Lenny Kravitz Wears a Watch to Stay Off His Cellphone

Photo: Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Lenny Kravitz has something up his sleeve. It’s not another tattoo, one of his sterling silver bangles, or even necessarily one of his bulging biceps. Instead, Kravitz has been flexing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch: a polished timepiece from the storied Swiss company for whom he is now the ambassador. 

The watch, which boasts a rectangular shape and sub-dial, is often seen on the wrists of suited men, from the gentleman models on the Jaeger-LeCoultre site  to slick horological fanatics on YouTube. At first, the Reverso might seem like the antithesis of Kravitz’s boho-rocker style, which includes his bursting-at-the-seams leather pants and those itty-bitty nipped vests. But look closely and the classic watch seamlessly fits into Kravitz’s look. At this year’s Academy Awards, Kravitz’s dramatic red carpet look included a black silk blouse with a diving neckline that grazed his abs, wide-leg trousers, and shiny black boots. Flickering on his wrist was the holy grail of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watches, the Reverso. 

Off the red carpet, Kravitz’s rotation of four watches have become part of his daily gritty-yet-glamorous look. “This watch blends so much with that,” says Kravitz, referring to his chest-baring, fringe-forward style. “Lately, I’ll wear these corduroy pants and ankle boots, whatever shirt I pick, and a leather jacket, and then the watch. That’s the uniform. I’m ready to go out into the world.”

Like many children of the ‘70s and teens of the ‘80s, Kravitz’s first watch was digital from Casio (“It was like witnessing the future”) but his true love of timepieces stems from his war journalist father, Sy Kravitz. While Kravitz was fascinated with his father’s watch, he wasn’t allowed to touch it (but did anyway.) “It was round and it had a chronograph on it, and I’d play with the stopwatch,” he says.  To this day, in Kravitz’s Paris home, he has a black and white photograph of his father wearing the watch at his newsroom job while the piece itself sits at the foot of the frame. 

Photo: Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

In an age of cellphones, using a formal watch to tell time can seem superfluous—a purely decorative luxury akin to fine jewelry. Kravitz, who is quite spiritual, notes that using his watch allows him to put down  his phone–and the distractions that come with it. ”I want to be dealing with the phone less, so I just have grown accustomed to looking at my wrist now,” says Kravitz. “I like to put it [the phone] down and not have it tethered to me. I got the watch and I can…be on time.” He certainly needs his full concentration to focus on his upcoming album, in which he’s reworked songs from his childhood. 

While Kravitz wears his watches religiously, don’t expect to see him performing in it anytime soon. “As much as I love them, the stage is not the place for them when I am playing music,” he says. “I have no concern of time when I’m doing that, but in life, yes.”