It is undeniable that gangsters have always had a penchant for luxury items, beautiful cars, homes, and watches are no exception.
Reflecting their wealth and status as criminal leaders, some of these watches have become famous not only for their beauty and sophistication but also for their association with iconic mafia figures.
Certainly one of the most famous mobsters in the world. Known for his extreme violence but also his taste for luxury, the guy had treated himself to a platinum Patek Philippe pocket watch with his initials in diamonds. Capone was already ahead of the game in « icing » his watches well before our favorite rappers. This watch eventually fetched a handsome sum at auction. A true badass watch that must have been with him in both the best and worst of times.
FUN FACT :
Over the years, mafia bosses have also worn a variety of luxury watches, from Rolex to Cartier and Patek Philippe. These watches were often personalized with engraved messages or symbols that reflected their status in the mafia. Some of these watches have even been presented as evidence in trials against mafia bosses.
A famous example is Tony Soprano, the protagonist of the HBO series « The Sopranos. » (best TV show ever) In the series, Tony wears a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date with a gold President bracelet. Nicknamed the « President’s watch, » this watch is a symbol of his wealth and status as a godfather. Although the watch is not explicitly linked to Tony’s criminal activities, it is a symbol of his power and influence in the mafia world.
Ultimately, mafia watches are a reminder that wealth and power have always been associated with luxury items. While these watches are often associated with controversial figures, they continue to attract the attention of collectors and watch enthusiasts for their history, design, and symbolic meaning.
John Gotti, in the vein of Tony Soprano but in reality, it’s hard to do better. Gotti was the boss of the Gambino family. Known for being a shrewd strategist but also for his flamboyant style, he didn’t break the rule of luxury watches. Gotti was seen several times during his hearings wearing a magnificent Piaget on his wrist. This one certainly had to be a Piaget Ultra-Thin reference 9765. With his tailored suits and crazy cars, he needed something as powerful as Piaget on his wrist.
Jiro Yanagawa, the ultimate boss of the Yakuza. Getting information about one of the world’s most secretive mafia organizations is no easy task, let alone on the biggest « boss » they’ve ever had. Known for their tattoos, chopped pinky fingers, limousines, and sharp suits, the Yakuza have a fascinating romantic side.
Known for solving problems with a katana and infamous for their extreme violence, Jiro had an incredible « pimp Californian » side. He was probably wearing my holy grail of Nautilus watches – a 3800/108 reference in yellow gold, set with diamonds from the bracelet to the dial, with ruby indexes at 6/9/12. We’re talking about a factory watch here, not some cheap aftermarket space from NYC.
Imagine the scene at its peak when the Yanagawa clan had several hundred watches. Seeing a team arrive in black suits with a boss wearing this on his wrist must have been something to behold.