The 2021 World Series is in full swing as America’s Pastime takes its place at the top of the United States’ national sports pyramid at the end of October. Tapping into baseball’s historical mystique as well as the star power of its greatest players, several watchmakers have produced timepieces that celebrate this uniquely American game. Here are four watches (and one really cool watch-adjacent accessory) that speak to baseball’s enduring appeal.
The Oris Roberto Clemente Limited Edition pays homage to legendary Pittsburgh Pirates player and renowned humanitarian Roberto Clemente. Its white dial with black-and-gold accents is inspired by Clemente’s Pirates uniform colors, and its 40-mm stainless steel case with screw-in security crown has a solid engraved caseback with a relief image of the Hall of Famer along with the watch’s limited edition number out of 3,000 pieces inspired by Clemente’s historic achievement as the first Latino player with 3,000 hits. Equipped with the automatic Caliber 754, which powers a GMT function, the watch is mounted on a brown leather strap with double stitching similar to that used on baseballs. More details here.
The Pennsylvania Series 801 “Baseball in Enamel,” launched in 2014 by Lancaster, PA-based RGM Watch Company, takes its cues from a rare 1892 American Waltham Watch Co. pocketwatch with a special baseball-themed enamel dial that Watch Company founder Roland Murphy discovered while touring the National Watch and Clock Museum. After a three-year search, Murphy found an expert craftsman to re-create the grand feu enamel dial, depicting miniature baseball players at the hour positions, for a wristwatch. Behind that masterfully executed enamel dial is RGM’s in-house Caliber 801 movement, with classically shaped bridges, polished and blued steel components, and an array of hand-finishes and decorations. The polished steel case, with its Keystone-shaped winding crown, is also made in Lancaster. For more details and photos, click here.
Released in 2012 and developed in collaboration with its namesake, Hall of Fame pitcher Randy “Big Unit” Johnson, the Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph, wears its baseball influences rather tastefully and subtly. It’s got a small baseball icon as the counterweight on the central chronograph seconds hand, and the bezel has the number “51” — Johnson’s uniform number — where the “50” would normally be. The words “Big Unit” and “Limited Edition” adorn the periphery of the subdial at 6 o’clock. The watch has a monochromatic “black on black” look, with accents of rose gold, red and blue on the dial and bezel. The case, which is made of stainless steel and coated with black rubber, is 45.8 mm in diameter and contains the self-winding Caliber UN-35, equipped with a 30-second chronograph, small seconds, and date indication and a 42-hour power reserve. Read more about the watch here.
During MLB’s 2019 postseason, Chicago-based Oak & Oscar rolled out a limited-edition watch developed in partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods — a timepiece with a clever complication aimed squarely at fans of America’s national pastime. The Ashland is named after the “Ashland Manufacturing Company,” the original name of Wilson Sporting Goods, longtime maker of sports equipment, accessories and apparel, including the official glove of Major League Baseball. Its 40-mm steel case is mounted on a strap made from Wilson’s proprietary A2000 Copper Pro Stock Leather and its dial is in a shade of green inspired by the grass of a baseball field, complete with white foul-line indices and a home-plate-shaped icon at 12 o’clock. The unique “inning tracker” rotating bezel hosts a 1-through-9 scale, with intermittent dividers for the top and bottom of each inning, which allows the wearer to keep track of the passing of innings during the game. To read more about this 130-piece limited edition, click here.
New York-based artisanal studio Berd Vay’e has forged a name for itself with its eye-catching sculptures, which cull movement parts from antique clocks, pocketwatches, and wristwatches from around the globe and encase them in Lucite, a virtually shatterproof precious resin. The aptly named America’s PasTIME, released at the opening of the Goldsmith & Complications watch salon in Florida this fall, springs from a partnership between the retailer, Berd Vay’e and Chicago Cubs slugger Ian Happ, Described by Happ as “a special intersection of baseball and horology,” it is a 17-inch miniature baseball bat cast in Lucite with an array of watch parts floating inside its barrel, along with chips from Happ’s own used wooden bats — the latter elements presenting a specific challenge, as they tend to crack or explode when exposed to the baking process that forms the sculpture. With each of the vintage pieces positioned by hand, this objet d’art is designed to be mounted for display on a bookshelf, desk or coffee table, limited to 30 pieces, and priced at $4,000 — a conversation piece that will draw admiring attention long after the last out is recorded in the World Series.
World Series Special: 5 Watches and Accessories Inspired by Baseball