The Best Watches at the Olympics

Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.

Watch obsessives like to argue that their favorite collectibles are better—or just more fun—investments than things like art and cars simply on account of portability. Art is stuck on the walls at home; cars can’t go into the restaurant or office with you. A watch, though, is always there on your wrist: at that business meeting, last night’s party, and, apparently, while you compete in the Olympic games. I’d like to see someone carry a Picasso during a 100-meter sprint! Below are the best watches from the 2021 Olympics

Noah Lyles of The USA competes in round one of the Men's 200m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Anadolu Agency
A steel watch with a red and grey face

Noah Lyles’s Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra-Light”

The bronze medal winner in the men’s 200 meter is an Omega man. This is a full-blown mechanical watch that weighs just 55 grams—just a little more than the weight of two AA batteries. Every bit of weight matters when 200 meter races are decided by tenths of a second.

Sydney McLaughlin of the United States competes during the Women's 400m Hurdles Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Xinhua News Agency
A black watch with a diamond encrusted bezel

Sydney McLaughlin’s Tag Heuer Link

McLaughlin is now the fastest woman ever to run 400 meters while gliding over a series of hurdles, finishing her race in a tidy 51.46 seconds. She did it with a Tag Heuer Link on her wrist, because if you can set a world record wearing a diamond-set watch you should absolutely do that.

Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar in action while winning the joint gold medal in the high jump competition
Tim Clayton – Corbis
A purple and white watch

Mutaz Essa Barshim’s Richard Mille

Richard Mille prides itself on the fact that its light-as-mousse watches won’t disturb even the most particular athletes. Fussy Rafael Nadal doesn’t mind wearing his Richard Mille during matches, Odell Beckham, Jr. brought his onto the football field, and Julian Alaphilippe, one of the world’s best cyclists, wears one on his bike. High jumper Barshim, who is presumably hyper-aware of what’s weighing him down, still takes his Richard Mille with him during liftoff. (Not to mention the sunglasses he swatted away after the jump that made him co-owner of this year’s gold medal.)

Rory McIlroy of Team Ireland plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the Men's Individual Stroke Play
Chris Trotman
A steel watch with a red and grey face

Rory McIlroy’s Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra-Light”

McIlroy barely missed out on a bronze medal at the Olympic golfing event, but at least he has this Omega as a consolation prize. Even if you’ve only watched a couple minutes of this year’s Olympics, you’ve no doubt noticed all the Omega signage, clocks, and stopwatches timing the events. The brand is the official timekeeper of the games but it has a strong case to make as the timekeeper of its participants, too—this won’t be the last time Omega appears on this list.

Sally Fitzgibbons of Team Australia reacts after winning her Women's Round 3 heat on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic...
Ryan Pierse
A steel watch with a blue face

Sally Fitzgibbons’s Breitling Aerospace EVO

Amazing image of Australia’s Fitzgibbons and her watch, a Breitling Aerospace. As the name suggests, this isn’t the most obvious choice for a surfing companion. Breitling even makes a watch called the Superocean designed to be dunked into the water. Instead, Fitzgibbons wears a watch made for the skies.

Rayssa Leal of Team Brazil reacts during the Women's Street Final
Patrick Smith
A rose gold apple watch with a lilac strap

Rayssa Leal’s Apple Watch

The most stylish event at the Olympics was undoubtedly the skateboarding. Great sneakers! Awesome big pants! And…watches? 13-year-old Leal won the silver medal in Olympic skateboarding while wearing an Apple Watch. If it needs any help counting steps, that’s a 10 stair she jumped over.

Nafissatou Thiam of Team Belgium competes in the Women's Heptathlon 200m
Cameron Spencer
A steel watch

Nafissatou Thiam’s Richard Mille RM007

Belgium’s Thiam just wrapped up back-to-back Olympic golds in the heptathlon, and her RM007 was along for most of the ride. Thiam was the first female athlete to work with Richard Mille and it’s hard to think of a better display of the watch’s versatility. The heptathlon is seven events deep—competitors sprint, jump, and chuck javelins—and while Thiam doesn’t wear the watch for every single one of her competitions, the watch is able to stick it out through almost anything.

Armand Duplantis of Sweden in action during his gold medal performance in the pole vault competition
Tim Clayton – Corbis
A steel watch with a red and grey face

Armand “Mondo” Duplantis’s Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra-Light”

There’s the ultralight Omega Seamaster again. It’s popped up on golfers, sprinters, and now a guy who uses a pole to fling himself over a bar raised to almost 20 feet. Duplantis, the gold-medal winner in the men’s pole vault, is yet another athlete unaffected by this watch. It speaks to how feathery this watch is that Olympians who will utilize every competitive advantage on earth are willing to take on more gear.

Devin Booker 15 of the USA Men's National Team arrives to the hotel on August 3 2021 in Tokyo Japan
Brian Choi
A steel watch with a red and blue bezel and black face

Devin Booker’s Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”

I’m cheating a little because Booker didn’t wear this watch while competing, but the “Pepsi” GMT is too nice to exclude. We’re used to stunning watches popping up before NBA games, but it turns out the tunnel walk is just as important at the Olympic games.