Ronaldo vs. Messi Rivalry Reignites As Messi Buys Flashy Patek Philippe

La Pulga's Patek is not what you might expect.

Ronaldo vs. Messi Rivalry Reignites As Messi Buys Flashy Patek Philippe

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The rivalry between football’s two biggest stars is one that’s all about contrasts. Ronaldo is flashy and passionate, while Messi is reserved and low-key… Well, he was, until he started buying the sorts of watches he’s buying.

The 35-year-old Argentinian – who made headlines this time last year when he left his club of 21 years, FC Barcelona, for Paris Saint-Germain – shared a photo of himself at dinner in Paris with his wife earlier this week wearing the kind of high-profile timepiece we’d expect Ronaldo, football’s most notoriously outlandish watch collector, would wear.

The piece in question? A Patek Philippe Nautilus Flyback Chronograph Date (ref. 5980R/001) worth a solid US$130,000. His partner, Antonela Roccuzzo, was also wearing a Nautilus of her own in the photo. His and hers Pateks… Must be nice.

This rendition of the iconic luxury sports watch is crafted from 18ct rose gold and features a chronograph module with a 60-minute and 12-hour mono-counter plus two chrono pushers. The watch comes from the factory with an alligator leather strap but as you can see, Messi’s swapped that out for a sportier green rubber aftermarket number.

Images: @leomessi / Patek Philippe

Messi has definitely worn watches more expensive and arguably flashier than this Patek – the Jacob & Co. Epic X Chrono the famous jeweller made for him with its diamond-studded bezel immediately comes to mind – but there’s just something about a gold Patek that really screams ‘baller’.

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That Jacob & Co. piece isn’t the only watch that’s been made for him. Audemars Piguet released a version of the Royal Oak Chronograph dedicated to the player, and Purnell even gifted him a ‘piece unique’ Escape II in recognition of Messi winning the Ballon d’Or last year.

Messi also has a number of Rolex watches in his collection, including a Daytona ‘Panda’ and a number of ‘Stella dial’ Oyster Perpetuals… But this Patek’s our fave. There you have it: they may not compete on the field anymore, but at least the two football GOATS are still one-upping each other when it comes to watches…

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