It’s easy to get a little weary of seeing young celebrities flashing variations of the newest and nicest watches at awards shows, which is why it’s so exciting to see One Direction star Harry Styles sporting a reference 4332 stainless steel, late 1940s/1950s-era Rolex at the American Music Awards. Although heritage looks are currently all the rage in watch design, owning an actual vintage model helps the singing sensation stand apart from his teen idol cohorts.
Styles’ watch is notable for its fancy Tear Drop lugs, streamlined markers, silvered dial with sub seconds and dagger-style baton hands—this timepiece was as flashy as they came in the ’50s. At the same time, wristwatches were much smaller back in the day (we’re estimating that this one measures around 34mm), so the design feels elegant and understated compared to modern models.
Inside is a manual wind Precision movement (the Precision line was Rolex’s non-chronometer certified collection, which was discontinued around 1990). While vintage calibers will never be as accurate as a brand new movement, there’s something about owning a piece of horological history that makes up for a mechanism running a few seconds fast or slow.
Context is crucial with retro watches. The contrast of Styles’ tattooed and tattered style paired with a classic timepiece lends him hipster credibility. Wear the same watch with a well-tailored suit and you’d have the look of old money.