LeBron James isn’t just the highest-paid basketball player in the NBA, but one of the highest-paid athletes of all time. Naturally, he has a pretty cool watch collection – but this watch is particularly cool, if only because it’s not the thing we’d expect him to wear.
From multiple Richard Milles to colourful Rolexes and even a Black Panther Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the man certainly isn’t short on wristwatches. Indeed, ‘King James’ is a particularly devoted Audemars Piguet customer, with the big man owning literally dozens of watches from the high-end brand.
Most of his watches – APs or otherwise – tend to be on the sportier, more aggressively styled spectrum of watch design. That’s why we were so surprised to see the Los Angeles Lakers player flaunting an Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Chronometer (ref. 26153OR.OO.D088CR.01) on his Instagram Story last night.
This now-discontinued piece, which was last in the brand’s catalogue in 2017, is a rather interesting beast. At 46mm in diameter and crafted from 18ct rose gold, it’s a fairly chunky piece of wrist candy – but also a rather impressive one, from a horological standpoint.
Its main party trick is that it has two balance springs, a real feat of watchmaking that ultimately makes the watch more shock-resistant and accurate. Visually impressive, a small dial at 12 o’clock is flanked by two prominent mainstream barrels, with a small seconds display at 6 o’clock and a differential power reserve indicator at 7 o’clock, directly engraved onto the main plate of the movement. Real watch nerd stuff.
LeBron’s watch might be impressive, but that’s more than we can say for the Lakers’ 2021-22 season. Despite James recording his best points per game average since 2005–06 as well as a number of scoring and age-related records during the season, the normally impressive team had a rather rubbish run, finishing the season 11th – the team’s worst record since 2015–16.