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A Watch Idol Encounter: Flavor Flav

A Watch Idol Encounter: Flavor Flav ABTW Interviews

In 1986 a man had a genius idea to wear a clock around his neck. That man was Mr. William Jonathan Drayton Jr. otherwise known as the musician Flavor Flav. This remarkable idea became a signature look of his on and off-stage persona. So much so that one today cannot separate the man from the clock. In 1984 Flavor Flav was part of the new musical group Public Enemy. Who, in the latter part of the 1980s helped usher in the era of hip hop and rap into the mainstream through socially aware songs and a energetic sound which offered a suitably fascinating contrasting sound which complimented rock and roll as the music of choice for an entire generation.

Unbeknownst to himself, Flavor Flav is a frequent topic of discussion and reference point in the watch lover community. His large, neck-worn timepieces offer a fantastic comparison point when attempting to phrase, in real-world terms, the hyperbolistic size of a large wrist watch.  Without this cultural icon, watch lovers everywhere would be ill-equipped to comment on their love or disdain for wristwatch sizes. It was a blessing to have met this man in person, and it has allowed me to cross off a huge neck-worn-sized check off my life’s bucket list.

A Watch Idol Encounter: Flavor Flav ABTW Interviews

A Watch Idol Encounter: Flavor Flav ABTW Interviews

It was not difficult to recognize Mr. Flav. The clock worn around the man’s neck was one that I had recognized from numerous performances and videos. Indeed, he was a vintage clock lover such as myself, with this piece clearly being a 1980’s original. I had to wonder where he acquired it. Such a device was extremely rare in that time, whereas comparatively today, large novelty-size clocks meant to be worn around one’s neck are easily available at your local timepiece emporium (or so I hear).

Currently in his 50’s, Flavor Flav still comes across with the charm and innocence of a younger man. Despite his popularity having been part of Public Enemy, reality television, and pop culture, he is still what I would consider a shy man with a quick and genuine smile. On each of his wrists was a watch. He is truly a supporter of the timepiece cause it seemed. Interestingly enough he doesn’t describe himself as a watch aficionado. Flavor Flav has yet to be educated on high-end timepieces for serious timepiece appreciation. I found this to be a curious fact given the man’s long and enduring history with timepieces.

One watch he pointed out to me was a gold-toned Invicta. He didn’t know much about it aside from the fact that it was a gift. He proudly wore it enjoying its large size and loud-style that complimented his own unique fashion sense. On the other wrist was a watch constructed from a mix of steel and wood parts. Few watch lovers are brave enough to “double wrist it,” yet fashion bravery is nothing new or unwelcome to Flavor Flav.



A Watch Idol Encounter: Flavor Flav ABTW Interviews

Seeing an opportunity to educate this legendary man on something he was clearly passionate about I pulled over a nearby gentleman who was wearing a limited edition Hublot timepiece. Lucky for me it was a particularly interesting model that gave me a lot of talking points. While I was at an event for Hublot, not all the people there were guests of the brand. Mr. Flav does go where he pleases. The watch was the gold version of the Hublot King Power Red Devil limited edition watch for Manchester United. Flavor Flav was not familiar with the brand, but that is OK – at least he keeps time very close to him. My mind began to wander with possibilities on who might prove best to partner with Flavor Flav as a brand ambassador. Hublot was far too obvious a choice. It needed more bite, more of a connection to Flav’s own story and status as a legend. It would have to be Vacheron Constantin and none other.

A Watch Idol Encounter: Flavor Flav ABTW Interviews

Flavor Flav did not believe me when I told him that the King Power Red Devil watch contained hour markers made with actual grass from Manchester United’s stadium in the UK. However, upon being assured of the accuracy of my statement by those around me, I could see a sparkle in Flav’s eye that told me there might be a high-end watch lover inside of him yet.

It dawned upon me that Flavor Flav may have played an instrumental role in the success of the “large watch” that has popularized the last decade by so loyally showcasing a truly “oversized” timepiece. A man such as himself is more often than not, ahead of his time. In all likelihood he is not even aware of the influence he has had on the watch industry and timepiece enthusiast community. To Flavor Flav I once again say. It was a distinct pleasure to have met you, and thank you.



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  • Beau Hudspeth

    I could see that his watch was an Invicta Subaqua Noma 3 at first glance. But why oh why would one choose an Invicta when there are so many better choices for the stupid wealthy?

    • PGL

      Beau Hudspeth I think I read in there that it was a gift.  As good a reason as any to wear a watch of any brand, especially if you subscribe to the ‘It’s the thought that counts’ school.

  • MarkCarson

    Huh? Who? Never heard of this guy before. Guess I’m too old and too rock and roll.Maybe I’ll create a fashion look by wearing a clock as a hat. Devo meets Hublot (or Timex), ha ha.I’m with Beau on stupid wealthy. “Go with mo’ bling when you know nuthing ’bout da thing”.

  • Kris C

    Stupid wealthy? Too much ignorance floating around here today.Even if you’re not a fan of the music, this guy is a legend. He hasn’t beenrelivant for many years, and he’s still one of the most sampled people in music.So much so that modern songs have bites of his stuff and kids have no idea, theythink it’s original. Chuck D, Flava Flav, Terminator X, and the S1W… takes meback.He was given the Invicta as a gift – good for him for wearing it. I’m suresomeone importnat in his life gifted it upon him. I’d like to think that no onethat cares about me would be foolish enough to buy me an Invicta (given all theendless blabbering I do about watch crap to anyone that will listen), but if itdid happen, I’d certainly wear it. And anyone else that received such a giftfrom (Mom, Wife, Girlfriend – whatever) and had thier nose too high in the airto be caught wearing it is just a pompous ass deserving of ridicule.Anyway, bad watch, but awesome guy – someone I too wouldn’t mind having abeer and a chat with. A true giant in the influence of one of the biggestcomings of new music. And almost any brand should be falling over themselves tohave an ambassador like this – he’s loyal as hell to what he believes in, and asloud as can be about it.

    • MarkCarson

      Kris C  I realize I was probably too hard on the guy. Wearing a gift is gracious (but not necessarily in good taste). Ariel wonders aloud who Fav should be a brand ambassador for. Obviously, it’s Invicta.

    • MarkCarson

      Kris C  I realize I was probably too hard on the guy. Wearing a gift is gracious (but not necessarily in good taste). Ariel wonders who Flav should be a brand ambassador for. Obviously, it’s Invicta.

  • joeprez

    I agree with Kris,  I may not be a hip hop fan, more of a alternative rock guy (think soundgarden, nirvana, etc)… but this man is a legend and he did help shape hip hop and rock and roll. Ariel, keep trying to educate him in high end watches… hell, invite him to the podcast!

  • proto99

    So what f he wants to wear an Invicta? this reads like your saying ,”oh Flav you have money, dont wear that watch you enjoy, insted buy something stupidly priced, (with GRASS in it 0.o) because since you have made money you need a status symbol.”

  • Panagiotis

    I’m with Mr. Flav and Ariel’s side on this one. As mentioned before the man is a legend and any well rounded music fan must at least appreiate his contribution to his genre. I’m not the biggest hip hop fan but respect must be given where it’s due.Also not everyone needs to be a watch connoisseur to have fun with watches and can instead appreciate them for their style and bling factor. On a side note, a very influencial ship magnate that i have met on numerous occasions with a forture in the billions, has been wearing a Casio plastic watch for the past 20+ years–when he could be wearing a Patek in the bathroom…Nothing wrong with that in my book, and nothing wrong with enjoying your invicta or whatever watch makes you happy!

  • I could excuse the Invicta, and people calling Flava “stupid wealthy” are just showing their own ignorance for at least two reasons, but what’s up with leaving the arm tag on that purple tux?Also, loved the post – but the third paragraph made me wonder if Ariel wound up smoking some of that “Manchester grass” before writing this (which, quite frankly, wouldn’t be inappropriate given the subject matter).

  • shinytoys

    I met Flav a couple of times when his career was on fire, and he was and is a superstar. Also married to Brigettte Nielson. I spoke to hime for about 15 minutes, we had a record and stereo store at the time, he was promoting his band. The most unassuming gentle guy you could imagine. The Invicta is perfect for him, the largeness fits him. He won’t buy into the mega-dollar watch nonsense, it’s just not him…I wouldn’t buy a 100,000 watch either, I’d prefer driving mine, no grass, just that funky little prancing horse on the hood…

  • themoviegoer

    yeaaaaaaaah boyyyyyyyy!!!

  • WatchLords

    Flaovor flav is one of those people who had their 15 minutes pass and now tries to borrow 15 minutes from others. His taste in watches is suspect but that Invicta is crap.

  • Beau Hudspeth

    Just to set the record straight: by ‘stupid wealthy’ I mean ‘stupid wealthy’ NOT stupid & wealthy. Even if he has no $ left, he has made more then I ever will, that = ‘stupid wealthy’. 
    On Invicta: I have had 6. 3 died in less than 3 months and one was DOA. I have 1 left and gifted the rest away. My father has 8 and 6 have had issues; so I know of what I speak when I say ‘there are so many better choices’ … even if you spend as little as twice the cost of that SBN-III. Gifted or not, with continuous use, I can not see it lasting as long as it should. 
    It would not surprise me at all if even Eyal Lalo does not wear them except where he would be noticed as Invicta’s CEO. After all, the man has a private jet and a Bentley as his standard more of transport. I know this because I friend got to chat with him for a few as they were together in the private concourse. So, driving a Bentley with a $230 SBN-III/IV hanging out the window? Probably not. 🙂

  • DG Cayse

    Kudos to Mr. Adams for providing a glimpse into an aspect of the horological qworld that, quite frankly, most of us would never think of, much less achieve….(golf clap).
    It is rare indeed for most of us to meet a personage such as this who boldly displays his large love to the world of all things time.  true pioneer in the ‘large clock love’ that is an important part of the time world. 
    He does this with a panache’ all his own – Much as he boldly wears the marque tag of his bespoke suit on his left sleeve for all the world to see and appreciate.
    Its excursions on this ‘path less traveled’ that truly does help us all understand the many wonders of the watch world.
    (remove tongue from cheek)

  • aBlogtoRead

    @B0SK1 we need a “new watch for Flav” fund

  • aBlogtoRead

    @JCKmarketplace I was very moved by the experience!