“I have always been a big fan of watches,” says Reggaeton star J Balvin, the 31-year-old Colombian rapper and Billboard cover star. As the new celebrity ambassador for Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer, Balvin will join the ranks of other timepiece connoisseurs including DJs and producers David Guetta and Martin Garrix, and even rock band One Republic.
“Watches are about status,” Balvin tells Billboard. “A watch shows how you want to look, or how you want people to look at you. It expresses something, like my hair.”
And similar to Balvin’s iconic ‘do — which has consistently changed over the course of his musical career from a brunette crew cut to a rainbow bowl-cut and everything in between — the singer refuses to stick with just one look. Once he earned enough to score a serious timepiece, Balvin picked up a beefy Hublot, which ranges anywhere from $5,500 into the millions (for perspective, Beyonce gave Jay-Z a $5 million, diamond-encrusted “Big Bang” for his 43rd birthday in 2012.)
Currently, Balvin’s watch collection includes pieces from over 150-year-old Swiss watch manufacturer, Patek Philippe, precise and contemporary styles from the highly technical Richard Mille, and, most recently, a TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T tourbillon in titanium (starting at $15,900), which he wore for the announcement of his TAG Heuer partnership in February.
This is the first Latino artist chosen to represent the brand, and that sentiment is not lost on Balvin. “I am grateful,” he said. “Music is art, and making watches is art, too.”