The Unlikely Watch Collectors: The Watches Of BTS
The seven members of this K-pop phenomenon have captured the mood of our times and timekeeping.
BTS, a.k.a. Bangtan Sonyeondan a.k.a. the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boyband. The members of the group, which debuted in 2013, are RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. However, unlike previous generations of teen idols, their lyrics reference mental wellness, literature, and Michael Jackson.
Their fans number in the millions and call themselves Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth, or ARMY for short. And they use their social media presence not only to boost their boys but also take on Q-Anon conspiracy theorists on Twitter. We don’t remember *NSYNC having that kind of energy.
Currently, for the fourth week in a row, the BTS track “Butter” is sitting at the top of the Billboard Charts. They appeared on the recent Friends reunion special. They were immortalized as an answer in the June 20th issue of The New York Times Magazine Sunday crossword puzzle. And used McNugget sauces from their McDonald’s x BTS meal collaboration have been listed on eBay for $1,000.
It is undeniable that they reflect the mood of their generation, but they are also major influencers, so we wanted to know what watches they wear.
Better known by his stage moniker RM (short for “Real Me” or “Rap Monster”), Kim Nam-joon is notable for his input in BTS’ songwriting and production. He is the most recognizable member of the band in the US because he is the only member who is fluent in English and therefore acts as spokesperson and official translator in interviews. Fun Fact: On the Friends reunion special, RM revealed that he learned English by watching the sitcom with his mom.
Outside of BTS, he has collaborated with Warren G, Fall Out Boy, and Lil Nas X. A dedicated follower of fashion, RM’s watch choices are the most buzzed-about by fans. And this is especially true when the musician is spotted wearing a rose gold Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R that retails for $49,910. Although he’s frequently pictured in a silver-colored G-SHOCK Full Metal GMWB5000D-1 as well.
The eldest and most debonair member of BTS, Jin (real name: Kim Seok-jin) often introduces himself as “worldwide handsome.” He tends to favor a more minimalist style and casual looks. Plus, he is also known for embracing the color pink.
Concerning his wristwatch of choice, he seems to favor smaller-sized timepieces. However, in contrast to the rest of the singer’s wardrobe, Jin has been photographed in diamond-encrusted watches like the Rollie pictured here.
In this pic, Jin is rocking a Rolex Day-Date 36 featuring a 36mm 18K white gold case, diamond-set bezel, and a diamond set 18K white gold President bracelet.
Born Min Yoon-gi, Suga is one of BTS’s rappers. He’s also a songwriter and record producer. According to his biography, he grew up with financial insecurity, which is why he is now famous for donating food and money to children’s charities.
Alas, even though he gives back, Suga came under fire in 2017 when he was spotted wearing a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 valued at around $10,000. Considering that similar timepieces are going for around $12,000 on the secondary market, this seems more like a savvy investment than a splurge. Sadly, non-watch enthusiasts are unaware of this, so it just looked like conspicuous consumption.
Suga has also been spotted sporting a either a 34 or 37mm stainless steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Automatic.
On stage and off, the K-pop stars’ fashion choices have inspired fans around the world. And the members’ watch choices also reflect the diversity of their interests and personal style.
Born Jung Ho-seok, J-Hope is not only a rapper and one of BTS’s primary songwriters, but he’s also a dancer and often the visual center of the group’s stage shows. J-Hope is also a science-fiction fan. So it’s not surprising that his favorite watch to rock is the out-of-this-world 37mm frosted gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – a collaboration with Florentine jewelry designer Carolina Bucci.
Vocalist and dancer Park Ji-min, a.k.a. Jimin, is considered by BTS fandom to be the shy and sensitive one of the group. But style-wise he is the most iconic. His love of oversized plaid shirts and Gucci vests is copied by fashionistas around the world.
For our fellow Watchonistas, Jimin’s taste in timepieces is also a combination of modest and magnificent. He is often spotted wearing a Cartier Tank Américaine watch on a shiny navy-blue alligator leather strap.
Vocalist Kim Tae-hyung, better known as V, is known as one of the most outgoing members of BTS. He coined the phrase. “I Purple you,” to show the fans how much he loves them.
When it comes to collections, V is also a brand loyalist. For clothing, he is often found wearing head-to-toe Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, or Burberry. His watches seem to be focused on fun pieces such as the 38mm, quartz-powered Le Marché des Merveilles from Gucci. Or he opts for more significant timepieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre like the Master Eight Days and a pink gold Duomètre Quantième Lunaire (which was a gift from his fan club to show how much they love him).
Part of the international appeal of BTS is that they represent a cultural shift in that the gatekeepers of music and style are no longer just radio stations and magazine editors but also YouTubers and TikTok presenters. In short, BTS has many more platforms to communicate with fans than previous generations of boy bands. And this has led to many niche dissections of the member’s passions.
For example, although he is the youngest member of BTS, Jeon Jung-kook has the most expansive watch collection in the group. He is rumored to own at least nine Rolexes, including a two-tone Submariner, a Cosmograph Daytona, and a Day-Date 36 on a President bracelet. Of course, we know this because the ARMY is so obsessive that there are Instagram accounts dedicated to BTS watch spotting. And we found at least one instance of Jungkook/Rolex fanfic on the internet.
(Front image licensed by Getty Images, other sources mentioned)