Want a watch that nails the mob wife aesthetic? The women of ‘The Sopranos’ have you coveredCate Misczuk
“Mom, are you in the mafia?” Meadow Soprano had her fair suspicions, too, when she posed the same question to her father in the infamous ‘College’ episode of The Sopranos. These days, however, it’s more likely that your mom just picked up on the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ that’s trending on TikTok. This shift away from the previous (and drab) ‘old money’ trend has empowered women to embrace bolder and more unapologetic outfit choices. Think stacks of gold jewellery, flashy displays of fur, alluring black silhouettes, glamorous makeup, and, of course, luxury watches.
And while some might think the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ is an exaggeration or just from a TV show, it’s actually based on a real style, and one I’m quite familiar with. Going to school on Long Island, New York, I wasn’t all that geographically or culturally distant from New Jersey. This is the kind of place where every week consisted of Sunday ‘gravy,’ trips to the deli, turnpikes and tanning beds. Aesthetically, it didn’t take long for this girl from Connecticut to start wearing gold jewellery, Juicy velour sweatsuits and to never be caught dead without fresh nails, too. And don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it.
So while debates are swirling about whether HBO orchestrated this trend for The Sopranos‘ 25th anniversary, my response is a resounding, ‘Who cares?’ Whether it’s an ‘inside job’ or not, I’m here for it. Not only is this trend something finally fun (and dare I say, empowering?), but it’s also a great opportunity to report on what watches the women of this iconic show wore for once. For years we’ve dissected and worshipped their iconic hair, makeup and clothing, so it’s only fitting that we now look at the timepieces they chose to match. Plus, I’m going to tell you how to snag the same watch for your ‘mob wife aesthetic’ today, as well as take some liberties as to what I think the ladies would wear in 2023. So indulge me, won’t you?
Carmella Soprano: Rolex Datejust
Does Carmella even need an introduction? An iconic TV character in her own right, Carmella Soprano is the high school sweetheart and wife of mob boss Tony. She runs a proper Italian-American household for her family in the New Jersey suburbs and is always dripping in gold and diamonds while doing it. Whether she’s wearing a tracksuit, sweater set or the perfect mom jeans, this woman had her hair sprayed high, her acrylic nails on thick and her jewellery stacked. She is the epitome of the mob wife aesthetic.
In the series, Carmella famously wore a Lady Datejust in two-tone 18k gold and Oystersteel: actually quite a practical watch for this housewife. The waterproof, stainless steel case puts up with everyday wear and tear – like the copious amount of dishes she’s always cleaning up – while still elevating her every look thanks to its Jubilee bracelet, silver face, gold bezel and diamond hour markers. Of course, being a Rolex, the Datejust is the ultimate status symbol for Carmella to flaunt, too.
Get Carmella’s look: Still very much beloved and in production, you can easily steal Carmella’s look today and get one step closer to the mob wife aesthetic. The Two-tone Lady Datejust clocks in at 28mm and just like Carmella’s, comes with a sunray-finished silver dial that’s diamond-set, as well as an 18k yellow gold and Oystersteel Jubilee bracelet. This is the ultimate timepiece to offset your matching gold jewellery and diamonds, and the perfect watch to casually flaunt every day as you enter your ‘mob wife’ era.
What I think Carmella would wear today: I think Carmella would still have her trusty two-tone Datejust, but she would have upgraded her collection by now. I totally see her in a tiny Lady President – which is really just a Lady Datejust with a President bracelet because it doesn’t have the ‘Day’ like the Day-Date. You could argue that she’d go for yellow gold, to match most of her jewellery, of course. But, I think Carmella would have fallen head over heels for the Everose trend and would be wearing this fully rosé version. To me, a white face feels a bit too daytime and similar to her Date-Just, and I don’t see Carmella going for the chocolate brown. But, the pink face suits her, and I think she’d love that it matches the Everose case and elegant President bracelet. Plus, the Roman numerals feel like a tie to her Italian heritage, and the diamonds would give her that extra ‘wow’ factor she’s clearly after.
Adriana La Cerva: Cartier Tank Française
Adriana, also known as Ade, was the young, stylish ‘it’ girl of the Sopranos mob wives. Unlike Carmella, Adriana’s look is younger and unapologetically embraces her sex appeal. You could always be sure to see Ade with voluminous curls, big gold hoops, long red nails, curve-hugging low-rider pants and a black or animal print top. But in essence, her aesthetic was all about utter confidence.
It wasn’t until season four that we’d spot Adriana with a glittery, golden Cartier Tank Française on her wrist. Most definitely borrowed from her boyfriend and later fiance Chrissy – Tony Soprano’s nephew and heir-apparent to the ‘family business’ – this timepiece was her ultimate status symbol as an aspiring mob wife. First introduced in 1996, the Tank Française was a very fitting watch for the time, too. I could see Christopher wanting the best new thing, and not stopping there, but going for the 18k gold version with a diamond inlaid case.
Get Ade’s look: Another timeless classic, you too can get your hands on the same watch as Adriana. Well, essentially. In 2023 Cartier updated the Française with a slightly larger case; more brushed, satin finishes than polished; and a champagne dial instead of a white one. But they’re still making this watch in all 18k gold and with a diamond-encrusted case. Pair this with some big gold hoops and you’re good to go to the mall, club or tennis court.
What I think Ade would wear today: There’s no doubt in my mind that Ade would be wearing a Bulgari Serpenti. A symbol of power and seduction and a nod to her Italian heritage, this iconic timepiece matches her style and swagger perfectly. But, while I’m decided on the fact that she’d wear a Serpenti Tubogas double spiral – because it’s just more dramatic – I’m a little more hesitant over whether she’d go for the 18k rose gold version with a black face, or the 18k yellow gold with a white face. My intuition tells me that even though she has more yellow gold jewellery, she’d just love the contrast of the dark face, so let’s go with that. The opposite of subtle, the Serpenti is completely indulgent, wonderfully elegant and utterly bold. And while it’s not exactly practical like the Datejust, the bracelet is flexible and comfortable thanks to its tubular litheness. For those who need more convincing, rest assured that no matter how long the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ lasts, this enduring, 76-year-old watch design will be a classic in your collection.
Meadow Soprano: Cartier Pasha & Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Beach’
Meadow Soprano is no mob wife, but she is a mob daughter, so let’s just run with it. The eldest child of Tony and Carmella, Meadow experiences the growing pains of her teen years and early adulthood on the show, all the while struggling with the constant push and pull of her conservative suburban family and their shady business dealings that bankroll her lifestyle, car, Ivy League school and budding watch collection.
We see Meadow wear a few watches throughout the series, most notably a stainless steel Cartier Pasha. While first released in 1985, the watch didn’t become wildly popular until the 1990s when the brand first introduced a stainless steel version. Incredibly iconic of that time, people loved its quirky details like the oversized crown protector and Vendôme lugs. This was a great starter watch for Meadow – her introduction to luxury timepieces at least. But the real show stopper is her special edition white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Beach’ featuring a pink mother of pearl face and a genuine pink lizard-leather strap. Audacious, colourful and absolutely a flashy status symbol, this watch screams ‘mob wife aesthetic.’ I also just love the idea that a young, 20-something girl is wearing this rare and expensive watch to class, or to languish in bed over her latest drama. Just like her mom and Adriana, her watches and jewellery are fitting for any and every occasion.
Get Meadow’s look: If you want to go for the Pasha, you’re in luck. While the watch was decommissioned in 2012, Cartier did reinstate the collection in 2020 with some modern and more comfortable updates (as well as a slew of celebrity endorsements). It still has the unmissable lugs and crown as well as those unique numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9. However, I would say if you want the ‘it’ girl watch of the moment like Meadow had, I’d reach for a Cartier Pantheré instead. An entry-level option like Meadow’s would be the stainless steel version, but if you want to be as spoiled as her, I’d choose the small, yellow gold model with a diamond bezel and black lacquered dial set with another 3 brilliant-cut diamonds. The black and 18k yellow gold lean into the mob wife aesthetic perfectly.
As far as the Daytona goes, in keeping with Rolex’s special edition promise, you can’t get your hands on a modern Daytona ‘Beach’ today. Maybe you’ll have some luck on the secondary market. Or you could spring for something kind of close like the platinum Daytona with an ice-blue dial and a chestnut brown Cerachrom bezel. You’re trading out baby pink for baby blue and white gold for platinum, but I think you can achieve a similar look, and that’s what matters.
What I think Meadow would wear today: My mind immediately darted to Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Chronograph forged out of rose gold and featuring an amethyst bezel with matching purple “Grande Tapisserie” dial and chronograph counters. Why? A Royal Oak, let alone a Royal Oak Chronograph, is the last thing a rich suburban girl needs. However, it’s exactly what she’d ask for today. Crazy expensive, colorful, golden and oversized, this watch oozes with the same kind of Y2K, early aughts energy that the pink Daytona ‘Beach’ does strapped on her wrist. And don’t take my tone the wrong way – I’m living for it. For those in their mob wife era who want to wear more colour than just cheetah print, this is what you’re going to want to go for.