John Mayer’s Watch Was Once a Well-Kept Secret

Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.

Count on John Mayer to always find the obscure, outrageous watch that seems tailor-made for him. For the better part of the year, this salmon-dial perpetual calendar was hiding out, secretly tucked away in Japan as an exclusive release that not even the U.S.-based AP team was familiar with, according to Hodinkee. But late last summer, when a second batch became available stateside, Mayer immediately became a customer. It was a natural fit: after all, our officially designated WWMIC (Watch World’s Most Influential Collector) already has an abiding love for mystical hard-to-buy fashion from Japan and maintains a storage unit to hold all his Visvim.

Even were it not emerging from some hiding place in Japan, this watch would probably make Mayer woozy with desire. Mayer has been really leaning into his Audemars Piguet pieces. He recently wore the new “Music Edition” Royal Oak that uses an array of sapphires to mimic the look of an audio equalizer on the dial. A hilariously on-the-nose choice for Mayer. But there is something watch collectors find irresistible about salmon-colored dials. The fishy hue is a favorite shade for special-editions by lots of brands, whether you’re Patek Philippe selling the most expensive wristwatch in history or Zenith in its recent link-up with Hodinkee. Rack up another winner for Mayer.

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Simu Liu’s Omega Seamaster Ploprof

I believe we have a first here in Watches of the Week history. Over the three-plus years I’ve been writing this column not one celebrity has worn the awesomely funky Ploprof (a portmanteau of the French word for diver, plongeur, and professional). So shoutout to Liu, because this is one of my favorite watches. It’s a true design weirdo: the Ploprof was made for divers and even received feedback on the look from the French diving company COMEX (also of the much-desired Rolex dials). In an official guide meant to clarify its history, Omega writes that the watch’s dial “is undoubtedly the most distinctive feature of the watch.” Well, I hate to be argumentative, but I’d say the most distinctive feature of the watch is that massive button jutting out of its side. Liu’s is a luxury take on the Ploprof, but many of the original designs feature a safe-to-push Big Red Button—how fun is that? (Pushing the button unlocks the twisty bezel, if you were wondering). That feature brings the watch fully into screwball territory and makes it a true red-carpet standout.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Daniel Kaluuya‘s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The most heated competition in the world right now is the one going on between the Bullet Train and NOPE red carpet walkers. What we’re seeing is a fit battle of such massive proportion, and featuring such A-list talent, that it feels like the Russo brothers must be involved somehow. Putting up a point for his team is Daniel Kaluuya, who wore one of the extra-special Royal Oaks AP put out for the watch’s 50th anniversary.

Dave Simpson

Jack Harlow’s Rolex GMT-Master II

If there is any watch that symbolizes the “First Class” lifestyle that Harlow raps about, it’s the GMT. The watch was built for travel: originally designed for Pan-Am employees, its pricetag and rarity means the GMT is now associated more with the folks sitting in those cushy seats at the front of the plane. Harlow is wearing the black-and-blue “Batman” version of the watch.

Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Aaron Paul’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual

The Breaking Bad cinematic universe is swelling to epic proportions lately: the show’s spin-off Better Call Saul just did a crossover episode featuring Bryan Cranston and Paul. Meanwhile, the pair attended a statue unveiling of their characters at the Albuquerque Convention Center last weekend. For the event, Paul wore one of the short-lived and highly coveted Oyster Perpetuals with a ruby red dial. It just so happens that Paul’s former costar owns the exact same watch.