specifically for Nadal, and with his creative input. Its ultra-lightweight case is made of an anthracite polymer injected with carbon nanotubes and the movement is made of a light, rigid, shock-absorbent combo of titanium and a lithium alloy called LITHAL.

Rafael Nadal and his watch, the Richard Mille RM27-01 Tourbillon
Rafael Nadal (above) and his watch, the Richard Mille RM27-01 (below).
Richard Mille RM27-01 Tourbillon
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  1. Raymond

    Notable ommissions here are the Hublot for sprint superstar, Usain Bolt. Richard Mille tourbillon for sprint star, Yohan Blake & the Tissot for NBA player, Tony Parker. Really could have done without the mention of Citizen. I had a minute minder from them & that Eco-Drive watch was an absolute failure in quality workmanship and the warranty never helped me. They have lost my respect & support.

  2. Stéphane Tremblay

    Personalized watches

    Steven Stamkos = Tissot
    Paul Newman = Rolex
    Steve McQueen = Tag Huer

  3. Darius

    Maybe missing the Maradonna Hublot, Dwayne Wade Hublot, Schumacher Omega, Zidane IWC and Shaq O’Neil AP ROO?

  4. Wooderson420

    A recent one that looks better than all of these is the Lionel Messi Royal Oak.

  5. You forgot to mention the Hublot watch made for the romanian tennis champion Ilie Nastase.

    • yes Nastase is a big champion and he is a general and he is illiterate and he is living with a ex convicted felon . When I see watches made for these kind of people I made immediately an afectional inversion for that watch brand.

  6. Jonathan W. Fink

    Between the Manning Series and the Signature Series, I think that Citizen builds the best watches, dollar for dollar, in the world.

    • Gadgety

      No doubt. Eco-drive is amazing – value wise, convenience wise, eco wise, they are at the top. Their titanium versions are impressive, and The Citizen and the previous (non Eco Drive) Chronomaster with +/- 5 sec a year really are quite impressive. Their top of the line watches have 5, and 10 year warranties. Longest of all. They guarantee 30 year supply of spares for the The Citizen. Does anyone else guarantee that kind of supply time? However, quartz watches aren’t cool with most watch aficionados, and none of their cases are solid gold, which probably is a requirement for anything really exclusive. I find it interesting that there are cheap mechanical movements, and expensive ones, and both are able to exist in the marketplace, but quartz movement manufacturers have failed in their high end marketing of the spread in types of quartz calibres, the requirement of aging etc.

      • Pawel

        But Citizens are not at the top in prestige category, whatever it means for you. I do not know who will be able to say ‘I dream of having a Citizen watch’. It’s great value for money, sure, something you might get on the way to get the watch you desire. Most importantly – Citizen watches are not luxury watches.

        As for spare parts – I was watches in Audemars Piguet workshop manufactured in 19th century, and brought for repair. Can Citizen guarantee to be able to fix the watch 150 years from now?

        • How do you know how passionate people are about particular Citizen watches. How do you know if the proud owner of a Citizen watch could easily have afforded a Piquet or a Rolex but bought the Citizen as his choice of watch
          There are real outstanding watches, made in very limited numbers, of course: like the J Le Coultre tourbillon or Seiko’s Credor Sonnery but they are priced out of reach, although good value for money, and can only be dreamt of by the non-super-wealthy.

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