John Mayer Talks Watches
Reading about the collections of celebrities is always good fantasy fodder because we get a look at what it’s like to have all the money you need to let your obsessions run wild. When those obsessions include fine watches you also have the chance to critique the A-lister’s taste and imagine what you would buy if money was no object.
The New York Times conducted an extremely long interview with John Mayer in which the singer described his own fondness for watches and looked back at some of his favorites. After getting his start with a “Star Wars” themed Armitron digital watch as a kid, Mayer went on to amass a collection that he estimates to be worth “in the tens of millions.” Here are his thoughts on a few favorites.
In 2001 Mayer had his first million-selling album so of course he bought a Rolex, an Explorer II valued today at about $8,100. “You take it, and it becomes your thing,” he said. “You go: ‘You’re my one and only watch, you’re my Rolex. I got a Rolex.’ It’s like a Cadillac. Rolex transcends watches as a name. It’s ‘the Rolex of’ something, ‘the Cadillac of’ something.”
After acquiring an IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, Mayer moved on to collecting vintage pieces with his first purchase being a 70s-era “double red” Rolex Sea-Dweller. “I take it home, and I do this thing — I think guys do it — you buy something and then you learn all about it,” the singer said. “It’s retroactive research.”
From there Mayer developed a reputation as a serious collector, so serious that prestigious watchmaker Patek Philippe created one-of-a-kind pieces for him upon request including a white gold 5004G with luminous hands that the singer wears onstage.
Of course this avid collector of luxury timepieces has an opinion about the Apple Watch. “We’re all going to end up with the Apple Watch, I don’t care what you say.” Even if you have to wear it on your right hand,” said Mayer. “Even if you wear it as a pocket watch, because I have a concept that you can slot the Apple Watch into a pocket, as a pocket watch. I think it’s a cool device, but there’s got to be another place to put it. I can’t give up precious wrist space for an Apple Watch.”
Mayer summed up his lifetime passion for watches thusly: “I think you’re born a watch person. Even if you don’t own a watch for a while, you either get it or you don’t.”