This feature has been produced in partnership with Kennedy.
Few men have had an impact on Australian rules football in such a short amount of time as Dustin Martin.
During his 12 years with the Richmond Football Club the 29-year-old has scooped up accolade after accolade, including three premierships, one Brownlow Medal, two Jack Dyer Medals and four All-Australian selections among other silverware. He remains the only player to win the Norm Smith Medal award three times, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in AFL history. Brash, mercurial but exceedingly talented, he’s won over the hearts of many footy tragics – and not just Richmond supporters.
In short, he’s an icon. Which makes him the perfect person to collaborate with on some iconic watches.
Luxury retailer Kennedy – another Victorian icon – has teamed up with the legendary athlete to celebrate their shared love of high-end timepieces with an innovative collaborative collection designed to exemplify the different facets of this great player.
Watches are an intensely personal reflection of one’s character. But just as it’s impossible to distil someone’s personality into a single concept or characterisation, it’s impossible for a true watch lover to restrict themselves to just one timepiece.
That’s why the Kennedy + Martin collection encompasses four watches from four different manufacturers that each represent a different part of Martin’s personality, as well as a different aspect of high-end horology.
If there’s one thing you can say about Dustin Martin, it’s that he’s built different. From his endless tattoos to his indomitable character, the man’s truly one of a kind. And an unmistakable man needs an unmistakable watch.
In that sense, it’s hard to go past the IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Rodeo Drive”. You normally associate perpetual calendars with more traditional, dressier watches: instead, IWC use their ultra-masculine, utilitarian Big Pilot as the medium for this classic flourish of haute horlogerie.
The contrast between the complication and watch is heightened by its ceramic and titanium construction, as well as its deliberately uncluttered design. A thoroughly modern watch that upends convention, it’s truly iconoclastic, right down to the name that harks back to Los Angeles’ most glamorous street.
Dustin is a performer in two senses: not only is he an entertaining player to watch who knows how to thrill a crowd, but he’s also someone who knows how to perform under pressure. When the lights of the MCG bare down on you; thousands of people watching your every move, you need to be made of stern stuff.
The Panerai Submersible BMG-Tech 47mm is also a performer. Not only is it a real show-stopper – its large case size and unmistakable, rugged aesthetic a real head turner – but it’s a tough-as-nails watch that can withstand some of the toughest conditions imaginable.
Its most unique feature is its BMG construction. BMG, or Bulk Metallic Glass, is a next-generation alloy that’s both much harder and lighter than steel. It’s also corrosion-resistant and antimagnetic. Add in a 300m water-resistance and lume bright enough to conquer the depths and you get one capable beast of a watch.
He might play in front of thousands for a living but one of the most striking aspects about Dustin Martin is how he shuns media attention and keeps his cards close to his chest as far as his personality is concerned. He’s enigmatic; happy to have his prowess on the pitch do the talking for him.
The Piaget Polo S Self-Winding is an enigma, too. One of the very first luxury sports watches ever devised, it’s somewhat of a contradiction: ultra-refined and demure, yet tough and performance-focused.. Even within the world of luxury sports watches, the Polo stands out, thanks to its curvaceous shape and minimalist appeal.
Rugged steel construction, an integrated bracelet and 100m water-resistance are just some of its bona fides. Masculine and youthful yet refined, it straddles the line between sporty and elegant like no other watch on the market.
Dustin’s never followed the pack… Or should we say the ruck? Either way, there’s no-one else quite like him in the Australian sporting landscape. Watches, too, are a potent expression of one’s individuality.
Take the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph, one of the most underrated timepieces the “watchmaker’s watchmaker” has in their arsenal. Evocative of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s long history crafting instruments for high-performance luxury cars, the Polaris Chronograph’s anthracite dial treatment and tachymetre rehaut ooze old-world class.
It’s not just a pretty face, either. The ‘1000 Hours Control’ engraved on its caseback refers to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s highly-demanding in-house certification that puts each watch through 1000 hours of testing. So you know the Polaris Chronograph will be able to keep up with you, no matter how individual your tastes or pursuits.
These four fine watches reflect a different aspect of Dustin Martin – but they also reflect how each man, in his own way, contains multitudes.
But the killer question is this: which aspect, and which watch, do you most identify with? We’re afraid that’s a decision even Dustin can’t help you make.
Discover the Kennedy + Martin collaboration at Kennedy’s online boutique here.