Strangely, American football and fine Swiss watches have not gone hand in hand over the years; American football stars becoming ambassadors for luxury watch companies are part of a relatively new phenomenon. But in recent years around Super Bowl time we have started to hear a few more watch stories involving football.
In this year’s Super Bowl, which takes place on February 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida, AFC (American Football Conference) champion Kansas City Chiefs will play NFC (National Football Conference) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the midst of a pandemic in Tampa’s stadium. The Buccaneers’ famed quarterback, Tom Brady – an IWC ambassador since 2019 – is set to appear for a record tenth time in a Super Bowl. The NFL’s oldest player, this is his third Super Bowl appearance since turning 40.
Now, on the eve of Super Bowl LV, in honor of the biggest sporting event of 2021 so far, I’d like to take a look at three other football legends and their watch stories.
Terry Bradshaw and a custom RGM 151
At the beginning of 2021, RGM founder Roland Murphy shared a story on his blog involving Terry Bradshaw and a missing watch that Murphy’s company had made for him. Bradshaw, the famed Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback, later became a commentator, sports analyst, television host, and part-time actor after retiring from football in 1984. These days, he is famous for his enthusiastic comedic flair, which involves a healthy dose of “good ole boy” schtick.
Murphy explained in his post that a few years ago he had been approached by a Friars Club representative to make a watch for the football legend. The watch was ready before Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 so that it could be gifted to him during football’s biggest week, which was to end with the game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. As you can see in the photo above, the front was decorated with a printed rendition of Bradshaw’s signature and Steelers’ jersey number, while the engravings on the case back represent the four Super Bowls Bradshaw won with his Pittsburgh team (IX, X, XIII, and XIV).
However, due to serious weather issues, Bradshaw’s arrival at the University of Phoenix Stadium was delayed. So the Friars Club rescheduled the surprise presentation for a later date at a luncheon in New York City.
Murphy learned many months later that the watch had gone missing, presumably lost or stolen during pre-game Super Bowl festivities. Today the watch bearing Bradshaw’s signature on the dial makes for an interesting anecdote: unfortunately, all that is left of Murphy’s custom RGM 151 for the football legend are these photos.
For more information, please visit www.rgmwatches.com/rgmblog/2021/1/5/the-missing-rgm-watch-made-for-terry-bradshaw.
Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh and a custom RGM 151
Back in 2014, Murphy shared a story on his blog of delivering a customized RGM 151 to John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, who had won Super Bowl XLVII with his team in 2013.
It is not so surprising that RGM, as an American watchmaker, would honor something as American as winning the Super Bowl. But there is a bit more to the gesture as Murphy was actually born in Baltimore and thus it seemed to him even more natural to honor his hometown’s NFL championship with a custom-built RGM 151 for the head coach, John Harbaugh.
Murphy personally delivered the titanium-encased timepiece to Coach Harbaugh at the Raven’s training facility on December 13, 2013. It features unique commemorative elements including a Baltimore Ravens crest on the black dial, a Ravens logo etched onto the sapphire crystal display back, and “World Champions 2012, Coach John Harbaugh” hand-engraved around the case back’s bezel.
The RGM Model 151 series, most frequently encased in steel, sports an American made case. Murphy chose titanium for this particular piece as it is a very durable yet lightweight material, which seemed appropriate to him in the context of professional sports.
For more information, please visit www.rgmwatches.com/rgmblog/436.
Aaron Rodgers is a new Zenith ambassador
Aaron Rodgers’ team, the Green Bay Packers, played a great season but lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the finals of the NFC Championship. Zenith might have been betting otherwise as on January 25, 2021 during the first digital LVMH Watch Week, the Swiss brand introduced Rodgers as a “North American ambassador” along with its main launch, the Chronomaster Sport.
According to Zenith, watchmaking and American football share crucial attributes, including the quest for precision as “a game of inches.”
“Football is a game of precision. You have to spend time learning and studying. It’s not just running down the field as fast as you can or throwing the balls as far as you can,” Rodgers is quoted as saying.
“Aaron Rodgers is undoubtedly a name that will go down in sports history for fundamentally changing the game of football,” said Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith. “His focus, determination, and relentless ambition to always outdo himself and lead his team to spectacular victories have made him someone to admire and look up to. Aaron has reached his star and changed the game while doing it but remains incredibly humble and charming when he’s off the field. On behalf of Zenith, I’m honored to welcome Aaron Rodgers as our new brand ambassador.”
Rodgers will be wearing the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport and as such be the focus of the watch’s publicity campaign.
For more information, please visit www.zenith-watches.com/int/brand/aaron-rodgers.
Quick Facts RGM Model 151
Case: 38.5 x 9.9 mm, American made stainless steel or titanium
Movement: automatic ETA Caliber 2892-A2 with custom rotor, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 36-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, sweep seconds; date
Price: beginning at $2,950 (stainless steel); $3,950 (titanium)
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