LeBron James has been making headlines both on and off the court this season, and his latest accessory choice is no exception. During a Lakers game last Friday, the basketball superstar was spotted wearing the Rolex “Eye of the Tiger” Cosmograph Daytona, one of the brand’s most wild and unique timepieces, paired with a chic black-and-white Aimé Leon Dore jacket and black-and-white Air Jordans.
Released in 2019, the “Eye of the Tiger” Daytona features a gold 40 mm case and a black tiger-print dial set with yellow gold and diamonds. The timepiece is also adorned with diamond hour markers, yellow-gold hands, and a bezel set with 36 trapeze-cut diamonds. While the watch is designed to look like big-cat stripes (hence the nickname), it has also been referred to as the “Rorschach Test Daytona” due to its unique pattern.
The yellow-gold Ref. 116588TBR, which is currently offered on sites such as Chrono24 for upwards of $214,900, was an off-catalog offering from Rolex a few years back, followed two years later by the 18-karat white-gold ref. 116589TBR. The watchmaker is known for dropping high-gem designs like these Eye of the Tiger timepieces off-catalog, and it makes James’s choice even more rare and collectible.
James isn’t the first celebrity to be spotted wearing the “Eye of the Tiger” Daytona, however. DJ Khaled also has an “Eye of the Tiger” Daytona, which he recently wore on his runway debut in the Miami BOSS show, at the 2023 Grammys, and to a 2023 New Year’s Celebration. Like James, the “I’m the One” singer has the yellow-gold design finished with a black rubber bracelet, a surprisingly sporty touch on an otherwise maximally-luxe timepiece.
For James, the “Eye of the Tiger” Daytona is just another example of his impeccable taste in fashion and accessories. As one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, James has always been a trendsetter, and his latest watch choice is no exception. Rolex has always been a favorite brand among top athletes and artists alike, and James and Khaled both wearing this watch in quick succession may point to the watchmaker’s more outrageous designs enjoying a moment in the spotlight.