Editor’s Note: Last night over drinks a friend had a question. He considers he’s reached some sort of early milestone in his collecting. He has a good watch, a weekend watch, a vintage watch, even a dress watch. But now, with his career on the up and a bit of unexpected cash – that will otherwise go on the ponies at this time of year – what should he splash on for a baller watch? Something that pokes it head above utilitarian roots. A watch that doesn’t whisper “I’m doing alright”, but shouts it Wolf of Wall Street style. I didn’t even continue the conversation. I googled @fakewatchbusta, baller, time and tide. This is what I found….
OK, so you got your first big paycheque as an up-and-coming rapper and you want to buy your first serious watch to stunt on the ‘gram. I know it seems like an iced-out watch is all the rage in the rap game, but if you look at the big stars like Jay Z and Drake you’ll soon learn that keeping it FACTORY-made is the way to go. There’s a reason Jay Z raps the iconic line: “Those ain’t Rolex diamonds, what the f*ck you done to that?” So let’s go. Here is my take on eight key watches, from the budget stainless steel Rolex to the full-on quadruple-mortgage-on-your-mansion suggestions, starting with the watch I feel is the ultimate rapper’s purchase:
Rolex Yacht-Master II ref. 116688
This is THE big face Rolex. It’s actually the biggest solid gold watch that Rolex produces. It’s also ludicrous in a good way. No date (who needs that anyway?), but it has a regatta timer! You can count down the minutes to the next time Soulja Boy takes the L.
Rolex Milgauss ref. 116400GV and Rolex Day-Date II ref. 218235
I have a lot of respect for Pusha T. He buys watches in all price ranges, so let’s have a look at two of his watches. The Rolex Milgauss is such a cool watch. You get magnetic resistance from all that sound equipment, and the history of the watch is just awesome. I would actually say it’s the least likely Rolex for a rapper to buy and that is what makes it really cool. This Milgauss will even make the watch snob nod when you walk by.
His other watch is a factory dial solid gold Day-Date II with a baguette-cut ruby and diamond dial. Taste those words. You can get a shady jeweller to set a watch full of diamonds but that’s not the same as Rolex’s own stones. This is a rare bird and already discontinued.
Any Richard Mille
Do like Pharrell and just break the bank completely: buy a Richard Mille. Richard who? Don’t be afraid, the price tag is in the range of your social security number. Buy this RM 27-01 and be the king of Instagram. And it can withstand acceleration of 5000G so don’t be afraid to party with it.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
A solid gold Audemars Piguet almost seems cheap after that Richard Mille. The Offshore is big, badass and recognisable. It’s also the easiest watch to spot as a fake, so if you buy a genuine one, everyone is gonna know you’re ballin’. Do like NAS or Jay Z and get the 25940OK.
Rolex Submariner in white gold
So, you want to spend a lot of money but you still want it to be a bit low key? If this sounds like you, buy the SMURF! Only watch lovers will know the price tag and you’ll look like a boss wearing it. No diamonds, no gold color but still 100 per cent 18 carat gold.
Hublot Big Bang “10 Years” High Jewellery
OK, so ice is your game. You want diamonds all over that sh*t and you still want to keep it factory. Where the hell do you throw your money? Look no further than this million-dollar baby from Hublot. They made 10 one-off watches last year, so good luck on finding one.