The Greatest Watches In Hip-Hop History
Hip-hop wouldn't be hip-hop without diamond-encrusted watches—the clearest possible signal of having made millions at the apex of the charts.
Accordingly, top tier brands have gone above and beyond to satisfy the tastes of rappers as they make what—for most men at least—is the most expensive style purchase of their lifetime.
Presenting: the iciest hip-hip watches out there. Matching grill and Lamborghini Mercy sold separately.
1| Pharrell and his Richard Mille RM-031
He hasn't aged a day since 2002. Still, Pharrell prefers a watch that's firmly in the next century. His futuristic RM-031 at the Golden Globes 2017—one of several Richard Mille pieces owned by the 'Happy' man—is more Guardians Of The Galaxy than it is standard Geneva fare, and comes with complex tourbillon movement and more steel accents than Ellen Ripley's assault rifle.
2| DJ Khaled and his Patek Philippe Nautilus
DJ Khaled is known for declaring "we the best music" at any given opportunity. Makes perfect sense, then, for hip-hop's least humble man to rock a watch just as bold: a stunning diamond-encrusted Patek Philippe Nautilus. As one of the world's rarest watches, even a classic stainless steel version will require thousands. And probably a hefty insurance policy, too.
3| Nicki Minaj and her Rolex Day-Date
Nicki Minaj's lyrics are often NSFW but her wristwear is a far cleaner affair. For the Beez In The Trap video, the Queens rapper opted for a men's classic Rolex Day Date—informally known as the President's watch.
4| Jay Z and his Shawn Carter by Hublot
Not content with a personal Hublot collection (we refer you to the "new watch alert/Hublot" line of 'Otis'/happier times), Jay Z went and partnered up with the idiosyncratic Swiss label for an exclusive 2013 collaboration. The Shawn Carter by Hublot was everything you'd expect, too: statement gold dial, personal branding, and a diameter big enough to rest a cuppa on. Or, more likely, a bottle of Krug.
5| Rick Ross and his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Ever since Dr Dre gifted Rick Ross a Hublot (hip-hop panda diplomacy, of sorts), he's been horologically hooked. Take the wristwear for this year's Grammys. As if Audemars Piguet's reputation as a maverick manufacture wasn't enough, the rap game Pavarotti went sub-zero with a white gold frosting finish.
6| Meek Mill and his Rolex Rose Gold Day-Date II
Currently incarcerated, we hope Meek Mill has his wristwear safely lockdown until he gets out. The Young & Gettin' It star was most recently pictured last October with a diamond take on the Rolex Day-Date: a piece well worth waiting for.
7| Birdman and his Hublot King Power Split Second Gold Pave
The art of spitting fire doesn't come quite so naturally to Young Money mastermind Birdman. But the art of outrageous watch buying does. As another ardent Hublot fan, the 49-year-old is rarely seen without a King Power Split Second Gold Pave—sort of like the traditional Big Bang model, but made in a diamond mine.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.