While Tom Brady may be king of modern watch collecting around here, it’s looking like Brad Pitt might soon be crowned monarch of vintage.

Just this week, the American actor and producer was seen at the One Love premier—his production company, Plan B, worked on the Bob Marley-themed film—in a “watch guy” favorite, the Patek Philippe reference 2526. A far cry from the zeitgeist-y Nautilus, this is a time-only dress watch from the 1950s with both an automatic movement and a stunning enamel dial. It’s not a reference often seen on the wrists of celebrities, given its dressier design, its relative obscurity outside horological circles, and the popularity of the ubiquitous “luxury sports watch.”

Jeremy Kleiner Dede Gardner Brad Pitt Reinaldo Marcus Green James Norton and Robert Teitel attend the Los Angeles...

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Brad Pitt Wore One of Patek Philippes Best Vintage Watches

Beginning in the 1950s, Patek produced a run of ref. 2526 in several dial variants—metal, black, diamond, etc. But the most beloved of all are surely the enamel variants made by Stern Frères, a company owned by the same family that purchased a controlling stake in Patek itself back in the 1930s. John Reardon, owner of Collectability.com and one of the foremost authorities on Patek collecting, estimates that 3,000 reference 2526s total were made in all case metals between 1953 and 1960 but only 600 have resurfaced to date.

They are extremely fragile, and not many have survived in good condition. And while a 31mm Calatrava reference 96—a hand-wound, prototypical dress watch from the maison—might sell for around $10,000+ today, a larger 36mm 2526 with an enamel dial, powered by the automatic calibre 12-600AT, might sell for $60,000-plus. (If it’s double-signed, or happened to belong to someone with the last name “Warhol,” it would hammer for significantly more at auction.)

Beautifully sized and bearing Patek’s first automatic movement, the 2526 is a significant watch, or at least for watch nerds. Seeing one on the wrist of Brad Pitt sent the horological internet into a frenzy, once they identified it. Pitt wore his on a bracelet that threw many experts for a loop: “I saw this on IG yesterday and [am] sure [it] is a 2526! However I am unable to identify the bracelet….[it’s] not like any other 2526 bracelet I have seen before and I cannot confirm whether or not it is a Patek bracelet,” said Reardon. (Certain of these references shipped on a brick-style bracelet in matching metal, which doesn’t appear to be what Pitt is wearing.)

This marks the second time that Pitt’s been spotted wearing a serious (if deep-cut) “watch guy” watch, the first being a stainless steel version of the Vacheron Constantin 222, which he appeared to acquire not long after the brand re-released that model at Watches & Wonders in early 2022. (Pitt also bought the gold reissue.) Maybe he’s been bitten with the vintage watch bug, or maybe his stylist reads Hodinkee? Either way, an entire Palexpo Center’s worth of horology nerds are banging their desks, chanting, “WE ACCEPT YOU, ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!”

Amadeus and Zlatan Ibrahimović attend the 74th Sanremo Music Festival

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Brad Pitt Wore One of Patek Philippes Best Vintage Watches

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116519LN

Former footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic knows his way around a great watch. Just recently he was spotted rocking the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack,” a piece designed in concert with Travis Scott. This time, he was seen at The 2024 Italian Song Festival in black tie and a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116519LN, a white-gold variant of the famous chronograph with a meteorite dial. Rolex has since updated this reference with the slightly newer 126519LN, but if you’re so inclined, you can find one floating around the secondary market for roughly $100K. (For a more affordable homage to Ibrahimovic, try the MoonSwatch.)

Jeffrey Wright during an interview with host Seth Meyers

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Brad Pitt Wore One of Patek Philippes Best Vintage Watches

Jeffrey Wright’s Omega Speedmaster

Appearing on Seth Meyers this past week, actor Jeffrey Wright wore an Omega Seamaster Diver 300 in black with a matching black wave dial and a black rubber strap. An evolution of the brand’s classic dive watch, the Seamaster Diver 300 is a similar variant to that worn by Brosnan-era James Bond, though this version measures a hefty 43.5mm in ceramic and Grade 5 titanium, lending it a stealthy, high-tech look. Powered by an automatic OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8806 movement, it’s a watch that looked perfect with Wright’s monochromatic getup of black suit and shirt; what’s more, it served as a clever nod to his cinematic past as a suave CIA agent and one-time Bond confidant.Colin Jost’s Gucci Grip

Brad Pitt Wore One of Patek Philippes Best Vintage Watches

SNL

Brad Pitt Wore One of Patek Philippes Best Vintage Watches

Colin Jost’s Gucci Grip

The Weekend Update host went with, of all things, a Gucci Grip for his latest SNL appearance. There’s something eminently respectable about a man who could afford to wear any Patek he so desires opting instead for a sub-$1,000 fashion watch with an offbeat “digital” display and a quartz movement, and showing it off on national television as he lays into both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The one miss? Sarah Sherman appeared as an 18-year-old, dressed identically to Jost, desperate to reconnect to her father. We couldn’t have sourced this woman a matching Gucci Grip?! SNL prop department, get your shit together!

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