Jay-Z has a habit of doing ridiculous things with watches. There was the $2.2 million Patek Philippe he wore to Diddy’s birthday party a few years ago, and the even more expensive Richard Mille that required more than 3,000 man-hours to produce. Oh, and don’t forget the ultra-rare Rolex Daytonas he sent out as party invites in 2019. The guy specializes in the watch flex.
But the watch he broke out last night was genuinely wild, even for Jay. In Hollywood for a screening of The Harder They Fall, the Netflix movie on which he served as a producer, Jay conducted a Q&A with something serious on his wrist: the Tiffany-blue Patek Philippe Nautilus that is the easy pick for the hottest watch on the planet.
Some context: a little more than a week ago, Patek Philippe shook up the watch world by explaining that, while it still planned to discontinue production of its ultra-coveted Nautilus 5711, it would release one final version of the piece. There would have been a rush on the very last 5711 no matter what it looked like. But the specific piece Patek announced—produced for sale at jeweler Tiffany & Co., with the watch’s face done in the brand’s legendary blue, and stamped with the retailer’s name—ensured that this would just about instantly become one of the most desired watches in the history of time-telling. As GQ’s Cam Wolf explained last year, when it comes to the world of watch collecting, “there is no greater treasure than a Patek Philippe kissed with an official stamp from legendary jeweler Tiffany & Co.” A Tiffany-stamped Patek in Tiffany blue? That’s watch collector catnip.
While the first model sold at auction at Philips last week for more than $6.5 million—the ninth-highest auction price for a watch…ever, with proceeds going to the Nature Conservancy—a source close to Jay-Z confirmed that he wasn’t the buyer at auction. So how did Jay get his hands on one of the 170 Patek is producing? Well, it probably didn’t hurt that he, along with wife Beyoncé, is the new face of Tiffany, currently undergoing a revamp led by LVMH scion Alexandre Arnault. As our Rachel Tashjian put it, “Arnault is bidding to make Tiffany blue as lusted-after as Hermès orange—a global symbol of exclusivity and desire.” One good way to do that is to get the color onto the face of the most lusted-after watch on the planet—and then onto the wrist of a superstar like Jay-Z.