Game recognises (wrist) game: The NFL’s elite quarterbacks and their watch collectionsD.C. Hannay
With autumn just around the corner, it’s time for America’s favourite sport to start ramping up again. The NFL preseason is already under way, and along with the excitement of the game on the field, we at Time + Tide are looking forward to the new season’s wrist game from the league’s top quarterbacks.
Football’s iron man, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, is a well-known watch connoisseur, and also the current face of IWC (and formerly TAG Heuer). The league’s big gun is all in on the Top Gun range, with an IW389101 Pilot’s Watch Chronograph a favourite in his vast watch box.
And last season’s number one draft pick, Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, is a newly minted Breitling squad member. His mission is to take the Jaguars from worst to first, a tough hill to climb, but he’ll have a Super Chronomat B01 44 to keep him company.
Let’s face it, it’s easy to build a luxury watch collection if you have a sweet endorsement deal, but what about the true watch hounds that plunk down their own dough-re-mi (after budgeting for the mansion and the Aventador, of course)? Besides those two very high-profile brand ambassadors, there are some real enthusiasts among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.
Russell Wilson certainly makes the cut. He’s a Super Bowl champ, leading his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, to victory over the Denver Broncos in 2013. In a fantastic career twist, Wilson was recently traded to that very same Denver team, in the hopes of grabbing another championship ring after a dismal 2021 season. His watch game, however, is anything but lacklustre.
“Dangeruss” is a Rolex man through and through, with a choice selection of references in the collection. Wilson has often been spotted with a Datejust, as well as a couple of Presidents, including a 40mm yellow gold/black-dialled Day-Date, and the uber-tasty 36mm yellow gold and green ref. 118238.
He’s also shown off a two-tone Submariner ref. 116613 with blue dial and bezel, and a discontinued white-dialled Daytona.
Russell’s 116520 has a stainless bezel as opposed to the modern Cerachrom version, which gives it more of an old-school feel, and the white metal harmonizes with the pure white of the dial for a super-clean look.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers definitely ranks among the elite: he’s a Super Bowl champion and MVP, and was voted the league’s MVP no less than four times. He holds a ridiculous amount of statistical records, but after a few frustrating seasons, he seems primed to make a run at another Super Bowl. After all the accolades, it’s a bit surprising that Rodgers has only recently become a brand ambassador, repping for Zenith with the Chronomaster Sport on his wrist. But Aaron’s long been a watch guy. He showed up at the ESPY Awards way back in 2011 wearing an anything-but-subtle Roger Dubuis Excalibur Chronograph in steel. But his taste has leaned a little less shouty in the ensuing years.
When the time came for Rodgers to slap on some cologne and don the black tie, he more often than not went proper old-school, with an exquisite Patek Philippe Calatrava 5117R in rose gold with a hobnail-textured bezel, framing the white Roman numeral dial.
And when the occasion was less formal, he rarely went anywhere without his well-loved Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 44. This unkillable brute is overbuilt to the extreme, water resistant to a staggering 3900 metres (almost 13,000 feet), and the perfect choice for someone with cannons instead of arms. The stainless steel with black dial and bezel combo is practically a Rolex trademark, and goes with absolutely everything.
Is there anyone more fun to watch than Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes? Will his unpredictable gun-and run style, Mahomes keeps defenses on their heels as he pulls off one impossible play after another. And he’s just getting started, having won a Super Bowl at the tender age of 24. When he unleashes a last-second sidearm resulting in a score (just before getting demolished by the opposing defense), it’s hard not to smile.
Clearly, Patrick takes the same fun-loving approach to his collection, favouring bulletproof Rolex sports models in bold colurways. One of his first big purchases was his Yacht-Master II in steel. The big 44mm case, blinding white dial, and vibrant blue Cerachrom bezel perfectly capture his optimistic nature and sense of fun.
One of his most-worn pieces is his GMT-Master II, ref. 126710BLNR, otherwise known as the “Batgirl”. The second iteration of the black and blue Cerachrom-bezelled model sports a Jubilee bracelet, as opposed to the Oyster bracelet on the original “Batman”. With its dual time zone functionality, the GMT-Master II is a perfect choice for someone who spends as much time on the road as an NFL player does.
Finally, a Rolex doesn’t get more colourful than the thermonuclear wrist bomb that is the Rolex Daytona ref. 116595RBOW, the “Rainbow” model in rose gold. With those diamonds paving the dial and lugs, and the full-spectrum sapphire drip of the hour markers and bezel, the Rainbow has been among the hypest of the hype since its release. It’s a prime choice of the gitterati, and currently trades for half a million and up. Yes, Patrick’s half billion dollar contract (second only to Lionel Messi) helps afford him any watch he wants, but you can’t help but wonder how much he paid. Who knows? Maybe he got it at the “Patrick Price”?