Celebrities get paid extravagant amounts because, well, they’re celebrities. But what exactly do they do with all that cash? We often see Instagram posts with stars sporting new threads or a new set of wheels. Sometimes, several sets of wheels. The luxurious jewels and timepieces on their wrists also get a lot of attention. But in the era of tech gadgets, celebrity smart watches began to appear in the headlines. And while some stars indulge in blinged-out designs, others choose a to keep a lower profile.
Celebrities Go for the Gold
In 2015, one year after Apple released its hugely popular Apple Watch, Beyonce posted a picture of her version in gold. Gold celebrity smart watches weren’t exclusive to Beyonce, however, since it appeared along with the original models. What raised eyebrows was the pure gold wristband not available on Apple’s website.
Some doubted the wristband came from Apple, but the design and construction appeared spot-on with all the other bands available. This led to questions about Apple designing luxury pieces for only those who could afford them. Around the same time, Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld also appeared with the same golden smart watch. Apple’s most expensive wrist bracelet at the time went up to $17,000 – which means the pure gold version must be much more.
One of the celebrity smart watches that didn’t go full-luxury was Katy Perry’s Mickey Mouse Apple Watch. Perry wore a simple version of the gold watch without the all-gold wristband. Instead it appeared to be a simple red leather band which gave it a more relaxed feel. But although diamonds (or gold) are a girl’s best friend, the watch also had some masculine fans.
In 2015 Drake headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Cali, and you can bet he had some time for a photo-shoot. Drake appeared in a picture on his Instagram in an all-red sweater and sweatpants combo with, you guessed it, a gold Apple watch. In fact, this was the same version (without Mickey) that Katy Perry posted on her social media.
Luxury Smart Watches Enter the Ring
The very same year Beyonce went to social media to show her gold watch, Floyd Mayweather Jr. joined the party. The undefeated boxing champion really showed his fans why his nickname is “Money” Mayweather. In an Instagram post Mayweather sits by a boxing ring in grey sweatpants and Nikes. Notably, something stood out on his left wrist. It turns out he wore an exclusive Japanese Edition Casio G-Shock GXW-56 covered in diamonds.
Casio’s G-Shock, like popular military watches (see list here), is pretty well known as an all-around indestructible timepiece. Even the words “Shock Absorber” running across the watch face perfectly describe Money Mayweather. Unlike other celebrity smart watches, this was a special extra-large model featuring rose gold casing with inset diamonds all around the face. His fans nicknamed this watch “The King” for its royal-status on the legendary fighter’s wrist.
But Floyd Mayweather isn’t the only celebrity showing off his Casio. In his early years as a pop music icon, long before ‘Yummy,’ Justin Bieber wore a white G-Shock G-Lide GLX-5600-7 during a photoshoot. This simple watch has several functions including a stopwatch, world-time adjustments, timer, alarms, and even a moon-phase graph.
The iconic photos of the young pop star make the watch a central part of his outfit. In two separate images, Bieber wears a deep purple sweater along with his white G-Shock. Likewise, in another photo he wears a simple black sweater with a white T-shirt and his watch. Bieber undoubtedly made the G-Shock a fashion statement for all his fans, who probably all went to buy white Casio’s.
Watchmakers Try to Get Noticed
Some watchmakers also make timepieces in the hopes of getting picked up by a famous singer or actor / actress. Rapper Jay-Z released a track called Otis where he sings: “New watch alert, Hublot’s…” The song’s popularity generated attention for Hublot who then attempted to make it onto the celebrity smart watches list.
One example is Hublot’s “Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia”. As you can tell, this watch appeared exclusively for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the wrists of all referees. This limited-edition watch featured a large screen display that sent the wearer real-time game alerts. It also had a Bluetooth 4.1 connection and an Intel Atom processor, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make the list.
Why Buy Them When You Can Make Them?
While many stars choose to buy their celebrity smart watches, few choose to make them. In 2016 rapper Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas released his smart watch called Dial. Rather than call the Dial a watch he preferred to call it a bracelet. The Dial used a voice assistant called AneedA and featured 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory. The touchscreen display also integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even a camera. A SIM card slot let you use the watch as a smartphone and talk directly into the built-in microphones.
A former fashion icon for internet marketing and news, Rodrick Rainey, also launched a tactical watch brand: T1 Tact Watch. It is one of the internet’s hottest brands as wearable technologies waltz into 2020 as the trendiest accessory to have. The durability of the outdoors and adventure brand is what’s made it a hot pick amongst those in the tactical career fields and travelers alike. Authentics are exclusively sold through their website and many use social media to keep up with the brand (@T1TactWatch). It’s unclear if the brand will begin putting its product in stores, but the workout apps and connectivity to social media have made it a must have.
Love them or hate them, celebrity smart watches are here to stay and will probably get more luxurious in the future. Because of the hefty price tags of these timepieces, ordinary consumers typically don’t have access to these watches. So we will have to keep up with all our favorite celebrities’ social media accounts to see who’s got the next big thing.