Supreme is perhaps the world’s most valuable brand. A bold statement for sure, but let us explain.
The New York-based skate store has become one of the world’s most recognisable lifestyle brands, its iconic ‘box logo’ almost as coveted as a Ferrari badge or a Gucci monogram. They’ve also set the prototype for streetwear releases in the modern era: enigmatic brand communication, actively unhelpful customer service, surprise drops, limited releases and wild co-signs designed to build up maximum hype.
Part of Supreme’s allure and notoriety comes from their oddball accessory offerings and collaborations with non-fashion brands. From the infamous Supreme brick (that fetches $250 on StockX) to Supreme Oreos, Meissen porcelain figures, Coleman mini bikes or Kuumba incense, the brand never fails to surprise. Their latest collection is no different: Colgate toothpaste, a Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet, a jerry can and even a pipe wrench are all emblazoned with Supreme’s signature red and white colour scheme.
But the pièce de résistance is their headline-grabbing partnership with luxury watch and jewellery brand Jacob & Co., the brand formally announcing their collaboration with a seizure-inducing video starring Jacob & Co. founder Jacob Arabo earlier this week. And despite being perhaps the ugliest watch ever made, you can guarantee it will sell like hotcakes.
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The Supreme x Jacob & Co. Time Zone, available in either 40mm or 47mm with either a black or white dial, simply beggars belief. What the two brands have done is simply taken the already-garish Jacob & Co. Five Time Zone and swapped out the Los Angeles counter for a Supreme box logo. Set with diamonds and on an alligator-leather strap, there’s no mistaking this piece of wrist candy.
Retail prices come in at $12,000 for the 40mm and $14,000 for the 47mm, but retail prices for Supreme are purely academic. Supreme items, regardless of price, sell out in seconds thanks to hungry resellers, who’ll be sure to attach a healthy mark-up to the already dear watches.
But buying one of these watches would be an exercise in stupidity. Not only is the watch ugly, but it’s a huge rip-off: it uses a quartz ETA movement; you’re just paying for the brand recognition. Wearing the Supreme x Jacob & Co. Time Zone is to shout to the world that you are a fool. A rich fool, who deserves to be parted with their money.
Which is why it’s almost genius, in a way.
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Jacob & Co. watches are already something of a pisstake in the first place. The brand has carved out a niche for itself, making incredibly ugly watches with dumb gimmicks or excessive bedazzling or both. From huge timepieces with mini roulette wheels or music boxes in them to their $28 million ‘Billionaire’ watch that features 260ct of baguette-cut diamonds, they excel at making tasteless watches for absurdly wealthy people.
In that sense, the Supreme collaboration makes perfect sense. Supreme’s accessories seem to be an exercise in seeing what dumb shit they can get people to pay absurd premiums for simply by slapping their logo on something. The customer is almost the butt of the joke – ‘you spent $10,000 on a plain white Fender Stratocaster?’ – the brand some sort of meta-commentary on the nature of consumer capitalism and luxury. It’s hard to tell who the joke’s on, actually – Jacob & Co., or the consumer, or both. At least in Jacob & Co.’s case, ‘he who laughs last laughs hardest’.
This isn’t the first time Supreme has collaborated with a luxury watch brand. Back in 2013, they released a Supreme x Rolex Submariner (for friends and family only, sadly), and their current accessory collection also includes a plate / ash tray that references the dial of the Cosmograph Daytona. There’s also rumours circulating that they’re planning an official, broader-release collaboration with Rolex, but time will tell if that eventuates.
Indeed, it’s not the first time Supreme’s dipped its toes in the luxury world. Supreme’s high-profile collection with French luxury giant Louis Vuitton back in 2017 was groundbreaking, but they’ve also teamed up with the likes of Lamborghini, Comme des Garçons, Rimowa and Stone Island on other collaborations throughout the years.
Anyway, all we’re saying is if you see someone wearing one of these in real life, stay well away. Even if it’s fake. Particularly if it’s fake…