Though his partnership with Tudor is well documented, David Beckham just scored some serious “watch guy” points by pairing the brand’s latest tool watch with black tie: At the Ballon d’Or awards—soccer’s Oscars ceremony, basically—he wore the Pelagos 39 with a double-breasted tuxedo. (Leave this to the professionals, kids!)
While Beckham has been retired since 2013, he’s very much still a cultural tour de force: Beckham, Netflix’s newest sensation, traces the 48-year-old’s path from working-class Londoner to one of the best footballers on Earth and longtime husband to Victoria Beckham, a star in her own right as Posh Spice. The trending series has catapulted its eponymous star back into the spotlight (which, to be fair, he never really left).
But back to watches for a moment. The Pelagos 39, which debuted a year ago just won the Sports Watch prize at the GPHG, the industry’s biggest award ceremony. The model is Tudor’s way of bridging the divide between its professional Pelagos dive watch collection and its vintage-inspired, everyday Black Bay collection. While the original Pelagos was a serious SCUBA diver’s tool—500m of water resistance, helium escape valve, self-adjusting bracelet clasp—it was also rather large and bulky at 42. The 39 does away with some of the water resistance and nixes the HEV, but still offers 39mm of pure tool watch goodness, on a matching bracelet, for $4,700. Considering its in-house movement and great looks, this is incredible value.
And in case you think Beckham’s watches are mere “desk divers,” we’d recommend checking out this Tudor video in which he dips beneath the waves with Morgan Bourc’his, a champion French freediver. Beckham, a top-tier star athlete, freely admits his fears around freediving to the camera, but trains with Bourc’his nonetheless. (With a couple of cool Tudors on their wrists, of course.)
Lil Yachty’s Patek Philippe Ellipse ref. 3880J
Lil Yachty pulled off a pretty excellent vintage Patek at the 2023 CFDA Fashion Awards at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC this past week. The reference 3880J is unlike most Pateks featured in GQ: Part of the Ellipse collection, it’s a svelte, 27mm piece in 18K yellow gold with a skeletonized movement and no traditional dial. Just a few hundred are thought to have been produced between 1980 and the late 1990s, while fewer than 30 ref. 3880s are known to exist. With its delicate proportions and curvaceous case, it looks like something Cartier London might have produced during its 1970s heyday—but it’s certainly a Patek through and through, with a beautifully finished movement, to boot. (What can we say—this young man has good taste!)
Luke Combs’s Corum Golden Bridge
On the wrist country music star Luke Combs at the 57th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena was an unusual (and pretty awesome) choice: a Corum Golden Bridge. What makes this watch special is its movement layout that arranges all the components down the length of a single bridge and affixes it beneath a transparent dial. (A “bridge” being a metal plate under which are contained wheels and other movement components.) Launched in 1980, the overall effect is eye-catching, unique, and highly elegant, and looked perfect on the singer’s wrist at the CMAs as spotted by eagle-eyed watch spotter and historian Nick Gould.
Aaron Judge’s Rolex Yacht-Master
Bronx Bomber Aaron Judge sported an excellent, subtle choice when he sat courtside at a Knicks-Celtics game this week at the Garden His Rolex Yacht-Master ref. 226659 comes in hefty white gold. While the 31-year-old has some, ahem, slightly more ostentatious timepieces in his rotation, the Yacht-Master largely flies under radar: Housed in a 40mm white gold case with a black Cerachrom 60-minute bezel and a black rubber Oysterflex strap, it’s a luxurious piece, to be sure, but one that nevertheless calls upon the Crown’s long history of tool watch construction to inform its design and appointments. (Plus, it paired beautifully with No. 99’s all-black getup.)
Bobby Flay’s Panerai Luminor Due Goldtech
It’s no secret that chefs love big tool watches, and even less of a secret that many of them gravitate towards Panerai. (Maybe it’s the Italian connection?) American star chef and entrepreneur Bobby Flay is no exception: Just this past week on the Today Show, he was scoped wearing the brand’s Luminor Due Goldtech ref. PAM01336. A smaller model by Panerai’s standards, it measures 42mm across and features the collection’s well-known “sandwich” dial construction, in which luminescent material shines through from beneath cutouts. Constructed from the brand’s Goldtech, it qualifies as a “luxury diver”—the perfect wrist accessory for a guy who still loves to get his hands dirty in the kitchen.