Famous watch collectors: John Mayer

Known for his music and string of ex-girlfriends, the singer's watch collection is worth upwards of $10 million. 

Meryl D'Souza June 22, 2016

Even if you’re not a fan of his music, you may have heard of John Mayer. At the very least, you may have heard his music. For instance his Grammy Award winning song “Your Body is a Wonderland”. 

Very few know about the platinum-selling singer’s love for watches. The seven-time Grammy Award winner isn’t simply interested in the shiny new watches. Mayer is a true watch connoisseur, he studies the craftsmanship of watches and has been doing so since 2000.

His first watch was a Star Wars themed Armitron digital decorated with images of everybody’s favourite robot duo, C-3PO and R2-D2. He kept that watch inside a cardboard box where he kept all his prized possessions. As a boy, Mayer slept with his head inside that cardboard box instead of using a pillow. 

Mayer’s reputation in the world of horology is that of a tastemaker and critic. He’s now Hollywood’s go-to guy for any timepiece related conundrums with people like Drake and Aziz Ansair often seeking out Mayer’s opinion on watch purchases.

It took him a while to get started and although his first watch purchase was a Rolex Explorer II following the release of his album “Room for Squares” in 2001, Mayer credits the IWC Big Pilot for igniting his passion for timepieces.

The singer even wrote an open letter to IWC expressing his concerns over the brand’s position, eluding to the change of hands with the Richemont Group, as well as the Ingenieur model changing an aesthetic and heritage that he fell in love with as an avid collector. And the Swiss watchmaker didn’t take Mayer lightly. IWC Schaffhausen responded to his open letter with one of their own and shed some light on the issues Mayer highlighted.

He contributes to Hodinkee, one of the best watch blogs in the world and has even been a judge at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the most prestigious award ceremony in watchmaking. Despite those accomplishments, he’s not a watch snob, as many in the watch community tend to be. For the man who chased down a vintage $130 Casio G-Shock on eBay, it’s more about passion. 

He says as much to the New York Times: “I’ve always pitched this theory of, if a guy comes up to a restaurant in a red Ferrari, you kind of recoil,” he said. “But if you find out that the guy owned 14 of them and he writes a blog on them, then you can appreciate it, because you can trust that there’s a depth to it.”

Mayer is not one of those collectors who treats his watches like showpieces. This is a man who shovels dog poop in a Patek Philippe and as a rule of thumb won’t buy a watch if he’s not going to wear it.

In an interview in 2013 with his friend Benjamin Clymer, founder and executive editor of HODINKEE, Mayer showed off some of his favourite watches. We got those and a few from the singer’s Instagram account to bring you his collection.


Despite all his knowledge, in 2007, when Mayer he went to get one of his purchases repaired, spurious parts were discovered inside. He complained to 'watch dealer to the stars' Robert Maron, who gave him a refund, and Mayer continued to buy more watches. However he subsequently found out - through Rolex - that another watch had a counterfeit part, and then had the company look through his collection.

Mayer found a total seven of the pieces he had bought from Maron had fake parts, and thus attempted to sue the dealer for their $656,000 cost in 2014. However, Mayer dismissed the lawsuit claiming Robert never sold him a fake Rolex in 2015.