It is unclear whether or not John Lennon actually owned a Patek Philippe watch. But two snapshots and a rumor suggest he did, and that’s enough for Hodinkee to chart “the John Lennon Patek Philippe 2499”—alongside the more tautologically documented “Paul Newman’s Paul Newman” and “a president’s President”—as one of the world’s greatest missing watches. With a lock on the long tail of the wristwatch obsessed since 2008, Hodinkee serves collectors, enthusiasts, industry heads, and the horologically curious with opinion (is the Apple Watch even a watch?”), platform (semi-public collectors “Talking Watches”), profiles (brands and stuff), and the general lay of the land in pieces such as “IN-DEPTH: Twelve Of The Greatest Missing Watches” from June 2014. The article is essentially a listicle and we get an image for each entry, but it's not for the sake of visual content alone. Here, the images come first. The images are catalysts for the watch's value and appeal; they offer proof of physicality, and, in binding celebrity to watch, set forth exceptionalism due to celebrity pre-ownership.
Each is as A-list as Lennon (Picasso, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando), so the image is easily got (a studio portrait, an actor’s headshot, an Apocalypse Now).