Elite athletes are some of the highest-paid people on the planet so it comes as no surprise that many of them like to spend their hard-earned cash on lavish watches. We’ve previously covered the watches worn by top athletes in 2016, but we’re revisiting this topic with a more up-to-date list.
From tennis and golf to basketball and soccer to hockey and boxing, let’s have a look at some of the world’s best superstar athletes and their watches.
Tennis Player Carlos Alcaraz’s Watches
Carlos Alcaraz has had a stellar year in 2023, not only winning at Wimbledon but also reclaiming his spot as the No. 1 in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals. The 20-year-old Spanish player has been a Rolex ambassador since he was 18 years old. Therefore, Carlos Alcaraz wears Rolex watches exclusively, with a particular fondness for Daytona chronographs. While he was holding his Wimbledon trophy earlier this year, he was spotted wearing a Daytona 116518LN, featuring an 18k yellow gold case, black ceramic bezel, black rubber strap, and meteorite dial.
Image: Rolex Daytona 116518LN
Carlos Alcaraz won the US Open in 2022 and for the awards ceremony for that event, he chose to wear the highly popular Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN, featuring a steel case, black dial, and black ceramic bezel.
Basketball Player LeBron James’ Watches
LeBron James is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history and many agree, the greatest basketball player of all time. The Los Angeles Lakers All-Star power forward is also an avid watch enthusiast with one of the best watch collections we’ve ever seen. From Richard Mille and Patek Philippe to Audemars Piguet and Rolex, LeBron James’ watch collection contains some of the most coveted luxury watches money can buy.
Image: Richard Mille RM11-03 “Jean Todt”
Some of LeBron James’ standout watches include the limited edition Patek Philippe Nautilus with the Tiffany anniversary dial, the limited edition Audemars Piguet Black Panther watch, a limited edition Richard Mille RM11-03 “Jean Todt” and an off-catalog Rolex Daytona “Eye of the Tiger” with a baguette diamond bezel and diamond pavé dial. But perhaps his most impressive is the Patek Philippe 6102R Celestial Grand Complication, which boasts, among other things, a sky chart and phases and orbit of the Moon.
Soccer Player Lionel Messi’s Watches
With 7 Ballon d’Ors, a World Cup, ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Reys, and countless other wins, records, and honors, Lionel Messi is the greatest soccer player of his generation, if not of all time. His recent move to Inter Miami is predicted to grow the interest in soccer in the U.S. significantly – the Messi effect, if you will.
Image: Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5270P
When it comes to watches, he is no slouch either, favoring big name brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Jacob & Co. Lionel Messi’s watch collection includes a Rolex Submariner ref. 116659SABR, which is an off-catalog white gold piece featuring diamonds and sapphires on the bezel. He was also spotted wearing a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5270P with a stunning green dial at The Best Fifa Football Awards 2022 and has several Nautilus models in his collection including a rose gold chronograph ref. 5980/1R, a white gold perpetual calendar 5740/1G, and a steel 5711/1A-011 with a white dial. Back in the day, Leo Messi was a brand ambassador for Audemars Piguet and AP made some special edition Royal Oak watches in his name.
Golfer Rory McIlroy’s Watches
As a long-time Omega brand ambassador, four-time major champion golfer Rory McIlroy has been spotted wearing plenty of different Omega watches during his illustrious career. Before that, he was an Audemars Piguet brand ambassador from 2009 to 2013.
Image: Omega Speedmaster ’57 “Rory McIllroy” Special Edition
Rory McIlroy’s Omega watch collection has more than a few special pieces including the yellow gold Speedmaster ’57 “Rory McIlroy” Special Edition, the Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” that he helped design, and a red gold De Ville Tourbillon. According to the golfer, he paid for that tourbillon himself to celebrate his 2019 FedEx Cup win.
Hockey Player Connor McDavid’s Watches
Captain for the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid is the most impressive player in the NHL right now. He’s won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player three times; however, despite being the best, he surprisingly hasn’t won the Stanley Cup…yet. He still has time.
Image: Breitling for Bentley 6.75 Chronograph
Speaking of time, Connor McDavid is a Breitling man. We’ve seen him wearing at least three different Breitling watches so far. One is the generously sized Breitling for Bentley 6.75 chronograph with a large date and prominent bezel. The other is a Breitling Endurance Pro, featuring a full black ultra-light Breitlight case and Breitling-branded rubber strap. Finally, we’ve also spotted a Breitling Navitimer 8 B01 on Connor McDavid’s wrist, presented to him by the National Hockey League Players’ Association in 2019 after he won his second career Ted Lindsay Award.
Former Boxer Floyd Mayweather’s Watches
Floyd Mayweather may have officially retired from professional boxing in 2017 with an undefeated record but he hasn’t left the sport, often participating in exhibition fights or running his boxing promotional firm. This is in addition to his vast business empire, which involves real estate investments and owning a NASCAR Cup Series team, to name a few.
Aside from his impressive boxing career, the man who is nicknamed “Money” is also known for his love of luxury, spending on cars, yachts, planes, and of course, watches. Floyd Mayweather’s watch collection is home to ultra-expensive timepieces including the famous Jacob & Co Billionaire watch, which is set with 260 carats of emerald-cut diamonds and apparently costs $18 million!
Image: Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari
Other high-ticket watches he owns include a Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari, a Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5723/1R with a ruby bezel, a full baguette diamond Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ref. 15130, and a Richard Mille RM 35-02 Tourbillon “Rafael Nadal.” However, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of his insane watch collection, which has been reported to be worth around $100 million.
There you have it; that’s our roundup of superstar athletes and their watches. What do you think of these watches? Who do you think has the best collection among these elite sportsmen? Which ones aren’t your favorites? As always, we love to hear from our readers so drop us a comment below. And stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of athletes and their watch collections, coming soon.