"Hotline Bling," Drake's 2016 parable on the Shakespearean plight of modern communication, had many scratching their heads. What did the phrase mean? Why was a rapper looking so smug and so torn all at once, on the steps of a bannister-less pastel staircase? Such questions. But while out and about in L.A., "Hotline Bling" took on a more literal meaning.
We refer you to an iced-out, platinum-certified Rolex Day-Date 40 Yellow Gold: a watch that's bold enough on its own, but becomes something worth immortalizing in song when it's got a bezel studded with 52 identically cut diamonds. This is the bling many rappers so fondly speak of. This is the sort of piece that has watch boutiques forever on the landline, juggling bids from high-net-worth individuals, who scream into their phones from their yachts in Capri. This is a watch that's happy to do a little showing off.
It's got every right to. An aptly-named champagne dial hides innards well-lauded within watchy circles; the new-gen Rolex calibre 3255 boasts 14 international patents, and a nickel-phosphorus composition. That latter is especially important. When we're surrounded by daily hazards that emit small magnetic bursts (iPhones, hairdryers, televisions), the movement stays precise thanks to the insensitivity of nickel-phosphorus. A strong ticker, then, and one that can power the Day-Date 40 for up to 70 hours.
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Granted, diamonds may not be your best friend. But such a watch is a logical installment within the grand canon of hip-hop. Drake has expensive taste. Exceedingly so. Not sipping Château Lafite Rothschild overlooking the vista of Crillon-le-Brave expensive, but Lamborghini expensive. Drop a London flat deposit on a bottle of Grey Goose with a sparkler in expensive. And, since rap has its roots in disaffected, disadvantaged communities in North America, there's no reason why the watches shouldn't match the lyrical boasting. They started from the bottom now they here, so to speak. That watch is wrist-mounted pride.
Hence the iced-out bling. So, if you're still baffled by the seminal wail-rap record that is "Hotline Bling" (it's a ringing mobile phone, by the way), know that there's another interpretation. Just dial 1-800-ROLEX.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.