Behind the scenes

Athletes and their watches

Here are some of the best watch- and time-related quotes from sports personalities from around the world about their love for watches and how it all started.



Maria Sharapova, tennis champioN

I never took things for granted, I always fought each and every point of a match, and I always worked as hard as I could to pursue my dream of becoming a professional tennis player.

And as a tennis player, being on time is key. Not only on time for matches or interviews, but also on time with my physical and mental preparation for a tournament. Watches are also a great accessory, they can complete an outfit in a fashionable way, dressing it up or dressing it down.

There is something quite ambiguous about time during a match. It feels suspended somehow in between points, and then, the second the ball is served, it feels completely accelerated until the next point. This mix of suspension and super acceleration is a unique feeling when any control of time is impossible.

I wake up in the morning thinking about my next match, my next tournament, my next challenge. I have been playing at the professional level for almost 10 years and I still love what I do, I have a passion for the competition. I hope this never goes away.

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova

Tom Brady, NFL Quarterback

The right watch looks and feels good, is functional, and the technology and craftsmanship behind it is interesting and something to be appreciated.

For athletes, many sports plays require timing that literally comes down to a fraction of a second.  Part of being a great player is keen awareness of time.  And awareness of time is also important beyond the playing field!  A professional athlete’s life is so highly scheduled, that it practically requires military discipline to keep pace.  I depend on my watch to keep myself on schedule.

Danica Patrick, former IndyCar and NASCAR driver

I have found something that I love to do, so the fact that I have a passion for my job and enjoy it is half of the battle. The rest of it is the challenge of accomplishing things and setting goals and seeing them through. The best feeling is the feeling of accomplishing a goal from just a dream.

Time is about the only thing that is important on a racetrack. The first thing I do when I get to the track is to try to see how quickly I can get around it, so I am looking at my lap times and trying to make that number smaller and smaller.

I am a girl and I like to have a watch that matches every occasion. I have really enjoyed being a part of the development process of my Tissot limited edition watch every year.

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick

Dan Marino, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback

When you look at successful people, it’s about having a passion and a love for what you do. You have to want to be the best you can possibly be. That was instilled in me early on. When I watched my father, who was a truck driver and worked extra jobs on weekends, it was a great lesson and example for me. You have to have talent, but talent doesn’t always do it, you have to have the hard work too. I love football, and after playing, it was natural for me to do television, which allowed me to stay close to the game.

To me, I like the look and the style of watches, and I like what I feel comfortable wearing. I like having a watch that other people might not have.

One of my first watches was a Rolex, which I won for Rookie of the Year. After that, Mark Levinson of Levinson Jewelers really got me into watches. I’ve been working with them for more than 20 years.

I don’t really have a favorite watch. I am wearing a Frank Muller Master Banker right now, but I have Panerais, IWCs, Audemars Piguets — I love them all.

Dan Marino
Dan Marino

Bode Miller, champion downhill skier

Time is compressed for me on the slopes. When I am fully immersed in the run and I let myself go and let my mind and body fill up in the moment, then it feels like time is super compressed. I can’t believe that so much happens, the techniques, the decisions and more, in the minute or so I spend coming down the mountain.

My first watch was a Timex Ironman. I thought it was the coolest thing, with the stopwatch and the alarm and the light. The performance of a watch is important to me, as my life is on a rigorous schedule. With Hublot, it’s the first time I’ve liked a watch as a watch. I love the materials and the size, because I have big wrists. I wear, of course, my limited-edition Big Bang.

Bode Miller
Bode Miller

Laird Hamilton, surfing legend

I am part fish, so I don’t like to wear jewelry. I do need a timepiece, however, so I can make sure of how much time I have in the surf. Now that I have a family, I have to be places on time.

Chanel sent me a couple of J12 Marine watches, and when I found out they were Laird-proof, I believed in them. If something is going to break or get in the way or malfunction, I’ll find out just by doing what I normally do. Aesthetically, the J12 Marine is a nice-looking watch. The functional aspects, like the way the band is designed without pins, which means it really fits my wrist well and stays on in the water. Chanel took everything away and got to the simplest aspects — tell the time and give me the date – which I really like. The durability is perfect, because it works in my life.

When you ride a wave it’s the only place, I know that time doesn’t exist. There is no beginning or end, it’s just a continuation to the next wave. During the act of surfing itself, when you are in that moment, there is no time. You are just there.

Laird Hamilton
Laird Hamilton

Landon Donovan, soccer player

I’ve always had a fascination with watches, but I didn’t know that much about them. I try to align myself with companies that I like and want to be partners with. I got to speak to the people there at Seiko and they are really great, and I am lucky to be involved with them.

In games, when we are losing, time goes by really fast. When we are winning, it can’t go by fast enough. When we are up by a goal, time really drags. It’s just the way our mind plays with time.

I like the fact that soccer doesn’t have a scoreboard clock because we stay in the moment, we aren’t watching the clock all the time.

I’m pretty Zen about my career — every day, I want to be the best I can be. The reality is that if I do that, the rest will fall into place and I will get full enjoyment out of my career. If I am engaged when I am on the field, I have all the tools to be successful.

Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan

Stefanie Graf, tennis champion

From a young age I’ve always loved wearing a watch and even played my matches wearing one. For me, all my watches have great memories attached to them. I can look at each one and remember how I got it or from whom.

My first watch was a Mickey Mouse watch that I won during one my first tournaments at the Goofy Junior Tournament, a series of Tournaments that Disney put on. Now, the Longines Conquest is a favorite of mine — it’s a beautiful combination of sport and elegance.

Tennis offered me many amazing experiences and opportunities. My time now is dedicated to my family and making a difference in children’s lives with my foundation, Children for Tomorrow. My partnership with Longines provides me with the opportunity to continue giving back and connecting with people that care.

Stefanie Graf
Stefanie Graf

Rafael Nadal, tennis champion

I love my Richard Mille RM27 Rafa Nadal that Richard created for me; it is only 18 grams and it is very comfortable to wear. I think it is very special. It took two years to develop and it has my name on it, which is why I wear it all the time. I think watches are the jewels for men and in the end, you always need one to arrive on time to places.

I am a very organized person in my work and for me it is important to get to places on time when people are waiting for me. I have to be at matches on time, but also practice, interviews, photos shoots and more.

I love the sport of tennis — I enjoy every minute I am playing. It is a lot of fun. I think I am a lucky person to be able to make a living doing what I like to do.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Patrick Dempsey, actor and competitive driver

A friend of mine explained to me how watches were put together and why they were so expensive. I started really appreciating the craftsmanship. Everything is about time when you are racing, so watches have a real meaning for me. I love the technology, the style and the aesthetics of watches.

On the set, I am painfully aware of how slow things move. I am locked in a gilded cage. We have a huge ensemble and I’ll come in and do one scene then I am in my trailer waiting. When I am actually working in a scene, time flies, but when I am idle, it drags like you would not believe.

Time is that precious commodity that I share between my professional life and my personal life, and I never seem to have enough of it. The older you get, especially when you have children, you see how quickly time goes by.

Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey


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