Pret-a-Reporter

The Personal Time Lines of Five A-List Watch Collectors

6:00 AM 11/26/2015

by Degen Pener and Laurie Kahle

A conductor, a ballplayer, a producer, a reality star and a top attorney tick off how they got into watches, what they wear every day and what they are aching to buy now.

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    Gustavo Dudamel

    Conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic

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    My first watch: I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but it was a watch that turned into an airplane. It was like what we would term today as a “transformer,” a toy, and must have had something to do with influencing my love of travel. This watch, when you pulled here and pushed there, turned itself into a flying jumbo jet!

    My go-to watch: I have a Rolex Daytona that I absolutely love and wear probably more than any other watch. The classic elegance of this watch is so special, and I feel I can wear it anywhere. It’s simple, iconic, durable and keeps impeccable time.

    My next watch: I’m coveting the Rolex Cellini Dual Time. The two clocks are perfect for someone who travels as much as I do. It has a classic alligator strap with large scales that is so elegant and such a nice pairing with the warm casing and silver face.

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    Jose Bautista

    Right Fielder, Toronto Blue Jays

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    My first watch: An Audemars Piguet Safari white dial with brown leather strap. The story behind it is that I “rewarded” or “gifted” myself with it on a trip to Chicago after I signed my first long-term deal. I walked into a store on Michigan Avenue. The owner was there and the MSRP was 25K. I made some phone calls and offered 20K. He said the best he could do was 21K, so I got it!

    My go-to watch: An Hublot 3000 diver carbon fiber. I like it because most of the time I’m in casual clothes, and it’s black so it matches with most outfits. It’s also big, elegant and sleek. Definitively a double-take watch.

    My next watch: I’m eager to get the Hublot Arturo Fuente first edition in yellow gold with a brown face and a brown leather strap or a Franck Muller double mystery with black dial in yellow gold with a black leather strap.

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    Ellen Goldsmith-Vein

    Producer, Manager and CEO, The Gotham Group

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    My first watch: Oh! My mom gave me a Cartier Panthere two-tone bracelet when I was in high school. I thought it was the greatest thing on the planet! I still have it, but the dial is so small that I can’t read it.

    My go-to watch: I have been wearing an antique 19mm rose gold Bulgari Bulgari Tubogas serpent watch with black lacquered dial set with diamond indexes. It’s a million-miler, it goes with everything, and people always notice it. I had a friend who had a version of the watch, and I coveted it for the longest time but couldn’t locate one in good condition. The diamond dial makes it special. I’ve had it for only a year or so. They recently reissued it.

    My next watch: There are two watches I want. A rose gold De Grisogono Uno with a black face — it’s a gorgeous timepiece. The other is a vintage yellow gold Cartier Tank Americaine quartz with a diamond bezel. A classic watch with a little zip!

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    Josh Flagg

    Agent, Rodeo Realty; Co-star, 'Million Dollar Listing L.A.'

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    My first watch: My parents bought me a Cartier when I was 18, but I exchanged it for a solid gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. I had admired that watch since I was a child. It’s an interesting shape and look with the octagonal face. I am drawn to classics.

    My go-to watch: A gold Rolex Submariner with a blue face — I love that I can wear it with a tuxedo or to the beach. I also like my gold Rolex Day-Date II. It’s one of the prettiest watches, and it’s solid gold, so you can bang it around and not damage it.

    My next watch: If I were going to buy another watch, it would be a solid gold Rolex Yachtmaster II. As you can tell, I am a Rolex guy. I think the Yachtmaster is one of the better-looking watches on the market.

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    Mathew Rosengart

    Entertainment Litigator and Partner, Greenberg Traurig

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    My first watch: My first real watch was the Omega De Ville, low-key and conservative, as a law school graduation present before I served at the Justice Department in Washington. I — very presumptuously — wanted to grow up to be Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, and I thought it was the type of watch he might wear in the modern day. I still have it and wear it on occasion.

    My go-to watch: A Cartier Santos 100, which was a gift. I can wear it in court or casually. When I started my career as a federal prosecutor, I wore the thin Omega with a croc band, which was appropriate for the occasion, but the Santos now fits well. For a change of pace, I go to a vintage Russian Raketa that was given to me by my friend Tim Blake Nelson, who is an avid watch collector.

    My next watch: I think the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is beautiful, with a classic, iconic look.

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