Wanna buy a watch from Randy Johnson for $15,500? No, this is not a desperate attempt by the Big Unit to sell some personal property on eBay in order to raise Christmas shopping money. He's doing just fine. Instead, the Ulysse Nardin company, an ancient luxury watchmaker from Switzerland, has teamed up with Johnson to produce a limited edition timepiece — The Big Unit — that almost nobody reading this can afford. Regardless, the endlessly fascinating Johnson apparently counts luxury collecting watches among his hobbies, so it was an organic progression to watchmaking.
It is a stunning 45.8mm vulcanized rubber case chronograph, on a rubber strap. The watch comes with a baseball autographed by Randy Johnson.
Rubber — get it? As in "pitching rubber." And they only made 100 of them because, of course, Johnson was famous for throwing 100 mph (and because of the whole $15,500 thing). You and I might not be able to buy it, but we can admire it from afar. And it's pretty cool.
Bon vivant blogger Dayn Perry of CBS Eye on Baseball notes an amazing feature of the watch: A little baseball at the bottom of the second hand. It was a touch suggested by Johnson himself. A-dorable. You also might note that the watch doesn't have a 50-second mark on the bezel, but instead a 51-second mark — because that was his uniform number for most of his career.
This is the gosh-darnedest baseball-themed timepiece since that ball with the mph readout that told you how hard you threw when you threw it. (Toys 'R' Us still sells it for $12.98!)
In the video below, Johnson gives a little more backstory as to why the heck he'd do this:
He was a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher. He takes pictures at NASCAR races. He consults luxury watchmakers. It's quite a little life the Big Unit lives.
Big BLS H/N: The New Yorker