The Unlikely Watch Collector: Rihanna
The Barbadian singer, actress, businesswoman and self-described Good Girl Gone Bad turns out to have very good taste in watches.
How crucial is Rihanna to pop culture? Well, the fashion press declared her the queen of the Met Ball even though she skipped this year’s event — her past looks were iconic enough that they are still being talked about today.
And Forbes estimates that Rihanna is worth $1,700,000,000, with most of that money coming from entrepreneurial endeavours like her cosmetic and fashion brands.
One could assume that a woman of such taste and means can afford the best in timepieces. And yes, Rihanna has certainly been spotted wearing celebrity favorites like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, and many others. It is notable, however, that whichever brand she wears on her wrist gets her unique spin along with it.
Let’s take a look at some of her most memorable timepiece moments.
In 2008, way before “boyfriend watches” became a thing, Rihanna can be spotted sporting a period-authentic, plus-sized Piaget Polo New Style in her “Take a Bow” music video. And she is spotted wearing it from frame one. With his 18k beauty (one of Piaget’s most celebrated designs), she was also well ahead of the curve on the yellow gold trend.
The artist F.K.A. Robyn Rihanna Fenty left her home in Barbados in 2005. But elements of her West Indian upbringing still influence her style and her music. Take, for example, her 2009 track “Rude Boy ” which incorporates elements of dancehall and ragamuffin music styles.
The video, directed by Melina Matsoukas, (who also lensed the award-winning film Queen and Slim) represented a bold stylistic bridge from Rihanna’s more youthful image. Visually, it was a chromatic tribute to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat as well as a salute to 1980s-era Grace Jones’ personal style. So, it was more than fitting that the singer wore multiple candy-coloured G-Shocks and Baby Gs in the promotional clip and pictures for the production.
The many timepieces spotted include a white Casio Baby-G BG5601SW-7, a yellow Baby-G BG5602-9, a pink Baby-G BG5601-4, a black G-Shock Mini GMN550-1B, and a shocking pink and neon green Casio G-Shock Mini GMN691-7B.
In 2017, Rihanna became an ambassador for Chopard’s Haute Jewelry collection. Around the same time, she was frequently spotted wearing an iced-out Happy Sport. This automatic, 36mm white gold timepiece from the Happy Sport Joaillerie collection mirrors the singer’s style in that it is both sporty and glamourous. A similar Happy Sport, with an unpaved dial, is still a part of Chopard’s offerings.
Even though Rihanna closed down her Fenty fashion line last year, she still has plenty on her entrepreneurial plate: her cosmetics and skincare brands Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin are currently going strong, as is her lingerie concern, Savage X Fenty. And, she gave birth to a baby boy in May. Rihanna is a busy woman.
It makes sense that she would opt for a practical-yet-iconic timepiece while running from meeting to meeting. Rihanna is often seen in paparazzi photos wearing a medium-sized, quartz-powered Cartier Panthère de Cartier in yellow gold.
Do you even qualify as a celebrity if you don’t have a Patek Philippe Nautilus? Rihanna’s choice is a 40.5mm rose gold 5908/1R flyback chronograph from the watchmaker. The size of the timepiece is tempered by its slender 12.5mm thickness. The nautical-inspired silhouette of the watch also serves as a symbol of her free and independent spirit.
Whatever Rihanna wears, she makes it her own, usually through her sense of style but, in the case of her vintage Rolex King Midas, jeweller Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura customized the bracelet of this distinctive watch. Watchonista colleague JJ Owens first spotted Rihanna wearing the very rare wristwatch in an Instagram post announcing the singer’s pregnancy.
But, that King Midas is not the only Rolex in Rihanna’s world. The timepiece that Rihanna is most frequently photographed with is a midsize Rolex Datejust in steel and yellow gold on a multi-link Jubilee bracelet with a champagne dial and diamond hour markers. Since she is always a trendsetter, we can now predict that textured integrated bracelets and two-tone will become more mainstream in a season or two.