Pharrell Williams has been one of the most influential and successful hip-hop artists of all time… And as such, he’s accumulated quite a lot of bling over his long career. Now he’s decided to get rid of it – including quite a few very expensive watches.
The 49-year-old rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer has just launched his very own auction house, called Joopiter, and he’s kicking things off with a huge auction of his own possessions called Son of a Pharoah.
“Joopiter is about letting go of the past. Of EVERYTHING,” Pharrell explains.
“[It’s] recognizing that I felt a compulsion and responsibility to hold on to what has passed and am setting myself free… For the beginning of a new era.”Pharrell Williams
The auction itself is bonkers, and includes everything from rare sneakers, Louis Vuitton trunks, plenty of jewellery and even a gold-plated Blackberry phone. But it’s the watches that we’re most interested in and it’s also the watches that represent some of the priciest items in the collection.
Here’s a few of the highlights.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
“I’m wearing Bathing Ape kicks, Audemars Piguet wrist.” Starting things off, we’ve got this clearly well-loved Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. There are actually four different APs in this auction, but this one is easily the coolest (and also the most expensive).
One of only 34 examples that AP produced in platinum, this highly complicated take on the Swiss watchmaker’s iconic luxury sports watch features an openworked dial with a full perpetual calendar plus moonphase indicator.
Joopiter estimate this Royal Oak will go for between US$275,000 – $375,000. You’ll only be able to afford a room without a roof if you splash out on this one.
Casio G-Shock × BAPE DW-6900 “Unauthorized”
Without Pharrell, A Bathing Ape (better known as BAPE) would probably never be known in the West. Pharrell was absolutely obsessed with the cult Japanese streetwear brand, which was founded by DJ and tastemaker Nigo (he was in the Teriyaki Boyz!) To this day, Pharrell and Nigo are very close, with the former still boosting his clothes and producing his music.
Pharrell and BAPE are peak 00s and this is the most 00s watch ever. As the name implies, Pharrell took this BAPE x G-Shock and got its case redone in 14ct yellow gold and then flooded out with diamonds by the famous jeweller, Jacob Arabo (who would go on to found Jacob & Co.)
In addition to the flooded bezel and case, the back is also frosted with a diamond-studded caricature of Pharrell, borrowed from the album art of his 2006 record, In My Mind. Auction estimate? US$17,500 – $27,500. There’s also a white gold version up for grabs, too.
Jacob & Co. 5 Time Zone Royal Collection
Many of the pieces in the Son of a Pharoah auction have either been made by or customised by Jacob Arabo, who became famous as the go-to jeweller for rappers throughout the 90s and 00s, with artists like The Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Kanye West and of course Pharrell all being regular customers of the celebrity bling-dealer.
This particular 2005 example of Jacob’s popular 5 Time Zone watch features an 18ct white gold case and is paved with over 300 white diamonds across the face, bezel and case. Indeed, this is actually edition 001 of the watch, increasing its rarity.
The perfect statement piece for the globe-trotting rapper, the auction estimate for this outrageous watch is US$250,000 – $350,000.
Last but by no means least, we have this Chopard Imperiale, which has an eye-watering auction estimate of US$300,000 – $500,000. Like the previous Jacob & Co. piece, it’s completely diamond-covered… But Chopard is a storied, respected Swiss jeweller of the highest calibre – hence the higher price.
As the listing puts it, “while everyone was out here with bustdown Rollies and mega-millimetre bezels, Pharrell was already onto the next time zone. No aftermarket mods here, this Chopard Imperiale came from the factory with a modestly sized 18ct white gold dial and bezel, paved with a stunning array of baguettes.”
These insane watches – as well as plenty of other lavish possessions of Pharrell’s – will be going under the hammer in 5 days’ time. Check out all the lots here.