Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
One of the most bizarre happenings as life has come to a near standstill in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic? The fact that NFL free agency has charged on without a hiccup. By far the biggest move to emerge from the annual game of musical barcaloungers is Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots, where he played for 20 years, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And immediate Tampa Bay Buccaneers legend Tom Brady, in his first act as the new captain of the pirate ship, wore a great watch while signing his contract. This IWC piece is a special-edition Spitfire, poetically known as “The Longest Flight”—a phrase that would work perfectly as a label for Brady’s 20-plus year career. Also in this slightly condensed quarantine version of Watches of the Week: Nick Offerman and John Mellencamp both wore rarely seen pieces.
Tom Brady’s IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”
This IWC was made in 2019 in an edition of 250 for two pilots, Steve Boultbee-Brooks and Matt Jones, who were taking a Spitfire plane (the one used by the UK’s Royal Air Force during World War II) on a flight around the world. The watch was designed specifically to aid a global voyage with a bezel that can be rotated to adjust to new time zones and a 24-hour window display. Now, on Brady’s wrist, the watch is playing a part in another seemingly interminable campaign.
Michael Strahan’s Rolex Sky-Dweller
There’s clearly something about the appeal of aviation-inspired watches when it comes to people for whom the show must go on (see: above). They’re soaring above it all! They’re on auto-pilot through the turbulence! Strahan wore Rolex’s Sky-Dweller, which rethinks the concept of displaying two time zones at once like the watchmaker’s signature GMT-Master. The Sky-Dweller does so with a disc in the center that keeps track of whatever place you set it to: home—or, at this point, somewhere blissfully far away.
Nick Offerman’s Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph
Originally released in 2002, Nick Offerman’s Royal Eagle is a watch that was clearly riding high on the vapors of the ‘90s. The tonneau case, chronograph function, and swanky numerals make the Royal Eagle look like a Franck Muller that got a neat haircut. It’s impossible to look at the watch on Offerman’s wrist without imagining him as Parks & Recreation’s Ron Swanson describing in detail why he’s still wearing the same watch all these years later: the unbreakable nature of the stainless steel case, maybe, or the utility of having a built-in stopwatch, son.
John Mellencamp’s Hermès Cape Cod
A little ditty about John Mellencamp’s Hermès Cape Cod watch: the timepiece takes its shape directly from the house’s signature Chaîne d’Ancre, or anchor chain jewelry. The watch’s designer says it really was as simple as that: “I took the Chaîne d’Ancre from a bracelet designed for Hermès in the 1940s and added half of it to the watch,” Henri d’Origny told The Telegraph. “Suddenly it became a rectangle.” It absolutely did. Mellencamp is a nice note to end on here. Let’s remember a line from “Jack & Diane”: “Oh yeah, life goes on.”