John Mayer Rolex Collection (Including Tons of ICONIC Models!)
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John Mayer Rolex Collection (Including Tons of ICONIC Models!)

Let’s delve into the legendary wristwatch collection of one of the great contemporary maestros of melody, John Mayer, and unveil the Rolex timepieces that make up a good chunk of Mayer’s personal treasure trove. Rolex, the paragon of precision and elegance, has enthralled watch connoisseurs for over a century with its unrivaled craftsmanship and iconic designs. 

From the iconic Submariner’s aquatic allure to the bold and racy precision of the Daytona, each Rolex exudes a symphony of horological perfection, and John’s selection is certainly the cream of the crop.

A Guitar Man and His Watches – John Mayer’s Rolex Obsession

In a world where rhythm and harmony meet, we find the enigmatic figure of John Mayer, a virtuoso both on stage and in the world of timekeeping. Revered for his soul-stirring guitar riffs, Mayer has built an esteemed reputation as a connoisseur of exquisite timepieces, particularly Rolexes. 

A watch guy with a penchant for hard-to-obtain pieces, he has amassed a collection that rivals any, both in value and rarity. He’s been collecting for years and has multiple watches outside of his vast Rolex cache. But it is known that his heart lies with the Swiss giant, as he most often wears and discusses his favorite Rolex pieces, be they new or vintage.

Mayer’s devotion to watch culture is profoundly inspiring. With him, a guitar and a Rolex become extensions of his artistry – representations of two very different worlds that unite in the hands of an unlikely figure.

John Mayer Rolex Daytona Collection

Enter the world of high-octane elegance with John Mayer’s captivating collection of Daytonas. The Daytona, a revered icon in the realm of motorsport-inspired timepieces, has a host of characteristics that would resonate with the discerning eye of an artist. 

With its chronograph functionality, tachymeter scale, and bold yet beloved pushers, the Daytona exudes an air of refinement that mirrors Mayer’s approach to his craft.

1. Rolex Daytona 116500

Rolex Daytona 116500

Among the timekeeping treasures cherished by Mayer is the illustrious Rolex Daytona 116500. Originating in 1963, the Daytona has more than earned its place as an iconic timepiece. Mayer has been frequently spotted with the highly coveted Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500LN, a modern masterpiece defined by its hardy, tool-centric minimalism. 

Retailing for roughly $14,550, this modern classic is defined by its black ceramic bezel, which encircles a stark white dial for maximum contrast. There’s something very modest about the 116500LN, a characteristic that makes the watch universally wearable, which is perhaps why it’s so coveted by Rolex enthusiasts, Mayer included.

2. Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Rainbow 116598RBOW

Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Rainbow 116598RBOW

Not for everyone, the mesmerizing Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Rainbow 116598RBOW is an antidote to the modesty of the 116500. While some may dismiss it as ostentatious or garish, Mayer skillfully persuades us to appreciate its splendor.

He emphasizes the rarity of this timepiece, not only in terms of its physical attributes but also the creative ingenuity behind its design. 

Available on aftermarket platforms for around $200,000, this exquisite watch surpasses opulence, embracing the paradigm of exceptional craftsmanship and discerning collectability. It takes some attitude to wear a watch with multicolored, precious stone inserts, so it’s no surprise that Mayer flaunts his gregarious alter-ego with the help of the rainbow bezel.

3. Rolex Daytona White Gold Rainbow 116599RBOW

Rolex Daytona White Gold Rainbow 116599RBOW

In the realm of extraordinary timepieces, John Mayer possesses at least one true gem that regularly ignites the passions of watch collectors and horologists. The Rolex Daytona White Gold Rainbow 116599RBOW is no exception.

While the alternative metal variants often garner more recognition, Mayer’s acquisition of the white gold iteration sets him apart from other collectors in his league, showcasing a sense of taste that transcends mere monetary value. 

Like the previous piece, this Daytona boasts a bezel adorned with a vibrant spectrum of rainbow gemstones. Its scarcity enhances its allure, making it a highly-desired ticker among collectors. Presently, this horological masterpiece can be found on the secondary market at an approximate price of $245,000. Few things say ‘wealthy and stylish’ like white gold, and Mayer really shows his colors with this one.

4. Rolex Daytona 116508 Yellow Gold Green Dial

Rolex Daytona 116508 Yellow Gold Green Dial

John Mayer’s keen eye for somewhat obscure watches unveils timepieces with untapped grail potential – a talent that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Rolex community. A fine example of this knack is the Rolex Daytona 116508 Yellow Gold Green Dial, which Mayer astutely recognized ahead of its subsequent rise to super-watch status.

In fact, it could be said that Mayer’s affinity for the 116508 is what prompted its sharp rise in popularity – after Mayer showcased this emerald-hued masterpiece on Hodinkee, its desirability and value skyrocketed. 

Distinguished by its captivating ‘Christmas’ green dial shade with a sunburst finish, this Daytona stands apart from its black and champagne-dialed counterparts, boasting a unique visage seldom seen on Rolex watches.

The Daytona 116508 Yellow Gold Green Dial epitomizes Mayer’s ability to spot extraordinary timepieces and elevate them to coveted status among discerning collectors, proving that he’s much more than just a good songwriter.

5. Rolex Daytona 116509 White Gold Blue Dial

Rolex Daytona 116509 White Gold Blue Dial

This is another rather understated piece (as far as Daytonas go) in Mayer’s collection, and in many ways, it’s the lamb to the 116508’s lion. Officially listed by Rolex at $37,450, this piece showcases the harmonious fusion of bright yet cool colors and functional technicality.

I’m assuming Mayer has a fairly good relationship with Rolex at this point, enabling him to secure these gems at their retail price. Someone with Mayer’s insight doesn’t get scalped on a Rolex. 

The Daytona 116509 White Gold Blue Dial is a symphony of sophistication, and although I love the green dial, something about the way the silver and blue hues work together makes the sunburst finish on this piece all the more satisfying to the eye. That said, the crown guard and pushers do appear slightly larger in white gold than in yellow gold (although they’re not), so if you’re a stickler for detail, bear that in mind.

6. Rolex Daytona Custom Bamford & Sons Blacked Out

Rolex Daytona Custom Bamford & Sons Blacked Out

Unlike many purists, Mayer isn’t averse to a bit of customization. The remarkable Rolex Daytona Custom Bamford & Sons Blacked Out stands as a testament to this. In fact, Mayer received one of the final Rolex mods made by the London customizer before they were purchased by LMVH and directed to work exclusively on their new boss’s brands, of which Rolex isn’t one. 

A PVD blackout case and strap are brought to life by the baby blue dial which it encases. It’s not really my style, but one has to appreciate the unique nature and color combination of this weirdly wonderful watch.

7. Rolex Daytona Custom Mickey Mouse

Rolex Daytona Custom Mickey Mouse

Drawing on his passion for vintage timepieces and the irresistible allure of the legendary Rolex Oyster Date Mickey Mouse Dial, John Mayer embarked on a personal design venture to create a modern rendition of this elusive watch.

On the Rolex ref. 116520, the black PVD-coated Daytona preserves all its functional prowess, thanks to the calibre 4130 movement, while flaunting a distinctive portrait of Disney’s beloved mouse on its chronograph dial. 

The watch comes with both a black and a white face, and Mayer almost certainly has at least one of each, given that this is well and truly his brainchild. While many might find the idea of a Mickey Mouse Daytona somewhat infantile, there’s something to be said about the endlessly playful (albeit unlikely) combination of these two pieces of horological culture.

8. Rolex Daytona 6263 Non-Paul Newman Black Dial

Rolex Daytona 6263 Non-Paul Newman Black Dial

Otherwise known as the ‘Small Red’, the 6263 is a basic watch in many ways. Ostensibly devoid of any flair or grandeur, the non-Paul Newman 6263 might well escape the gaze of undiscerning eyes. One may be surprised to find that this ticker, defined by a red pop of lettering on the dial that proclaims its lineage, is one of the most important watches ever made. 

“It’s the only vintage Daytona you’ll ever need”, is what Mayer had to say about this modest Rolex on his first Talking Watches appearance. A black dial with white sub-dials, a flat black bezel, and screw-down pushers, all set upon a steel case, define the 6263’s aesthetic. It’s a watch made to wear, not to show, and I think that’s fundamental to its enduring spirit.

9. Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Gold 6263 Sigma Dial

Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Gold 6263 Sigma Dial

This distinctive variation of the Daytona dial, recognized by collectors as a Sigma dial, showcases two lowercase Greek Sigma letters (σ) flanking the esteemed “T SWISS MADE T” signature positioned below the 6 o’clock marker. The Sigma symbols indicate the use of lustrous solid gold for the hour markers, be it white gold or yellow gold, depending on the specific version of the reference 6263 Daytona. 

Though a seemingly subtle detail, these coveted Sigma dials, gracing various Rolex models from the early 1970s to the latter part of the decade, command a premium on the vintage market. Mayer’s Yellow Gold 6263 Sigma Dial is an iconic watch of its time and one whose vintage appeal and rarity still enflames the passions of collectors to this day.

10. Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold 6263 Paul Newman Dial

Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold 6263 Paul Newman Dial

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – the Paul Newman Daytona is practically an institution that carried the Rolex brand over many years. A truly legendary timepiece, the Yellow Gold 6263 with its revered Paul Newman dial is a clear indication (if you still needed one) of Mayer’s affinity for vintage Rolex Daytonas. 

These exceptional timepieces, coveted by collectors, possess the potential to command staggering million-dollar prices at auction, given that they speak for a revelation in watchmaking history, as well as for a specific era of style and panache. Among Mayer’s treasures, the gold Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 adorned with a Newman-style dial holds a special place. 

A similar masterpiece with a slightly different dial fetched a staggering $4,000,000 at a prestigious Phillips auction in 2017. Considering the current fervor within the watch market, one can only fathom that the price has ascended even further since.

11. Rolex Daytona Steel 6263 Paul Newman Dial

Rolex Daytona Steel 6263 Paul Newman Dial

The inclusion of a steel Paul Newman model showcases Mayer’s true admiration for the legendary Newman Rolex Daytona. It says a lot that Mayer would be willing to step away from his affinity for gold Daytonas to complete his Newman collection with this simple steel piece. To further emulate the spirit of the legendary Newman, or perhaps to pay homage to it, Mayer has this timepiece on a bund strap, just as the watch’s namesake did. 

I personally love a steel watch – it’s unpretentious in every way, giving itself over to the practical workings of the piece rather than leaning on lofty aesthetics and precious materials. There’s something admirable about a collector who acknowledges a watch for its cultural status as opposed to its weight in gold.

12. Rolex Daytona 6264 Paul Newman Panda

Rolex Daytona 6264 Paul Newman Panda

The Paul Newman Panda is certainly a favorite in the Newman line of Rolexes – Panda dials have, for their striking contrast, become beloved by watch enthusiasts the world over, whether said enthusiasts love actual panda bears or not. 

Crafted for a fleeting moment between 1970 and 1971, this Ref. 6264 timepiece is certainly a rarity, as evidenced by a handful of exceptional sales, with prices reaching almost $300,000 in late 2018. Again, it’s hard to say whether Mayer paid anything close to 300k for his Newman Panda, but it’s likely that whatever he spent, he’s a very happy man with this in his watch box.

13. Rolex Daytona 6264 Pulsation Dial

Rolex Daytona 6264 Pulsation Dial

Pulsation dials, an elusive breed, are as scarce as hen’s teeth (hens don’t have teeth). According to esteemed experts such as Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer, a mere handful of verified examples exist in the world, possibly numbering around 8 or 10.

With a brushed silver dial and pitch-black sub-dials, this smaller Daytona is an absolute marvel of its class. It gets its name from the pulsation dial on the outer track of the face, which was theoretically used by doctors to measure heartbeats.

The absurd value of these timepieces is unquestionable – they’re estimated to fetch nearly a million dollars or more at auction. Mayer’s 6264 Pulsation dial variant is in fantastic condition and, thus, is poised to captivate collectors and potentially surpass that value if and when he ever decides to sell it.

14. Rolex Daytona 6265 Omani Khanjar 

It could be said that John Mayer’s prized possession, among his Daytona collection at least, is his 6265 Omani Khanjar. A standard Ref. 6265 commands a hefty estimate of $300,000 to $500,000 at auctions, and Mayer’s watch, which bears the green, “kinda pot-leafy” crossed-sabers symbol at the 6 o’clock mark, set into the lower white sub-dial, would likely go for the same. 

This distinctive mark significantly enhances the value of the watch, solidifying its desirability among collectors. With Mayer’s penchant for acquiring extraordinary timepieces, it’s no wonder he, too, has fallen for Rolex’s Arabic iterations, as the next item on the list confirms…

15. Rolex Daytona 6265 United Arab Emirates Desert Eagle Coat of Arms

Rolex Daytona 6265 United Arab Emirates Desert Eagle Coat of Arms

The craziest thing about the 6265 United Arab Emirates Desert Eagle Coat of Arms is the fact that it doesn’t say Rolex anywhere on the dial, which is a testament to the truly custom nature of this model. In a tale of timeless prestige, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the esteemed Defence Minister of the UAE in the 1970s, personally commissioned a masterpiece. 

The Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 emerged, adorned with the emblem of the UAE, the Quraysh Hawk. Only a select few bear this distinguished quality. Mayer’s acquisition is the updated 6265 iteration, a more modern but equally extraordinary timepiece.

16. Rolex Daytona 6269

Rolex Daytona 6269

Considered the progenitor of the illustrious “rainbow” lineage, this Daytona boasts a bezel and dial bedecked with a symphony of dazzling diamonds. Its rarity is unquestionable, with only a handful of these marvels on the wrists of fortunate collectors. It’s a flashy piece, no doubt, but with its unisex appeal and classic shape, this 6269 is more pared-back than Mayer’s Rainbow Daytonas in almost every way.

17. Rolex Daytona 6270

In the depths of rarity lies the remarkable Rolex Daytona 6270, a cherished sibling to the esteemed 6269. This horological gem, adorned with undeniable allure, resides within the realm of utmost scarcity. In 2014, Christie’s astounded the watch world by auctioning one of these elusive treasures for an astonishing CHF 905,000. 

Made for the Sultan of Oman, it is said that only 6 of these watches exist and that they are likely the most expensive items ever produced by Rolex, with baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel and a pavé-set diamond dial. This is likely the most bonkers timepiece on this list as far as true, unabated luxury goes.

John Mayer Rolex Submariner Collection

The Submariner, arguably the most iconic and genre-defining dive watch ever made, epitomizes the fusion of form and function. With its iconic design, the Submariner strikes a chord with Mayer’s affinity for practical aesthetics and easy-wearing watches.

1. Rolex Submariner 1680 COMEX

Rolex Submariner 1680 COMEX

Discussed in Mayer’s first Talking Watches episode, this COMEX Sub is a quirky timepiece in its class for one very particular reason. Crafted exclusively for the renowned French dive company COMEX, the ref. 1680, unlike its counterparts, is devoid of a helium escape valve (an essential feature on dive watches) and was, therefore, more of a ‘tester’ than a watch manufactured for the market. 

Perhaps this COMEX never made it into the water, but it became the prized possession of Comex office personnel, who shared among them the few of these made. It’s a simple watch – steel case, black bezel, black dial with lume indices, and a bold white COMEX logo sitting above the six o’clock mark. John’s own 1680 is, of course, in amazing condition.

2. Rolex Submariner 5514 COMEX

Rolex Submariner 5514 COMEX

As if one COMEX Sub isn’t enough, Mayer owns two of these vintage divers. His second is the Rolex Submariner Comex ref. 5514. At first glance, it resembles the iconic ref. 5513, exhibiting the very same matte dial and a subtly weathered grey bezel. However, upon closer inspection, a small yet significant detail emerges—the discreet presence of a helium escape valve discreetly nestled on its side. 

This extraordinary model, shrouded in exclusivity, was reserved solely for the esteemed members of COMEX, eluding the grasp of the public, similar to the 1680, although it lacks the bold COMEX logo that defines the dial of its predecessor.

3. Rolex Submariner 6200

Rolex Submariner 6200

This is it. Perhaps the most important Submariner ever built by Rolex, this watch laid the groundwork for a horological icon. The Rolex Submariner ref. 6200 predates the revered Submariner name. Made on a run of 300 pieces in 1954, the 6200 is unique in a few ways; it doesn’t say ‘Submariner’ anywhere on the watch, it’s got an Explorer-type dial, and it was the first Submariner to have Mercedes-style hands. 

It’s certainly a grail watch for many collectors, as evidenced by its history at auction – Phillips sold one of these illustrious specimens in October 2017 for a staggering $579,000. An absolute gem in John Mayer’s remarkable collection, his 6200 is a genuinely impressive timepiece, despite its antiquated look.

4. Rolex “MilSub” Submariner Ref. 5517

Rolex “MilSub” Submariner Ref. 5517

The Rolex ‘MilSub’ Submariner Ref. 5517 is a watch built for submerged military applications. Although John Mayer is unlikely to be doing any underwater ambushes anytime soon, the 5517 is a more-than-worthy inclusion in his collection, given its singular history and build. Fixed spring bars, a satin case finish, a ’T’ dial, sword hands, and a continuously graded bezel come together to make this timepiece of note. 

It’s a hard-wearing, rugged piece, if ever there was one, and Mayer’s own 5517 shows all the glorious signs of wear you’d expect to see on a vintage military watch. While the MilSub is well-known amongst enthusiasts, its scarcity elevates it to mythical proportions – it’s said that only 1200 MilSubs were crafted by Rolex, with a mere 180 believed to still be in circulation.

5. Rolex Submariner 116619

Rolex Submariner 116619

The only non-vintage Submariner on this list is the well-renowned Rolex ‘Smurf’, a modern piece that yells ‘I’m casual and sporty’ everywhere it goes. Mayer’s Smurf has a solid 18k white gold case and bracelet, a theme that carries through a few of his Daytonas, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. In fact, the 116619 was the first Rolex Submariner to come in all-white gold, a peculiarity that betrays Mayer’s interest in this reference. 

Yet, it’s not just the precious metal that defines the Smurf but the enchanting interplay of colors from which it gets its nickname. The blue Cerachrom bezel and lacquered blue dial bestow upon it an irresistibly easy-going charm. The Smurf Submariner is a harmonious fusion of sophistication and playfulness, effortlessly capturing attention and thus leaving an indelible mark on the world of horology.

John Mayer Rolex GMT Master II Collection

As an artist who is endlessly on tour, thus constantly traversing time zones, Mayer finds solace in the GMT Master II’s ability to seamlessly adapt to his jet-setting lifestyle. Its iconic rotatable bezel, striking dial variations, and robust construction render the GMT Master II victim to its owner’s movements across borders – it’s a sturdy, reliable, and eye-catching watch that does the job in style.

1. Rolex GMT Master II “Batman” 116710BLNR

Rolex GMT Master II “Batman” 116710BLNR

The 126710BLNR, affectionately known as the ‘Batman’, broke the mold (and the market) when it was released in 2013. The moniker was quickly applied to the watch by adoring Rolex fanatics as it perfectly describes its captivating blue and black bezel, reminiscent of the iconic colors of DC Comics’ favorite dark hero. The Batman was a huge success as it was the first watch of its kind (with a split-tone Cerachrom bezel) to be released by Rolex. 

Although a newer version is available on a Jubilee bracelet, Mayer opts for the simplicity of the Oyster bracelet, which I totally get – it’s a proud watch on humble shackles, and with its unstoppable 3186 movement, there’s little chance of it letting Mayer down while he’s playing sets away from home.

2. Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” White Gold Black Dial 116719BLRO

Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” White Gold Black Dial 116719BLRO

A groundbreaking creation, this white gold wonder marks the first Pepsi model crafted from precious metal. Its allure is further enhanced by noteworthy upgrades, including the Cerachrom ceramic bezel, replacing the previous aluminum material. The addition of the Triplock waterproofing system ensures unparalleled aqueous protection, while the Maxi Dial boasts larger lume plots, which emboldens the dial in a significant manner. 

Now discontinued, the 116719BLRO commands a princely sum of approximately $42,000 on the thriving secondary market. Much like the Batman, this piece is playful yet austere, with its black face acting as a sort of grounding influence to the lively bezel.

3. Rolex GMT Master II Black Bezel 116710LN

Rolex GMT Master II Black Bezel 116710LN

Although it may be the most approachable of Mayer’s watches due to its affordability and monotone design, the 116710LN is a highly sought-after member of the GMT Master II family. With a stainless steel case, black-on-black bezel and dial, and an easy-wearing 40mm case, the 116710LN is a masterclass in design moderation. Rolex could have done a lot more here if they didn’t know that few things are more timeless than the combination of black and silver. 

Don’t let this watch fool you, though – it represents the final iteration of the GMT-Master II series to showcase a monochromatic bezel insert, bidding adieu to an era of singular allure and making it a special timepiece to own. Though discontinued in 2018, it’s still fawned over on the aftermarket, unsurprisingly. This may be my favorite watch of Mayer’s, if only for its chaste character.

4. Rolex GMT Master II Gold 116718LN

Rolex GMT Master II Gold 116718LN

Let’s go out with a bang – the final item in John Mayer’s seemingly endless Rolex collection is the opulent yellow gold Rolex GMT Master II Gold 116718LN, a piece that champions Mayer’s belief that the GMT is Rolex’s greatest movement. This golden marvel, adorned with a striking black dial, exudes an air of refined sophistication. 

As Rolex currently refrains from offering a yellow gold GMT, the yellow gold GMT-Master II commands attention, particularly as it was discontinued in 2019. With this, Mayer yet again proves that every one of his timepieces is an item of special magnificence and (somewhat) unattainable rarity.

The Finish Line

It almost goes without saying at this point that Mayer’s Rolex selection is a sight to behold. One which showcases his desire to “take something from a high-style culture and adopt it into your own culture”. 

Each Rolex, with its definitive characteristics and precision craftsmanship, serves as an extension of Mayer’s musical virtuosity. Through his collection, Mayer reminds us that time is not merely a ticking of seconds but a rhythmic journey where art and engineering intertwine. 

His Rolex ensemble stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of horological mastery and the unwavering pursuit of perfection – a harmonious ode to the beauty of time, music, and the symbiotic relationship between the two.

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