Like Peanut Butter and Jelly:
Famous Chefs and Their Famous Watches

Article By: Logan Hannen

WATCH101 | Mar 05, 2019

Celebrities of all sorts have long been affiliated with the world of watches, whether that’s rockstars or film icons like Steve McQueen. And yet the one category of celebrity that isn’t known for their general love of watchmaking outside of the community is celebrity chefs.

We’ve already discussed the timepieces of the late, great Anthony Bourdain, but the man is hardly the only one of his peers to share a love of horology. Guys like Alton Brown have had their time in the watch spotlight, but a handful of others stand out for having great taste. Today, we’re going to have a look at three such celebrity chefs, and the watches they love.

Gordon Ramsay and His Citrus Dial Breitling Cockpit Chronograph

Chef Ramsay and His Breitling
Source: Ethos Watches

Chef Ramsay was famous in the watch community for a long time for wearing a yellow dial Breitling chronograph that nobody could seem to positively identify. Then, in 2014, Chef Ramsay posted this picture on his Instagram, finally showing close up that the watch was, in fact, a Breitling Cockpit Chronograph with a “citrus” dial.

A 36.5mm automatic chronograph, the watch isn’t inherently a big, loud statement piece, but its vibrant yellow dial helped it to stick out like a sore thumb on the wrist of one of TV’s most famous chefs. He has also been seen in a vintage Rolex Submariner, which supposedly cost him $25,000, helping cement the theory that it is in fact a rarer reference and, as such, a geekier one to boot.

Guy Fieri and His Rolex Yachtmaster II

Guy and his Yachtmaster II
Source: Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri is one of the food media’s most interesting players, because for as much as his job does essentially consist of driving around and eating (typically ridiculous) food from restaurants the country over, the man is still a cook at heart (he announced this past week that he will be opening a chain of restaurants devoted exclusively to chicken tenders and a myriad of sauces for them). Still, it’s his personality that has earned him his fame, and that energetic, enthusiastic vibe is captured perfectly in his choice of timepieces.

In the interest of fairness, the watch he is seen wearing most often is actually an orange dial Doxa Sub 750T GMT, which Guy even had listed for sale on his official website for a time. That watch has been discontinued, but retailed for just over $2,000. If that’s his favorite, then, why am I focusing on the Yachtmaster II? It’s mostly this – the Doxas he owns, while certainly not cheap, don’t even approach the price tag of the Yachmaster II (his reference, the 116688, retailed for $43,550 during its run). While it’s impossible to tell if the watch was bought to celebrate some kind of milestone, or just because, it’s clear that he knew what kind of statement he was making when he picked it up, given that the Yachtmaster II is among the loudest watches in the Rolex catalogue.

Emeril Lagasse and his Rolex Yachtmaster in Steel

Chef Lagasse and his Rolex Yachtmaster
Source: Food & Wine

Story time: Emeril Lagasse is the man that got me into food when I was little. My mom could cook, my grandmother was a miracle worker in the kitchen, but he was the first person to show me how cooking could be fun. Emeril taught me the joys of cooking, Alton Brown taught me the study of it, and my grandmother, rest her soul, taught me the art of it. So it should perhaps not have shocked me to find such a relatively niche Rolex sport model on the wrist of the chef that started it all, but it kind of did.

Chef Lagasse’s watch is the Rolex Yachtmaster ref. 116622, a 40mm steel Rolex sport model with a platinum bezel and the now discontinued red second hand and text on the dial. It’s a very refined sport model from the brand, in many ways reflecting the kind of old New Orleans class that Emeril exudes. It parallels Guy Fieri’s Yachtmaster II perfectly- Emeril is from the original wave of TV chef fame, and his success is directly responsible for Guy being able to push the envelope of how people see a chef should be, much the way that the Yachtmaster set the stage for the eventual boldness of the Yachtmaster II by being avante garde in its own, more refined way.

Whichever chefs and watches you latch onto, geeks, I think it’s super important to think of the multitude of ways that food can connect people, just the way we are all connected as members of the watchfam. So the next time you’re planning a meal, try something new, learn a new cuisine, or simply take a staple of your culinary repertoire and find a new way to keep it classy, watchfam.