Will Smith's love of watches goes all the way back to when he was 5 or 6 years old. In an interview with FHH Journal, Smith describes a cherished memory of working with his father to install industrial grade freezers in a supermarket basement. His father paid him for the work they did together and Smith would stash the money away. He placed the funds aside in a "money box" because he was saving up for a Timex with a light-up function so you could read the time in the dark.
Smith's interest in watches continues to this day, and he's acquired some pieces that any collector would be proud to own. His Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in stainless steel with white gold applied hour markers (ref 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04) is one of those "unobtainium" references typically valued well above its retail price of $22,900. The silver-toned "Grand Tapisserie" dial nicely compliments the sheen of brushed stainless steel. Its 41mm size is both comfortable on the wrist and presents a highly legible dial. For many collectors, this watch represents the very pinnacle of watchmaking, particularly given that this fundamental design was created by the legendary Gerald Genta.
Also present in Smith's watchbox is a timepiece with a more nautical legacy. His Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (reference 1183-126-3) is inspired by that brand's long history manufacturing precision timepieces for seafarers. This watch offers high accuracy as the spade hands glide across roman numeral hour indicators. Rendered in titanium and steel at 43mm in size, the watch offers a coin-edged bezel detail which evokes the grip offered by rotating bezels on dive watches (the UN bezel does not rotate). The blue dial is paired with a blue detail on the crown, which itself is protected by guards. A power reserve is offered below the 12 o'clock marker. We also find a small seconds subdial near 6 o'clock with an inset cyclops-magnified date complication. Low light readability is offered by luminous materials on the hands and lume batons on the rehaute.
Will Smith is a truly remarkable artist whose accomplishments span many genres, including but not limited to art, acting and film producing. His watch collecting journey is equally remarkable, with his Royal Oak and Marine Chronometer representing a diverse interest in design and function. In the FHH interview referenced earlier, Smith describes his grail watch as one with a very special complication: a "good review" button. When pressed, critics would stop writing bad reviews of his work. Switzerland: the gauntlet has been thrown.