It's hard to believe it's been over five years – half a decade (!!) – since I sat down with John Mayer at a little cafe down the road from our office, a four-person WeWork rental that we hadn't even filled out yet. The HODINKEE team back then consisted of myself, Mr. Will Holloway, and the one and only SJPeezy – Stephen J. Pulvirent. Our team was small but strong, and all we needed back then was a free afternoon with a rock star to make some content that we are still proud of to this very day. I am proud to say that both Stephen and Will are still very much a part of this business, even now that we are over 10 times the size, and our offices are, well, a little bigger too. Talking Watches With John Mayer aired on September 25, 2013, and since then it has been viewed almost 2 million times. And now we're back with another one.
John's reference 6270 Daytona. Don't know what it is? You will by the end of today.
Anecdotally, the number of times a young man or woman has approached me at an event or on the street and told me that Talking Watches with John Mayer was the very reason he or she had an interest in watches must be in the thousands. There is something about that video that just works – it seems to resonate at just the right pitch with so many new watch lovers. Perhaps it is because we had no idea what to expect, nor did we have any plans for Talking Watches to become a 45-plus episode series that would help define our entire business. But either way, it just works. And now John, who is still very much in the watch game, is back to show you some more.
A unique 5004G with salmon dial and luminous hands.
Self-winding chrono-tourbillon Concept from Audemars Piguet.
Welcome to your official Talking Watches 2 with John Mayer.*
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6265 With Omani Khanjar

Notice the green Khanjar at six o'clock.
About as long as John has been interested in watches, he's been interested in Daytonas. And man, he's got a lot – including some really esoteric stuff. This is a reference 6265 with a green Khanjar down in the chronograph hours register. It's a little "pot leafy," but this is one serious Daytona.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6265 For The UAE

This 6265 for the UAE doesn't even say "Rolex" anywhere on the dial.
In some ways a brother to the black 6265 with an Omani Khanjar above, this is a silver 6265 with a UAE crest at 12 o'clock. What's amazing about these special order watches from the 1970s is that they actually don't say "Rolex" anywhere on the dial. Imagine that happening today.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 In 18k Yellow Gold

The 6263 in 18k yellow gold is becoming a collectible category in its own right.
With the rise in popularity of all the Paul Newmans, John has found a lot of interest in wearing non-PN, but still vintage, Daytonas. The prices of these more common watches are now around what he was paying for PNs back in the day.*
I remember seeing prices on the 'Paul Newman' Daytonas skyrocket and thinking to myself that it was time to let go of those pieces and focus a little more on the 'plain Jane,' non-PN versions. I'm glad I did, for several reasons – not the least of which is that I can wear them without any doubt they’re unquestionably authentic. And this version may be the coolest gold Rolex ever made.
John mayer
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6264 Paul Newman

This isn't what you think it is - notice the outer minute track is white, not red.
A pump pusher, black bezel Paul Newman Daytona is somewhat commonplace amongst well-heeled entertainment types in Los Angeles. But if you look closely, the vast majority of them are 6241s and feature a red outer track. This is a 6264 and features a dial similar to that of the dramatically more valuable and rare 6263 Oyster Paul Newman. Killer watch.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6264 With Pulsation Dial

A Doctor's Daytona is about as rare as it gets in pump pusher Daytonas.
Okay, let's just keep climbing the hierarchy of manually wound Daytonas here. This is, just like the previous watch, a rare reference 6264. But this isn't a Paul Newman, nor is it a regular dial here. Notice it says "Base 15 pulsations" at 10 o'clock? Yup, this is a pulsation dial Daytona, or "Doctor's Daytona."
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6269

You like diamonds? The 6269 has diamonds.
Okay, up until this point, each watch we've featured has a reference number that you are likely familiar with if you follow HODINKEE or other such publications. But when you get into unique reference number, manually wound Daytonas, you're talking a whole new level. The 6269 is a watch made in the mid 1980s, but it is very much a vintage watch with a Valjoux 727 manually wound caliber and a 6263-style case. The bezel is set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds, the dial background is set with 240 brilliant-cut diamonds, and the hour markers include nine brilliant-cut sapphires.*This is an insanely rare watch, and one that marked the first time Rolex produced the Daytona as a true high-luxury object. Oh, and John's example comes with a full set of box and original papers.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6270

What's mightier than even the 6269? The 6270.
The 6269 seen above is one of the most special and seldom-seen Daytonas on planet earth. But what it's not is the damn 6270. Another unique reference Daytona, this brother of the 6269 was not really understood by many until the modern era of collecting. The bezel features baguette-cut diamonds, while the dial plate is again covered in stones like that of the 6269. We again have sapphires for hour markers, but in the sub-registers you have a dark blue/purple sheen. The 6270, made for the Sultan of Oman, is truly the holy grail of vintage Daytonas. How many exist? No one knows for sure, but the market has seen just six. Six.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona Ref. 116598 In Yellow Gold

The original Rainbow Daytona in yellow gold was met with feedback that was...mixed.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and it's easy to proclaim the modern Everose Rainbow Daytona as one of the hottest watches in the world (it is, regardless of how you feel about its looks), but back when the yellow and white gold examples were launched, the feedback was less encouraging. In fact, most people, even retailers and serious collectors, thought Rolex had gone just a little too far. John felt otherwise and bought one (or two). He wears it often.
Rolex Rainbow Daytona Ref. 116599 In White Gold

JM was a firm believer and supporter of the Rainbow back when few else gave it a second look.
If you're gonna go deep, you might as well go subterranean, right? He’s got one (or two) Rainbows in white gold too. This one is often seen on the wrist of the musician/Instagram god when he's eating chicken wings.
This is an example of having been ridiculed for loving something and then ultimately rewarded for it. When this watch was released, it was seen as garish and over the top, and I agree! I think you had to understand Rolex’s mindset over a number of years to pick up on how unlike them it was to release a rainbow bezel Daytona, and how playful and special it was. I think the white gold variant will go on go become the grail inside of the Rainbow Daytona line.
John mayer
Rolex Daytona Ref. 116508 In Yellow Gold With Green Dial

This "Christmas dial" Daytona as John calls it, was actually worn by John on Christmas.
If you haven't figured it out by now, this guy loves Daytonas. Like a lot. Reference 116508 is a metal bezel, self-winding watch that was announced in 2016, the very same year as the steel ceramic Daytona. And because of that, nobody really paid attention and they kind of sat untouched in retailers' corners. He bought one anyway.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 116509 In White Gold With Blue Dial

The brother of the 116508 is the white gold 116509 in white gold.
The brother of the yellow gold/green dial is the white gold/blue dial Daytona. Again, we tend to think people overlooked them because they feature metal bezels instead of ceramic...but these are solid gold Daytonas with brightly colored dials. What's not to love?
Rolex Submariner Ref. 5514 For COMEX

This looks like a basica Reference 5513, but it's not. Because #JohnMayer.
Okay, we’re done with Daytonas. But not with Rolex! JM has a wide range of Submariners – we saw him with a double-reference 5513/5517 MilSub five years ago, but here we have something even more esoteric. This looks like a simple-but-beautiful matte dial 5513 with a grey faded bezel. But if you turn it to the side, you'll see it's got a small little dot on the mid-case: That’s a helium escape valve. This is a 5514, another unique reference watch, this one made for French dive company COMEX. This bad boy is a serious sleeper.
Rolex Submariner Ref. 6200

The Submariner that started it all. And the one that would end it all if there was a question about which reference was "King Sub."
What's there to say about a Submariner? It's basically the quintessential post-modern wristwatch, and we know all about them. And if you do, you know what a Big Crown is – but you're probably thinking of a 5510 or 6538 like Mr. Bond wore. This reference, the 6200, pre-dates all that and has become one of the most sought after references in all of Rolex. Only problem is that they're impossible to find in ANY condition, let alone with original hands, bezel, and a dial that hasn't been re-lumed. The one you see here? Yup, it's good.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5971

When I think of JM, I think of this watch.
The very first time I met John, in the winter of 2012, Will and I went to his SoHo apartment to shoot his 5396 Tiffany for this story.*I knew he was a 5970P person, but the watch he was wearing that day was a 5971. And as I glanced around his apartment, I noticed a wonderful black and white photograph of him and his father in black tie, and John was again wearing a 5971. It's not a watch many can pull off, but to me, this watch is quintessentially him.*
Patek Philippe Ref. 5004G With Salmon Dial And Luminous Hands

Perpetual Calendar. Split-seconds. White Gold. Salmon Dial. Luminous Hands. Unique.
The watch world is a funny place. I can't tell you how many times well-to-do friends and readers have approached me in simple disbelief that they, successful, intelligent, and most importantly, willing members of the watch community will NOT be sold a watch at retail. You know the story – a Nautilus, a GMT, whatever, you don't just get, you kinda have to earn them by generating a long term relationship with an authorized dealer. Or you just buy them grey market above list price. At the extreme end of the "must have relationship" game are the custom order watches from Patek Philippe. John is a die, die-hard believer in Lemania-based Pateks, and in particular the 5004. He has them in all metals (including steel) and a few special dial configurations, but his prized 5004 is this example in white gold with a salmon colored dial that dates back to 2013. What's more,*the hands are luminous – so he can read them on stage – and both the caseback and clasp are engraved with his name. Badass.
It’s no secret among my watch collecting friends that I love the ref. 5004. I love this one even more – a unique version featuring a salmon dial and luminous hands. This is the watch, above all others, that makes me want to live a little differently with it on. This watch has better taste than I do sometimes.
john mayer
Audemars Piguet Concept GMT Tourbillon In White Ceramic

Some watches are meant to be worn by rock stars and others by normal people. This is the former.
AP's concept line is something that few outside those with sincere interest in the most avant garde technical watchmaking understand because frankly, look at this thing. This is anything but normal. In fact, this watch, first seen in 2014, features a twin-barrel, manually wound, completely in-house movement featuring a tourbillon escapement. Did I mention the upper plate, bezel, crown, and pushers are all in white ceramic? This should not be confused for anything but seriously high-end watchmaking, and John can be seen wearing this guy on stage with Dead & Co. often. Seriously.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked Self-Winding

This is another AP Concept, but with an innovative peripheral rotor.
The second AP Concept in the John Mayer collection is an even more serious watch. This thing is a chronograph and tourbillon that is powered by an incredible rotor that is on the very periphery of the movement. There isn't much else out there like it, and this is among the most interesting, high-end self-winding movements in the world.
It remains to be seen as to what line in the sand CODE 11.59 draws in the lineage of Audemars Piguet, but this watch definitely represents the golden era we’re still very much in when it comes to complicated variants of the Royal Oak. Hard to get more over-the-top technical than this piece.
john mayer
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin Tourbillon

There is just something about a gold bracelet on a gold case on a gold dial. Don't you think?
Mayer is a serious AP guy – and he's got a wide array of traditional,slim Royal Oaks (including this amazing monochrome early perpetual calendar seen in his recent GQ shoot). This slim, gold-on-gold tourbillon is among his favorites, and if you see him around LA, there is a good chance this will be what he's wearing.
Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116719BLRO In White Gold

The white gold Pepsi is ripe to be a cult-classic. And we bought them together in the Spring of 2015 after a few drinks over lunch.
John and I are always looking for modern Rolex watches that might turn out to be cult classics – and there isn't a better example of this than the white gold Pepsi. It couples blue-chip vintage Rolex vibes with that red and blue bezel, but in an 18k white gold case. One must remember that this watch was, for some period of time, the only Pepsi-bezel GMT being made by Rolex. The gold Pepsi is still in the catalog to this day, but as of 2018, available with only a blue dial, and as of 2019, with a meteorite dial – the black has been completely phased out. What's more, in the spring of 2015, John and I were both going through some big professional changes and we decided to grab lunch in New York to celebrate them. After a few drinks and some big talk, we ended up at the Rolex boutique on Fifth Avenue and both ended up buying these watches.*
Patek Philippe Ref. 5164A Travel Time Aquanaut, Tiffany-Signed

This watch was seen in Talking Watches Episode 1, which originally aired in fall of 2013.
Now, in this episode, we made a point to show some of John's most serious stuff, but it's important to note that every single watch he showed us half a decade ago he still owns. Many of them he continues to wear all the time. And this, a 5164A travel time Aquanaut seen in that first episode five years ago remains part of the regular rotation. Now it dons one of those impossible-to-find green straps and a few more nicks to the bezel, which make it looks even better.*