Few celebrities are as divisive as Jake Paul. The 24-year-old social media personality and former child actor, who’s now pivoted towards a professional boxing career, has been dubbed ‘the male equivalent of a Kardashian’.
Uncouth, avaricious, shameless yet incredibly successful, Paul loves flaunting his wealth and like many of the world’s top fighting athletes – think Conor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather – loves expensive watches. But recent days have revealed an ugly truth about Paul’s watch collection: much like his boxing achievements, it’s far less impressive under close scrutiny.
In particular, his latest horological pickup, a Richard Mille RM 055 Manual Winding Bubba Watson (a popular watch among the world’s richest celebrities, such as Post Malone) has been outed as a fake, with noted watch experts @watchanish and @fakewatchbuster independently coming to that conclusion. Real examples of the watch retail for over US$500,000.
It’s not clear whether or not Paul was aware that the watch was fake. Many celebrities, especially those who aren’t as horologically inclined and are really just buying watches as status symbols, don’t buy the watches themselves: they rely on a third party to source watches for them. There’s a good chance an unscrupulous dealer pushed the fake on him. That sort of thing happens all the time.
But Paul’s RM being fake is old news; something that’s been covered to death. The more salient point about Paul’s watch collection, which most mainstream and watch publications have missed, is that his real watches are just as tasteless (not that he cares, probably).
In the photo where Paul first revealed his RM, he also showed off two ‘iced-out’ watches: a Cartier Santos and a Rolex Datejust. Those watches aren’t fake, but @watchanish makes the point that they’re “cheap buss downs”; that is, they’ve been diamond-encrusted by a third party and not from the factory.
As we’ve explained previously on DMARGE, serious watch collectors would steer clear of third-party bejewelled watches, as modifying a watch like that voids any factory warranty it might have as well and more crucially, compromises its originality, which is of the utmost importance to collectors. (They can also look rather artless compared to a factory job, which we definitely think is the case with Paul’s.)
“In some extreme cases, custom-set diamonds can actually detract from the overall value of a watch… [For example], if someone were to alter the original dial and bezel of a vintage Rolex Daytona by setting it with a slew of poor quality, low-carat diamonds, the end result would be a timepiece that was worth significantly less than what it was before the modifications had ever taken place,” Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of Bob’s Watches explains.
Other celebrities are more aware of this (or simply care more about it), such as hip-hop superstar Drake, who’s rapped about this topic on multiple occasions. This should be embarrassing for Jake Paul, who hung out with Drake on New Year’s Eve wearing the fake Millie. Oy vey.
Maybe your money would be better spent trying to bring back Vine, bro.