On Saturday, the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans kicked off its 100th iteration with NBA legend LeBron James waving the French flag and giving the instruction “Pilotes, demarrez vos moteurs” to start the race. James began the event by telling the drivers to start their engines.
The 38-year-old basketball legend joined Rafael Nadal and Brad Pitt in the illustrious list of celebrities who have had the pleasure of being the official headliner of the world’s toughest endurance event. In doing so, he put his name on the famous list of celebrities who have earned this honor. However, there was a tiny problem with that. LeBron James flew the flag in a Patek Philippe and not a Rolex, creating an embarrassing situation for the brand that has supported the 24 Hours of Le Mans for many years.
Since the race’s inception in 1901, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has counted on Rolex as its Official Timekeeping Partner. To commemorate the 100th edition of the illustrious racing competition, the Swiss watchmaker even produced one-of-a-kind engraved Daytona watches, which were presented to the victorious drivers. NBA superstar LeBron James’ decision to wear a Patek Philippe with a vivid Tiffany blue dial to a Rolex-endorsed event has had some people raising their heads.
This is especially the case when you consider the fact that James owns a large collection of Rolex watches. Given that LeBron is well known for his passion for Patek Philippe watches, the situation may not have been meant as a PR disaster, even though it could be construed as one.
Patek Philippe Nautilus reference number 5711/1A-018 ‘Tiffany & Co.’ it was the wristwatch that LeBron James wore while attending the horse racing event. The watch, which was unveiled in 2021 and limited to a production run of just 170 pieces, was made to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the partnership between the Swiss watchmaker and Tiffany & Co. The watch face, which is lacquered in “Tiffany Blue ” and bearing the emblem of a well-known American jeweler, it is the piece de resistance of the watch. The Patek Philippe Caliber 26-330 SC is an automatic movement with a power reserve ranging from 35 to 45 hours. It is protected by a casing that has a diameter of 40 millimeters and is made of stainless steel. Although the watch could have been purchased for an asking price of $52,635, the first watch sold at auction for a staggering $6.5 million.