As the gift-giving season draws to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most famous occasions of celebrities giving luxury watches as gifts. And besides, who says you can't give the gift of a high-end timepiece at any time of the year?
Thanks to deep pockets and an affinity for the finer things in life, celebrities often give luxury watches as gifts. And because of social media, we’re often witnesses to these grand gestures. Since luxury watches are expensive status symbols, not only will the receiver be impressed (and hopefully, thankful) but it’s also a big flex on the part of the giver.
Often called one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves recently lived up to his reputation by gifting his John Wick 4 stuntmen crew Rolex Submariner watches. Reeves handed out his ultra-luxe presents to Bruce Lee Concepcion, Jeremy Marinas, Dave Camarillo, and Li Qiang during a dinner last October at Le Bistro Paul Bert in Paris — and had his matching one on hand too.
Not only did the generous A-list actor manage to buy five of one of the hardest-to-find Rolex watches right now (he is, Keanu Reeves, after all) but he also had each watch engraved with a special message. The casebacks of the steel Submariners were engraved with “The John Wick Five,” the receiver's name, and “Thank you Keanu JW4 2021.”
The model that Reeves selected was the stainless steel and black ceramic Submariner Date ref. 126610LN, which retails for just over $9,000 but is valued at over $15,000 on the secondary market. Now that’s an extra-special wrap gift.
Scoring an invite to a Jay-Z event is already a gift. However, pair that with a Rolex Daytona chronograph (and a bottle of Ace of Spades champagne), and the party starts well before the time and date written on the card.
That’s exactly what the rapper-turned-billionaire-business-mogul did for the VIP invitations he sent out for the Shawn Carter Foundation Gala in 2019. The Rolex Daytona of choice was the ref. 116505, which is crafted almost entirely in 18k rose gold and retails for almost $40,000.
Even superstars like Swizz Beatz and Meek Mill were thoroughly impressed with the delivery and shared their gift bags online for everyone to see (and be utterly jealous of.)
Bruno Mars isn’t shy about his love of gold — he even named one of his albums (and singles) 24K Magic. Although the pop star is most often spotted wearing a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date on his wrist, he leveled up when he picked out gifts for members of his band, the Hooligans.
In what has got to be one of the best gifts ever given by a boss to his crew, Mars handed out matching gold Audemars Piguet Extra-Thin “Jumbo' Royal Oak watches. There were eight pieces in total (seven for the band and one for himself), complete with custom boxes engraved with “Audemars Piguet: Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour Edition."
The Royal Oak is Audemars Piguet’s most iconic watch model and the full yellow gold version Mars picked out (ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02) retailed for a cool $55,400 each back in 2019 — but they now carry an even heftier price tag of $66,500 at retail. Yet, because these watches are sold out at boutiques everywhere, street value is now hovering around the $200,000 mark. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.
Aside from being an immensely popular, chart-topping musician, Ed Sheeran is also a watch guy. He has a notable obsession with Patek Philippe watches but also has plenty of other watch brands in his collection including Rolex, IWC, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, and much more.
However, despite his enviable and ultra-expensive watch wardrobe, he’s stated that his daily watch is a relatively affordable (and totally awesome) Tudor Black Bay. Not just any Black Bay, but one he had custom-engraved for his touring crew.
Sheeran purchased about 80 Black Bay ref. 79230N watches to gift to his tour team. He went one step further by having Tudor decorate each dial with the ÷ ("Divide") album logo in bright blue and the caseback engraved with “Thank you for all your hard work on the tour, love Ed X” While a standard Black Bay 79230N with a fabric strap retails for around $3,500, the Ed Sheeran custom versions sometimes pop up for sale online, ranging in price from $20,000 to $50,000. No word yet on how Sheeran feels about his thank-you gifts being sold.
While some argue that famous people gifting pricey watches are unnecessary displays of extravagance, we prefer to look at them as generous gestures of gratitude. It’s no secret that celebs have big bank accounts, so why not share the wealth with those that helped them along the way? It’s nice to see bosses treating employees to top-tier timepieces or friends handing out premium presents to each other. Plus, think of the beneficiaries of those high-end watches; given a choice between a Rolex etched with a personal message or a handmade mug, you know which one they’d ultimately be happier with.