Welcome to Clock of the week, where we’ll be tracking the rarest, wildest, and most coveted watches spotted on celebrities.
The tributes to the late designer Virgil Abloh, who passed away last week at the age of 41, mainly focus on the things he made. This makes a lot of sense: Abloh is one of the most purely creative designers in fashion history, seemingly launching a new collab or collection every few days, with Louis Vuitton or Off-White or Nike or a museum. But the story of Virgil Abloh wouldn’t be complete without a story about the things he owns – he’s a fan and a collector, after all. And the Virgil-collector story is perhaps the most interesting chapter in his dazzling watch collection.
So this week, we’re going to dedicate the Watch of the Week column to Abloh and his timepieces. In his signature style, he turns a sometimes serious genre into seriously surprising, amusing, and coveted.
The unlucky Patek Philippe Nautilus watch
Abloh’s collection begins and ends with Patek, and especially with the brand’s flagship Nautilus. He owns a few stocks (see below), but Virgil is the Virgil, the last Nautilus in his collection that has little in common with the one you can find at a Patek Philippe boutique. This piece was most likely made in collaboration with the die-hard fans at MAD Paris. (“I can’t confirm or deny that we made it for him,” the brand founder tells GQ’s Cam Wolf, followed by four smiling emojis.) Anyone who does it. , they covered the $45,000 watch (black) and threw a pair of signature Abloh quotes around the logo. (Abloh also seems to authorize the brand to give the same treatment, this time in blinding white, on his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.)
All gold patek
Sometimes a slightly simpler approach is required. But every time you think you’ve latched onto Abloh, he turns: if this watch convinces you, he absolutely loves monochrome Nautiluses, Contrast face black and gold ref. 3700 would suggest otherwise.
Caviar Flying Tourbillon by Jacob & Co.
For all of Abloh’s couture professionals, he understands better than most the industry’s deep, but too often unrecognized connections to hip hop. And what better way to apply that knowledge than with a series of collaborations with legendary hip hop artist Jacob Arabo? Jacob & Co. became famous in the bling era, worn by the likes of Diddy and Jay-Z — and eventually rediscovered by the likes of Drake and A$AP Rocky. And Abloh, with deep gratitude for both of those rap generations, knows exactly what to do with Jacob: this piece is set with more than 400 rubies.
Jacob blacked out
“Five Time Zone” could be NS Jacob & Co watches. Iconic. Let Abloh hit it with his favorite black-on-black treatment.
Drake’s Virgil’d Nautilus
As wild as Abloh’s collection is, he can most infamous in the watch world with a piece he did for Drake: here’s the part where Drizzy raps, “Virgil got that Patek on my wrist driving me crazy.” Couldn’t have said it better for myself.