PGA Tour Players and Their High Dollar Watch Sponsors
We all know that PGA Tour players make some decent cash when they win, but where they really earn their money is with sponsor deals and the perks that come with them. These perks range from anything like free car services to free charter of private jets. What we are going to take a look at are some of the PGA Tour players’ watch sponsors and see what some of the biggest names are wearing on their wrists.
When Rory McIlroy signed his sponsorship deal with Nike at the end of the 2012 season he also updated his deal with Omega, the watch sponsor of the European Tour. With that deal came Rory’s new Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph. As much as Rory’s Nike deal is worth, he’s still swimming in the kiddie pool with the cost of his Omega. It comes in around a paltry $10,000 … mere chump change. Some info on the Seamaster Planet Ocean from Omega’s website:
The stylish OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M pays homage to OMEGA’s dive watch heritage. This model, with its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, features a black
dial with a small seconds dial, a date window and a central chronograph hand. Sixty-minute and 12-hour counters are found on the same dial at the 3 o’clock position, allowing for intuitive reading of the elapsed time. The black ceramic unidirectional rotating divers’ bezel is mounted on a 45.5 mm stainless steel case on a stainless steel bracelet. The OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M is water resistant to 600 metres / 2000 feet / 60 bar, and has a helium-escape valve. This certified chronometer timepiece is powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 9300 which can be seen through the transparent caseback.
Also, wearing Omega is Sergio Garcia; however, Sergio steps up the price tag game by wearing an Omega Constellation Double Eagle Chronograph. Most of the names of these watches are mouthfuls, so get used to it. Anyway, the Constellation line has a wide price range, but the model that Sergio wears is right around $23,000 before tax. Let’s hope he and Rory are getting their watches in the USA and avoiding that EU VAT (value added tax). Unfortunately, this model is no longer available — keep that in mind if you are trying to find somewhere to blow $20k
Here’s a video of Omega’s latest model in the Seamaster line:
Next up on the list is the age-old classic. Rolex has always been synonymous with wealth and country club ritz, so it’s no surprise that it holds the two most popular players as ambassadors to their brand. Both Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods (after Tag Heuer dropped him) represent Rolex. Now Rolex understands the increasing popularity of luxury watches among a younger crowd, so they made sure they locked up Jordan Spieth to help inject some youth into their brand.
Rolex tends to rotate the watches they give to their sponsored athletes extremely often (poor them), but Tiger is most often seen wearing some version of the Deepsea model. The price of the Deepsea varies widely and can run anywhere from $10,000 for the entry level models to $20,000 for limited editions. With Rolex there’s also a big customization aftermarket believe it or not, so it’s common to find Deepsea models with diamond bezels that run the price well above the $30,000 range.
Here’s Rolex’s description of the Deepsea Oyster from their website followed by a video from their YouTube channel:
The Rolex Deepsea is water resistant to a depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet) and built to meet the exacting demands of professional divers. This robust, precise and reliable Professional model unveiled in 2008 illustrates Rolex’s mastery of waterproofness, acquired over decades of real-life experience stretching back to the heyday of underwater exploration. It is steeped in the pioneering spirit that led Rolex to invent the Oyster and develop, in the 1950s and 1960s, divers’ watches like the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller. The Rolex Deepsea owes its name to the Deep Sea Special, the experimental Rolex watch that in 1960 successfully travelled to the deepest point in the oceans, a depth of 10,916 metres
As for Phil, he keeps it classic and simple. Phil Mickelson wears a Rolex Cellini which is their dressier line. He’s got to wear something understated to go with those pinstripe pants and crocodile shoes he loves. Again, the price range of Rolex watches is huge, but the model that Mickelson looks to wear most often falls right around the $9,000 – $10,000 range.
Now to the most expensive watch that we are familiar with on tour. We wrote a short bit on it a couple months back that you can see here, so for the sake of brevity we’re just going to tell you how much Bubba Watson’s watch costs and you can decide whether or not it’s worth it. That white watch that Bubba wears EVERY tournament is a Richard Mille (pronounced Reeshard Meel) RM038 tourbillon. You can find out more about the watch in our other write-up, but get ready for the price — ready? $525,000! And that’s hanging on his wrist every time he crushes a ball down the fairway. Richard Mille watches are more art than they are watch. A tourbillon (which means whirlwind) is incredibly intricate and a means for a watchmaker to really show off. Check out the video below from theWatches.tv that takes us inside the Richard Mille facilty.
Newly coming to the PGA Tour player watch sponsors party looks like it will be Billy Horschel. Again, these companies are seeing the growth in the younger market. Horschel tweeted this last month, which we can only assume is the beginnings of courtship from the jewelry industry. His complimentary Panerai Luminor GMT is right around $8,500; not bad for free.
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) March 18, 2014
Last but not least, especially not least considering they seem to be making the biggest push to sponsor every big name player on tour, is Audermars Piguet. In its stable of sponsored athletes is Graeme McDoell, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, and Keegan Bradley to name a few. Audermars Piguet creates watches that embody a nautical background with large blocky cases and square bezels. Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell wear the Selfwinding Royal Oak 41mm; Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, and Louis Oosthuizen wear the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph; and Keegan Bradley wears the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. The versions that the tour players where are between $40,000 and $80,000.