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December 22nd, 2022
The FIFA World Cup 2022 witnessed some of the most nail-biting moments, with upsets, joy, drama and surprises at every turn. This was one of the most anticipated football tournaments, with Lionel Messi taking his retirement. Fans took their sides, and for the watch enthusiasts, not only was the field game interesting but also what happened off-field.
As most eyes were glued to their feet, we had our eyes on the wrists of the top players. We spotted some excellent timepieces on the wrists of the star players starting Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo, and others.
Here are the top watches we saw!
While appearing for one of his press conferences, Cristiano Ronaldo wore a new Jacob & Co. Epic X ‘Flight of CR7’ in 18ct rose gold. The New York brand teamed with the football superstar to inaugurate a new collection to mark their 20th year of ongoing collaboration. It is a limited edition of 100 pieces featuring a 44mm case with striking X-shaped lugs. The bezel looks luxurious with 24 baguette-cut diamonds.
However, what catches the attention is the skeleton movement featuring two vertical pillars. The left pillar demonstrates Cristiano Ronaldo himself, and the right one bears the footballer’s signature and the famous CR7 logo, both engraved in bold.
That’s not all. The limited edition timepiece exhibits another printed image of Cristiano Ronaldo wearing his 7-number jersey on the case back.
Shortly after Ronaldo received the watch, the superstar wore it while boarding a flight to Qatar.
Apart from the collective belief that Messi is arguably football’s King, we all can agree on another most interesting thing about him. We mean his love for luxurious watches. On numerous occasions, Lionel Messi has been wearing some of the most coveted timepieces. And this World Cup was his last chance to bring home the trophy that has forever dodged him during his illustrious career.
He won the FIFA trophy and made heads turn with what was on his wrist. One of the two watches worn by Messi was the Rolex Day-Date Ref. 228206. The 40mm platinum case houses a lustrous ice-blue dial featuring Roman numeral hour markers. It has a smooth bezel and integrates into the prestigious President bracelet. If not anything else, the watch most certainly reminds us of the national team colour.
The second watch worn by Lionel Messi was the stunning Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5740 in 18ct white gold. This rare timepiece is extremely sought-after and is the first watch with grand complication in the Nautilus catalogue. The Nautilus presents a unique look and casts a nice impression on the wrist. The 40mm polished case and bracelet of 18ct white gold sits comfortably surrounding the sunburst blue dial. The gold-applied hour markers bring the perfect elegance.
Making it yet again to the list is Neymar with his Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona Ref. 116518LN. The Cosmograph Daytona is one of the most prestigious timepieces worldwide in 18ct yellow gold. The watch features a 40mm case with a stunning black dial featuring champagne-coloured sub-dials making it a true icon. The traditional dial colourway makes the watch one of the most sought-after.
During his arrival at the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in Qatar, star Brazilian football player Neymar Jr. wore what we call the international symbol of success -the striking Rolex Day-Date ‘Rainbow’ Ref. 128348RBR crafted in solid 18ct yellow gold. The most attention-grabbing element of the Day-Date is the dial set with a series of brilliant-cut diamonds and 12 rainbow-colour sapphires as hour markers. The bezel also flaunts a row of diamonds.
At just 23, Kylian Mbappe is already filling the space between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with many spectacular wins under his name. The list includes lifting the World Cup trophy four years ago. After his match against Australia, the French team footballer wore the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang King Gold Ref. 642.OX.0180.RX. Hublot watches are popular for their urban aesthetics and sporty designs, making them popular among athletes.
Mbappe’s Hublot timepiece came in a 42mm 18ct King gold case, a sapphire dial and a spectacular skeletonized movement. The bezel is polished and micro-blasted with 18ct King gold featuring 6H-shaped titanium screws.
England captain Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world. But apart from his ‘goals’, another thing that strikes hard is his remarkable watch stock. Recently, the captain wore one of the most coveted timepieces in the world –the Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’ Ref. 116595RBOW made of 18ct rose gold. The watch is a bold, stylish and colourful statement, and the nearly 100 sparkling gemstones make it a truly vibrant luxury timepiece.
To start with, the bezel has 36 baguette-cut rainbow sapphires. Next, the case has 56 sparkling brilliant-cut diamonds set on it. The dial is fully paved with diamonds featuring 11 baguette-cut rainbow-coloured sapphires as the hour markers.
Kane’s Rainbow Rolex stirred quite a rumour in the tournament, as many believed he wore it as a sign of protest. Qatar strongly opposes homosexuality and told the teams not to wear OneLove armbands that support the LGBTQ+ communities. In such a scenario, wearing the Rainbow Daytona resembling the ‘Pride Flag’ could possibly qualify as a sign of protest.
Another stunning watch worn by Harry Kane was the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5968G in khaki green. The captain wore this on his wrist during the big match. The Patek Aquanaut's casual-chic appearance is purpose-built to suit an active lifestyle. The colour scheme is one of the most novel aspects of this Aquanaut Chronograph.
Measuring 42.2mm in diameter, the 18ct white gold octagonal case watch is the ultimate expression of sports luxe design. It’s a real stunner! The embossed dial has applied numerals as hour markers, a 60-minute sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock.
FYI: Another player to sport this khaki-green beauty was Argentina’s striker Lautaro Martinez.
Netherland’s star player Virgil van Dijk has one of the most eye-catchy timepieces of the year- the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 26579CS in blue ceramic. The watch can accurately tell the date, time, day, month, leap year, moon phase and week. It needs no adjustment for a century! Plus, the electric blue ceramic case makes it one of the most statement timepieces.
The blue dial features the Grande Tapisserie pattern with a blue inner bezel and blue counters. The octagonal bezel has matching octagonal screws distributed evenly on it. It’s a fine-balancing act that AP is incredibly good at. Lastly, the bracelet made of blue ceramic is equally iconic.
When star athletes talk to the press or go to the field for a pre-game stroll, they walk their own fashion show. Then there are moments when the coach screams at his team while pointing at the field. You can see a watch playing peek-a-boo from under his cuff. Well, whatever the reason, we love them for such shows!
Now you know it’s not only the match that hooked everyone during the World Cup 2022. The players made sure that their watch game was A-class too! Everyone turned heads with their picky timepieces, from Messi to Ronaldo, Neymar to Kane. In short, this year’s FIFA was truly one-of-a-kind in every sense.
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