What if you like watches, don’t like sports, but also don’t want to disappoint your partner who likes watching every sporting event on television? Well, you play nice, sit on the same couch, and watch the same screen, but instead of following the game, you create your very own called Spot the Watch. You can practice your skills during the last few football matches played in Germany for the UEFA Euro 2024, improve them during the Tour de France and Wimbledon, and be at the peak of your performance during the Olympics. And if enough people worldwide play along, watch spotting might become an Olympic sport by the time the 2028 Games in Los Angeles roll around.

Watch spotting during big sporting events can be a little bit like watch spotting during red-carpet events. There’s no real excitement because stars who are brand ambassadors wear the watches they’re paid to wear. There are no surprises there. The fact that some news outlets still treat it as breaking news that star X wore a watch from brand Y when everybody knows that X and Y have a signed contract continues to baffle me, but that’s another topic. I always find it way more interesting when brand ambassadors are “caught” wearing a watch they actually bought or like instead of the timepiece they’re contractually obliged to wear. But that’s another topic again. Back to the sporting events this summer and the watch spotting that you can do during them.


Challenge yourself with a game of watch spotting

During the football tournament in Germany that’s coming to a close soon, the Tour de France, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, a lot of watches are there for the spotting, so to speak, including easy ones, difficult ones, and everything in between. Let’s start with UEFA Euro 2024. Hublot sponsors the whole thing, so you’ll see the brand everywhere. The biggest Hublot you can spot is, of course, in the hands of the fourth official, who holds up the sign with the numbers of the substitute who comes in and the player leaves the field. He also indicates extra time with that big Hublot-signed electronic board.

Watch Spotting

Kylian Mbappé wearing a Hublot Big Bang during Watches and Wonders 2024

There are way more Hublots to spot, though. Kylian Mbappé is a brand ambassador, but he can’t wear his watch while doing his job. His coach, on the other hand, Didier Deschamps can. And you will see him wearing a Hublot while coaching. Speaking of coaches, Italian coach Luciano Spalletti was spotted wearing the Omega × Swatch MoonSwatch Mission to Neptune during the game against Croatia. That blue watch does match his blue jacket very nicely, I must say.

What goes for Mbappé also goes for Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar and record-breaking striker has been a Jacob & Co. brand ambassador for about 20 years now, so on his way from the team bus to the dressing room, you could spot an Epic X CR7 on his wrist. Here’s a top tip: watch Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne making his way from the bus to the stadium. The Manchester City player is a watch lover with classic taste.

Watch Spotting

Tadej Pogačar thinks about his next Richard Mille

Watch spotting during the Tour de France

I admit that watch spotting during a football match is not the most exciting sport. Sometimes you can spot a coach wearing something nice — there was a time when IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch was all the rage — but that’s about it. Finding a Lange 1 in a shot of the fans all dressed up in their nations’ colors is worth a gazillion points in the game of watch spotting, and it most likely will never happen. But because cyclists can wear their watches during the race, the Tour de France might be a better place for watch spotting. Two brands stick out here — Tissot and Richard Mille. Tissot is the official timekeeper of the world’s most prestigious bike race. Richard Mille sponsors the UAE team featuring Slovenian supercyclist Tadej Pogačar, who will try to bag the Tour for the third time after winning the Giro d’Italia earlier this year.

I’ve never spotted a Tissot watch on a rider’s wrist while riding or standing still. Richard Mille watches, on the other hand, have seen a lot of action, not just on Pogačar’s wrist but also on that of the “Manx Missile.” Mark Cavendish from the Isle of Man has won 34 “TdF” stages so far. That makes him a shared record holder. Legendary Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx also won 34 stages. But Cavendish bagging a 35th stage victory this year is not impossible. When he throws his arms in the air, look at his left wrist, and you might be able to spot a (lightweight) Richard Mille.

By the way, Cavendish is riding for Astana, a team from Kazakhstan, and one of his teammates is Alexey Lutsenko. Last year, I spotted him wearing a Jacob & Co. Epic X Skeleton in black titanium. He’s a brand ambassador but only wears his watch during the team presentation.

Last year’s Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz is a Rolex Testimonee — Image: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Watches on the court

Rolex dominates most of the world’s biggest sporting events, and Wimbledon is one of them. As the official timekeeper of the event and partner of a range of tennis stars, there’s no escaping the brand during the famous grass tournament. Carlos Alcaraz, last year’s winner, is a Rolex Testimonee, just like five-time Wimbledon champion Björn Borg and Swiss champion Roger Federer, who became the first to win 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. The Crown also can claim a long list of active players, such as Caroline Garcia, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, Holger Rune, Iga Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, Coco Gauff, Lorenzo Musetti, and Sloane Stephens.

But none of these Testimonees wear a Rolex watch while playing. There are quite a few players who do wear a watch while playing, though. American Tommy Paul, for instance, is a brand ambassador who wears his De Bethune DB28 LTC on the court. Bianchet ambassadors Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan and Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria also wear watches while playing. Is it a coincidence that Dimitrov’s countryman Andrey Rublev, who has a deal with Bvlgari, also wears a watch — a lightweight Aluminium Match Point Edition — during his matches? I guess it has more to do with the weight. But weight doesn’t matter that much as Polish player Hubert Hurkacz wears a not-so-very-light Gerald Charles ​Maestro GC Sport while playing. The sponsorship deal must help him carry the load.

Watch Spotting

Femke Bol winning with a 55g Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light on her wrist

The Omega Olympics

Yes, there’s more to the Olympics than track and field. This year, breakdancing is also part of the biggest sporting event in the world — that’s the reason I think watch spotting has a chance to also become an Olympic sport one day. Still, I will focus on Athletics, the group of events that involves competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking.  Omega is timing and registering everything, and the brand also has a long list of competing brand ambassadors.

There are quite a few favorites wearing Omega watches. Take Swedish pole vaulter Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, for instance. He’s the current world and Olympic champion and holds the world record holder with a height of 6.24 meters. Omega recently released a Mondo-inspired Aqua Terra in Swedish colors that he probably won’t wear while vaulting his pole. But he most likely will wear his 55g Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light, just like Femke Bol. The Dutch 400m sprinter and 400m hurdler will wear that titanium watch for sure. The lightweight and costly Aqua Terra has seen track time already and will see plenty more this summer.

Watch Spotting

Nafi Thiam wearing a Richard Mille — Image: Getty Images for European Athletics

Another lightweight watch with a big chance of winning a heavy gold medal is the Richard Mille RM 07-04 Automatic Sport on the wrist of Belgian heptathlete Nafi Thiam. The very successful Thiam has been a brand ambassador for RM since 2018.

Fratello wishes you a fun and sporty summer, and happy watch spotting! Please share your most surprising finds in the comments below. You won’t win a medal, but just like Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, once said, “The most important thing . . . is not winning but taking part.”