John Mayer is another musical talent that is a serious watch collector. Putting aside all the controversy over the years, we’re big admirers of his watch collection. Let’s have a look into his collection and how it’s different/similar to Eric Clapton’s.

John is a huge watch aficionado, so much so that he has openly commented on the leading watch blog Hodinkee. He has always been a watch guy but is by no means a watch snob. In his words:

I love Patek Philippe perpetual calendars only marginally more than I dig the Casio Frogman G-Shock – but for different reasons –  and if you’re wearing either, chances are I’ll sidle over to you and start a conversation about it.

At the core of the man that has sold millions of albums and dated a myriad of beautiful celebrities, is someone who has a passionate interest in watches. When touring, he packs a roll of “watches” and his day is dictated by his choice of watch (not the other way around). Rather than having wild rock-n-roll parties in his hotel rooms, he frequents watch shows, watch shops and likes to meet with other collectors.


John sporting a Rolex GMT-II at a show


Rolex was his first step on the ladder before discovering brands such as AP, IWC, Patek Philippe etc. His tastes are quite mixed:

I have my rules. Never collect anything you’d never wear. I own watches that are valuable but don’t scream they’re valuable. And there’s watches I could buy for a quarter of that money, that everybody in the room would go, ‘Wow, that guy’s got cash.’

He has splurged on a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon but is equally a fan of some of the G-Shocks he owns. As with many of us, the more he became enthralled by the watch world, the more refined his tastes became and as a result, he has become an avid collector of vintage watches. He is a man who recognises small details and puts a lot of emphasis on this in his collection.


John’s special red Daytona (see just above middle sub-dial)

John recently acquired a limited edition Patek 5396G Tiffany & Co. Only 100 are made to commemorate the strong partnership Patek Philippe has had with Tiffany & Co. in the United States (Tiffany being their main distribution channel). At about AUD$60,000, it’s not a huge sum of money for John, however it was something he just had to get as it was a rare celebration piece with small details such as the “Tiffany & Co.” marking, an inverted moonphase and the use of a deployant clasp rather than a tang buckle. Obviously he could have just bought a deployant buckle if he wanted to, but this is missing the point, he is a man of original detail.


Limited edition Patek 5396G Tiffany & Co.


Obligatory wrist shot

He has also reviewed the widely applauded IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph, speaking of its casual style aimed a younger demographic. He comments on IWC pushing its design boundaries, and encasing an all in-house movement within the rugged casing and style of the Top Gun. His keen eye for detail leads him to pick up the amount of space between the sapphire glass and the dial itself, and the way this appears to owners of the watch. He even has a view on subtle details such as which parts of the dial are illuminated at night.


IWC Top Gun Miramar

Some of John’s recommended vintage Rolex pieces that won’t break the bank that we are also particularly fond of include the Ref. 5513 Submariner and the Ref. 1675 GMT Master. All this goes to show that its not about how flashy the watch is, its price, or whether its the latest release from a brand that is important. What is important are the little details that sets the great watches apart from the good ones.



Ref. 5513 Submariner as recommended by John

So how does this compare with Eric Clapton’s collection? It’s difficult to say, as with many collectors, each person has their own individual style and preference. There is no wrong or right collection but each of the musical geniuses are big fans of vintage Rolexes and Patek Philippes. We feel that John has a tendency to be truer to form and much prefers unadulterated watches. However Eric Clapton’s super rare collection is also very impressive.