This is actually an article I have been wanting to write for a while and, as I am exceptionally hungover and refusing to leave the house, decided this was as good a opportunity as any. To kick-off (That pun will make sense later), as most A-list celebrities have the spare cash to spend on things such as watches and Gag orders, simply buying a modern gold Rolex or a Royal Oak doesn't make you a watch nerd....... The Kardashian spawn are regularly seen rocking diamond encrusted Royal Oaks. This is why I greatly appreciate when you see a celebrity rocking a piece that only a true nerd would know about. However, as this list is the "low key" watch nerds, stars like Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Ellen DeGeneres, who are very vocal and well regarded in the watch community, shall not be included in this list.
1. Gordon Ramsey
Gordan Ramsey wearing his vintage Rolex 6538...... a cool £25,000
The firey, no-bullshit cooking legend has achieved international success and fame and, as a result, can enjoy toys such as a La Ferrari, which he can be seen driving around the west end. I always remembered seeing him wearing Breitlings and modern Rolex on Hell's Kitchen but I began considering him a legitimate nerd when I read an article on how he bought a vintage Rolex 6538, popularly known as the Sean Connery James Bond watch. Then, this belief was reaffirmed when I saw him on Regents Street and spotted what looked like a Rolex 5513 on a nato strap on his wrist. He was walking quickly and is a big man so I didn't stop him to ask...... but the lack of cyclops and typical 5513 profile makes me fairly confident. These are two very heavy weight vintage Rolex sports watches which, in my opinion, you could only appreciate if you really knew your vintage Rolex.
2. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling wearing his vintage 34mm Rolex Air King 5500. The choice of the 3, 6, 9 dial reinforces the fact he is a legitimate watch nerd..... plus its an extra £3k than the original dial..... Maybe in time this might become the "Ryan Gosling" like the exotic dial Daytona has become the "Paul Newman"?
Can the guy get any cooler and more likeable? Yes, yes he can. A Rolex bubble back fan, he is seen wearing a 1946 Bubble Back Oyster Perpetual in Crazy, Stupid Love. However, he is most often seen wearing a Rolex Air King ref 5500 with the rarer 3, 6, 9 dial. He was in fact wearing this piece whilst he accepted his Golden Globe. A white tuxedo matched with a 34mm oyster case and yellowed dial........ Jesus. What's More is In La La Land he was in fact sporting a vintage Omega Seamaster; so a man after my own vintage Omega heart. No doubt he is a big vintage Rolex fan so I wonder when we may be seeing a Paul Newman Daytona on his wrist....
3. Reggie Yates
Reggie Yates rocking an Omega PolProf on the mesh Bracelet. With an automatic Helium Escape value and a 1200m water resistance, this is the perfect watch for those nights when you have an award ceremony at 7 and your diving down the Mararian Trench at 9......
The British Radio legend turned documentary maker is a very cool geeza regardless of his pretty impressive watch collection. Although the Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs and Panerais he is seen wearing regularly are very cool, what gets him into this list is the Milsub he wears on a Nato in his Documentary series about modern day Russian Society. You can safely assume one is a nerd if they appreciate a Rolex Milsub. Now I couldn't find a decent photo of this but it makes an appearance throughout that documentary series, so keep an eye out next time you are Netflix-and-Chilling. Further evidence of his nerdery is found in how he has been seen wearing an Omega Ploprof. I have a lot of time for this deep sea diving chronometer but very few can pull it off! Merely knowing what this watch is, let alone spending £10,000 on one, is validation of one's watch nerdery.
4. Frank Lampard
It's hard to be in a bad mood when your wearing one of the 100 Patek Philippe 5975 ever made.... even when it cost £65,000.
Chelsea's all-time top goal scorer and current manager of Derby, is very deserving of a top spot on this list with his impressive Patek Philippe collection. For example he accepted his OBE whilst wearing a flawless Yellow Gold 5170. I can't think of a more appropriate occasion to wear a gold Patek Philippe Chronograph. If that wasn't enough already, he has been seen wearing a 1/100 piece limited edition Platinum 5975. This very rare self winding chronograph that features a multi scale dial, including a pulsometer, tachymeter and telemeter, was released for Patek's 175th anniversary. Now for the icing on the cake: no serious Patek collector is such without at least one model from the prestigious grand complication family. Mr Lampard has been seen wearing the 5204. This is the Platinum, Perpetual calendar, Rattrapante, Moonphase. An example of the very best from Patek Philippe and a true connoisseur's watch. What's more to consider is that these three are just highlights in a collection of exceptional Pateks and Rolex. For example he has been seen wearing a Yellow gold Daytona and many iterations of the Nautilus family. It is also worth saying that his wife has been seen wearing a Rolex 6264 non-Paul Newman Cosmograph.
Frank Lampard seen here rocking the Platinum 5204. I am more of a 5004 man myself but each to their own I guess.......
5. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah seen wearing an Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner. I don't even know how much this costs or even really how you buy one. But one thing I do know is you have to seriously appreciate your wrist machines to appreciate Urwerk enough to drop a 6 figure sum on one.
In the world of professional football it isn't rare to see multiple Richard Mille's in one room. However, as I said at the start this article, this list includes those who are genuinely Hodinkee subcribers (or a Young Horologist subscriber) and any young professional footballer can walk into Harrods with £200k and buy an RM11. I first noticed Mo Salah's watch game when I noticed he was wearing a Ulysse Nardin in a press conference. This is a brand that not every man and his dog knows about or appreciates. However, The reason he is on this list is because of his love for Urwerk. Now this independent Swiss brand isn't everyone's come of tea. Regardless, the exceptionally unique designs, complications and avant-garde approach to the recording of the passage of time has won the brand a number of awards and a cult following in the watch industry. Another fan of Urwerk is Robert Downey Junior. However, I have left him off this list after he did a GQ interview showcasing his watch collection subsequently loosing a "Low Key watch nerd" status.
6. Ed Sheeran
What else can you wear to meet the royals other than a world time reference 5130R release in 2006?
Now we come to our winner. A man who is such a low key watch nerd that he has proclaimed to not actually buy "nice or expensive things" whilst regularly showcasing a multi-million pound watch collection featuring many custom and limited edition pieces from a large number of the very top brands. He has everything from grand complication Patek Philippes to Limited edition Richard Milles and everything in the middle. For example he, like Frank Lampard, wore a special Patek Philippe reference 5130R to collect his MBE. Furthermore, on the cover of GQ who was seen wearing the new (and controversial) Patek Philippe Pilot 5524G. Truth be told, I would be happy to bet he owns/has owned every one of my grail watches. At 27 he has a Rolex Paul Newman 6263, a white gold A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk and a Patek Philippe 5970. What more could you want/need? Well, apparently every Nautilus model in existence, a Richard Mille RM26-02 Evil Eye tourbillon, The Richard Mille Bubba Watson and amazingly a Richard Mille RM035, more commonly know as the illustrious Nadal edition. I know I had said that simply owning a Richard Mille doesn't get you on this list, but owning a number of very limited edition pieces and a number of exceptionally classic and tasteful Patek Philippes does. The icing on the cake is that he also has a vintage Heuer Chronograph. He is the real deal. Plus any man who is carried out of a Brits party, drunk beyond recovery and wearing the £500,000 Richard Mille Nadal edition is a seriously committed watch nerd...... or just has great insurance.
Ed Sheeran here, battered, being removed from the Brits Party wearing his £500,000 limited edition Rafa Nadal Richard Mille.
Ed Sheeran seen here wearing a 6263. He was also seen wearing this whilst on stage with the Victoria's Secret cohort. Gingers everywhere are simply in awe.
Clearly wanting his watch to match his hair, Sheeran has been seen wearing the RM26-02 Evil Eye tourbillon. With only 25 pieces ever made and a price tag of around £600,000, owning this very limited edition Mille with a tourbillon shows a serious appreciation and knowledge for watches as well as very deep pockets. Picked up by the eagle eye of Celebrity Watch Spotter.
This post from Celebrity Watch Spotter sealed the deal for me. There's a short list of artists to be known to appreciate and wear the infamous Patek Philippe 5970 and any list to include John Mayer and Eric Clapton is a list you want to be included on- in many different categories. Well played Ed, well played.
Coming to the conclusion of this article, I believe this could be a reoccurring feature as I am happy to say there are still far more celebs I could talk about. We shall see. Also if any of the people I have mentioned in this article want to meet up, grab a beer and talk watches, let me know!
Were any of these a big surprise?
Founder & Editor