Hodinkee recently sat down with John Mayer to talk all about watches—how he got into watches, what his first great pieces were, and what he has been wearing on his latest tour. If you did not know already, John Mayer is a serious watch lover with Patek and Rolex dominating his internal narrative these days. Here are some of his favorites:
PATEK PHILIPPE 5164A
This is the Aquanaut Travel Time. With an international tour this fall, (he is, at present, somewhere between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Atlanta, Georgia), this one only makes sense for John Mayer. The Aquanaut comes on a rubber strap, which might be considered a major faux pas for many Patek lovers. However, the strap works perfectly for John because it reduces the wear-and-tear of a rigorous performance and tour schedule. His is also Tiffany-signed.
ROLEX GMT-MASTER 116710 BLNR
John also brings the brand new Rolex GMT-Master II Reference 116710BLNR on tour with him. Again, a simple modern watch with travel time functionality that he can easily wear on stage. He refers to this watch as the best contemporary movement Rolex makes.
ROLEX SUBMARINER REFERENCE 1680 ISSUED TO COMEX
COMEX-issued dive watches are not that uncommon. Obviously, they are rarer than your normal commercial Rolex diver, but there is an established market for the COMEX-issued 5513s, 5514s, and more modern references. The 1680 is considered one of the most seldom seen reference COMEX watches. The story goes that the 1680s were given to officers and administrators at COMEX, while the no-date guys were given to the divers. John describes this watch as a watch that nobody would ever look at twice, unless they knew exactly what it was.
ROLEX MILITARY SUBMARINER REFERENCE 5517
This is a reference 5517 “MilSub”. As John states, while it may cost a few pennies today, this is one watch you can treat as casually as you like. According to John, nothing you can do to it will be worse than what it has already lived through.
ROLEX COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA 6263
John Mayer considers the Daytona 6263 to be one of the absolute best watches ever made. This is a no-nonsense chronograph with a basic Valjoux-based movement, screw-down pushers, and black acrylic bezel. It can be described as the only Daytona you’ll ever need.
PATEK PHILIPPE 5970G
Finally, there is the 6263 of the world of Patek Philippe. The 5970 is considered one of the best watches ever made from top to bottom. The watch pre-dates the in-house 5270 and uses a Lemania-based movement. According to many collectors, this watch is one of the finest watches a man can buy. John has this watch in white gold, and while the platinum version might be more desirable for others, he believes the “G” to be one of the safest investments in watches.