Watching Celeb Watches – Eric Clapton

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In our Watching Celeb Watches column, we’ve been looking the big side with Michael Jordan, we’ve seen some action with Jason Statham and we’ve covered three of our favourite TV-Show presenters, being the Top-Gear guys. Today, we’re looking at a musician; someone who’s is to the music what Leonardo Da Vinci was to the art. It may be exaggerated but Eric Clapton is a legend, and rightfully so. And lucky for us, his taste for watches is also highly interesting.

Eric “Slow Hand” Clapton is an English guitar legend. He also happens to be the favourite guitar player of our executive editor and myself. He is a collector of many things, ranging from pieces of contemporary art, Ferraris and of course, watches. He even named one of his albums “Timepieces” and talked about Patek Philippe in his Autobiography.

Eric Clapton Patek Philippe 2499
Patek Philippe ref. 2499P – photo from Antiquorum

Mr Clapton is known to be a collector particularly of Patek Philippe and Rolex watches, both modern and vintage. In 2003 Christies auctioned off a part of his collection to benefit his Crossroads Centre in Antigua. In 2012, Christies again auctioned his marvellous Patek Philippe (Ref 2499 in platinum). Clapton’s Patek Chronograph Perpetual Calendar was the only one held in a private collection as the other one resides in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. This watch sold for over $3 million USD.

Eric Clapton Rolex Milgauss GV
Rolex Milgauss ref. 11640GV

The first watch featured is the Rolex Milgauss, Ref 11640GV. This is the modern reissue of the original Milgauss (history here), which was introduced in 1956 for people working in magnetised areas. The word Mille in French means one thousand, hence the name Milgauss. This means the watch can withstand a maximum of 1000 gauss. The other part of the reference, GV, stands for Glace Verde – meaning green glass. Rolex released a new edition with a Z blue dial during the 2014 edition of Baselworld.

Eric Clapton Rolex GMT master 2 ceramic
Rolex GMT Master II ref. 116710LN

Next is another Rolex, specifically a GMT Master II with Ceramic bezel Ref. 116710LN. The GMT Master was first released in 1954. It was made at the request of pilots from Pan Am who wanted to be able to track a 2nd timezone. A suitable watch for the rock legend, he can keep track of his home time in England or the United States when traveling between gigs or watching Formula One races.

Eric Clapton Patek Philippe 5004
Patek Philippe ref. 5004J

Here we’re coming to serious models. We told you, Mister Clapton loves Patek Philippe. And not the simple ones. For example, he’s been spotted wearing certainly the ultimate grail for chronograph lovers, the ref. 5004, here in yellow gold with a brown strap. It brings in a single watch a split second chronograph and a perpetual calendar. Pretty impressive and still highly elegant.

Credits PuristPro
Patek Philippe ref. 5970P – Credits PuristPro

The final watch is a Patek Philippe. It is a reference 5970 Perpetual Calendar with chronograph (that has been replaced recently with the ref. 5270). It’s not just any old ref 5970. It has a dial with Breguet numerals. Pretty darn cool if you ask me, considering you wouldn’t find many with this dial combination. Many say the 5970 is one of the best Pateks made and it does look good on Mr Eric Clapton’s wrist. Rock on!

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