Formed in 1960, the iconic English rock group The Beatles are the best selling music band of all the time. Its key members were by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Among them, Paul and Ringo survive today. It is still a mystery whether they had amazed luxury watches in large scale or not. The only high-luxury brand that often pops up when we discuss about The Beatles’ watches is Patek Philippe, the historical Geneva manufacture known for its superior horology tradition.
John Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980), the co-founder, vocalist and guitarist of the legendary band, owned a Yellow Gold Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (reference 2499/100) , probably gifted by his wife Yoko Ono on his 40th birthday in October 1980. Introduced in the early 1950s, the Reference 2499 displays day and month via two apertures, date and moon-phase on a miniature dial at 6 o’clock, a sub-dial at 3‘o clock featuring 30-minutes counter and leap year indication, and a sub-dial at 9 o’ clock with small seconds and 12-hour chronograph hand. It is a rare and one of the most sought-after Patek complications watches.
Made with 18-carat yellow gold, the Ref. 2499/100 belongs to the fourth series of this iconic model and also featured a sapphire crystal glass. It has a 37mm diameter case. The current whereabouts of this wristwatch remains unknown. He additionally had a mechanical pocket watch made by E. Howard Watch Co., a clock and watch company formed by Edward Howard and Charles Rice in 1858, after the closure of the Boston Watch Company.
Ringo Starr (Real name: Sir Richard Starkey), who joined the band as the leading drummer in 1962, used to own a rare Patek Philippe yellow gold watch. This timepiece subsequently became a part of the collection of Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach. Best known for her role as the Bond girl in the James Bond Movies The Spy Who Loved Me, Barbara Bach wed Ringo Starr in 1981. Both Ringo and Barbara jointly own a vast treasure of paintings, art-crafts and other collectibles. Fifteen years ago, they auctioned a considerable fraction of this valuable collection for charity purposes. This private collection also had a Yellow Gold Patek Philippe Ref. 3448, the first automatic perpetual calendar made by the prestigious Geneva watch house.
In December 2015, the United States based Julien’s Auctions sold this Patek wristwatch used to own by Ringo Starr for a premium price of $179,200. Made with 18 carats yellow gold, this watch was produced in 1971. This timepiece houses a Calibre 27/460Q self-winding movement with 37 jewels. Its white dial displays day and month with two apertures below 12 o’clock, centre hour & minutes. The watch additionally has a subdial at six o’ clock with moon phase and date indication. Introduced in the early 1960s, Ref. 3448 was the first serially produced self-winding perpetual calendar watch from Patek Philippe. Around 600 pieces of this reference were produced, predominantly in yellow gold. This watch also exists in white gold and rose gold versions. Another noteworthy timepiece owned by Ringo Starr is an Aquanaut Ref. 5065A watch, also from Patek Philippe. This reference features a 38mm diameter stainless steel case with an automatic movement and the characteristic embossed dial.
Paul McCartney was the co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles, until the disbanding of the influential music band in 1970. One of his favourite timepieces is Patek Philippe Aquanaut, including references 5165A and 5167A. Introduced in 1997, the magnificent Aquanaut collection heralded a new era in the Geneva’s luxury watchmaker’s illustrious heritage. It took its design inspiration from the premium brand’s iconic Nautilus watch, launched in 1976.
The Reference 5165A was introduced in 2007 on the memorable occasion of the 10th anniversary of Aquanaut. This automatic watch featuring a 38mm diameter stainless steel case displays hour, minute, centre seconds and date. Equally made with stainless steel, the Reference 5167A has a 40mm case. The movement used with these versions is the calibre 324 SC automatic-winding. Featuring Patek Philippe’s signature ‘embossed’ dials, both references have sapphire crystal front glass and transparent case-back. Typically known for their luxury-sports appeal, all Aquanaut watches are water resistant to 120 meters.
George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was the lead guitarist of The Beatles until the breakup. There is no much information obtainable regarding his personal watch collection. According to Epstein family, the British Music entrepreneur Brian Epstein brought a Cartier tank watch for George Harrison. Brian efficiently managed the Beatles band from 1962 until his death in 1967.
Accurist and The Beatles
The British watch brand Accurist mentions The Beatles as one of the loyal customers of their popular Old England wristwatches, released in the mid 1960s.
Apple Corps Ltd
To commercialize their success in the Music industry, the members of The Beatles band jointly established a venture named Apple Corps Ltd in 1968. This company invested in the production of music records, film-production, publishing, electronics, recording studios and retailing. The Beatles music troupe was disbanded in 1970, and its members pursued their carrier separately. However, the company remained active and it still releases music-records and other merchandises bearing iconic The Beatles name. Presently, the share holders of Apple Corps are Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono (the widow of John Lennon) and the estate of George Harrison.
RAYMOND WEIL and The Beatles Collection
In 2016, Swiss watch maker RAYMOND WEIL signed an exclusive partnership with Apple Corps Company and introduced the maestro Beatles limited edition. In 2017, the family-owned, music-inspired watch brand unveiled the maestro The Beatles “Abbey Road” limited edition, celebrating the Abbey Road, the final album recorded by the Fab Four. In 2019, the Swiss brand launched Sergeant Pepper maestro The Beatles limited edition inspired by the legendary Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. These remarkable collections belong to flagship line maestro of the independent Swiss watch company, which often releases timepieces inspired by the legendary musicians.