When it comes to expensive, blinged-out watches, celebrities rarely disappoint. Collecting opulent timepieces, along with supercars and designer shoes, is a much-loved pastime of the rich and famous, and spotting the extravagant jewels is exhilarating for us mere mortals. Whether you think they are flashy or fabulous, high-end watches are masterpieces of horological engineering and jewelry design. They continue to amaze us with just how many diamonds and features can be added to one piece.
The world of deluxe timepieces is one arena where the men often outshine the women. Men’s luxury watches can out-bling the women’s any day, but we’ve found some striking pieces sported by both sexes. Get ready to explore the world’s most exclusive timepieces and the celebrities that own them.
1. Natalie Portman: Richard Mille Arachnid Tourbillon
This exquisite, one of a kind piece by Richard Mille was made especially for the Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman. The watch is inspired by a spider, a symbol of feminine power around the world. The arachnid motif can be seen on both the face and case of the piece and is accompanied by a simple black leather strap.
The spider is functional as well as decorative and forms part of the watch’s movement; the spider’s abdomen supports the bridges of the tourbillon, and the legs carry the two winding barrels. It would be easy for such a high-concept design to become kitsch, but this piece is stylish and refined, with the signature Mille tripartite tonneau shape helping to keep it chic. The white gold case, covered in pavé-set diamonds, and the diamond-set body of the spider take this classy offering from quirky to bling.
2. Rihanna: Rolex Datejust 31
Rihanna has never been afraid to stand out, whether through her chart-topping music or her ever-changing sartorial style. The 9-time Grammy award winner once told Vogue that, for her, “there aren’t many boundaries with fashion.”
It’s interesting that Rihanna’s stunning choice of watch, the Rolex Datejust 31, is classic and relatively restrained. With its diamond-set bezel and mother-of-pearl dial, this piece keeps the bling concentrated on the watch face. The simple jubilee bracelet works well stacked with other jewelry and looks just as good walking the red carpet as dancing in the club.
3. Serena Williams: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
Winner of 39 Grand Slams, Serena Williams has a passion for watches and is an ambassador for her favorite luxury brand, Audemars Piguet. Her preferred model, which she has been seen wearing in multiple tennis championships, is the Royal Oak Offshore. She was also wearing it on her iconic Wheaties cereal box cover.
The Royal Oak Offshore is the perfect balance of sports-casual and elegant-glam. Features like the rubber strap make this piece comfortable and light for wearing as she dominates the court, while the glittering diamond bezel and a touch of gold make this watch a stunning dress piece. A little-known fact about this watch, Audemars Piguet produced a unique left-handed piece just for Serena.
4. Tyga: Rolex Daytona Rainbow
Rapper Tyga made fans swoon in 2016 when he and former girlfriend Kylie Jenner flaunted matching blinged-out Rolexes on Instagram. The style icon continues to experiment with his luxury timepieces. The extremely rare Daytona Rainbow is set with 36 baguette-cut sapphires in rainbow graduation and has a diamond-set dial with 11 baguette-cut sapphires that match the bezel. The piece is worth around $375,000 and is a cult favorite among Hollywood stars and watch collectors.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo: Frank Muller Round
Like many celebrities on this list, Cristiano Ronaldo is a watch aficionado, and his big-ticket timepieces are frequently reported in the media. This particular purchase, which he wore at a press conference in 2018, is one of his most controversial to date, sparking a heated debate between Frank Muller and Jacob & Co. Each of these luxury brands released similar watches, and both parties insisted their design had been copied. Ronaldo’s $1.5m piece by Frank Muller is fully set with baguette-cut diamonds and rubies across the case, dial, and bracelet. The flash of red in this sparkling timepiece means that, once seen, it’s never forgotten.
6. Floyd Mayweather: Jacob & Co Billionaire Watch
Former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather dazzled fans with the number of diamonds on his Jacob & Co Billionaire timepiece and its whopping $18m price tag. Followers of the boxing promoter learned about his extravagant purchase when he posted it in all its glittering glory in an Instagram video. Set with 260 carats of emerald-cut diamonds and an 18-karat white gold case and bracelet, this watch is bling at its finest. With its unusual rectangular case and skeletonized dial, there’s a lot to look at, but Mayweather certainly didn’t seem to have buyer’s remorse; he credited the Japanese jeweler from whom he bought the piece and claimed he would never shop anywhere else from then on.
7. Jay-Z: Hublot Big Bang
Jay-Z’s love of watches is well-documented in his lyrics, where he liberally namedrops his favorite designer brands. When it comes to a star like this, with such an extensive collection of timepieces, it’s challenging to pick just one to highlight. However, the Hublot Big Bang, given to him by his wife Beyoncé for his 43rd birthday, is the very definition of blinged-out.
Encrusted with 1,282 diamonds, the 44mm case and bracelet are crafted from 18-karat white gold, with faceted diamond-polished, rhodium-plated skeleton hands, and boast a self-winding mechanical movement and sapphire crystal. This masterpiece of watchmaking took over 14 months to make and cost around $5m.
From horological spiders to intellectual property controversy, the world of luxury timepieces is as colorful as the lives of the celebrities who love them. But regardless of whether you think these blinged-out watches are an extravagance or you’re dreaming of owning one yourself one day, you have to admit that they are incredible feats of art and engineering.
For many of us, investing in a beautifully crafted timepiece is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase that we hope will be passed down to future generations of our family. When you make that leap, the only question is whether you will choose something more subtle than the superstars discussed here or go all-out with the bling?