Aaron Rodgers is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of American football. He was a first-round draft pick, and in his first year as a starting QB, he went on to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. Over the course of his nearly 20-year career, the four-time MVP has proven time and time again that he’s mastered the sport. Now, it looks like Rodgers may have found his second calling. On Monday night at the LVMH Tower in the heart of Manhattan, Rodgers unveiled his first timepiece, collaboratively designed with Zenith and aptly named the Chronomaster Sport Aaron Rodgers.
The partnership between Rodgers and Zenith began amid the pandemic back in 2020 over none other than a Zoom call. A mutual friend connected Rodgers with Zenith’s CEO Julien Tornare, and there was instant synergy. “It was really natural from day one,” says Tornare. “On the Zoom call after five minutes, we started to have a strong connection. I had asked Aaron about his journey because to me, that’s the most important: how people take their dream and work very hard to reach it. We have our ‘time to reach your star’ brand philosophy, and we look for people who embrace it perfectly—Aaron is one of those people.”
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With the timing of the initial connection, the pair undoubtedly faced some roadblocks, but they kept the conversations going about how they might work together. Ultimately, things really took off as soon as international travel resumed and Rodgers was able to visit the Zenith manufacturer in Le Locle, Switzerland, an immense stretch of roughly 9,300 square meters across 18 buildings where the brand has called home since its founding in 1865.
“When I finally came to Switzerland and got to tour the factory and meet everyone on the team, the partnership really sunk in,” shared Rodgers. “There, I got to learn how the watches are made. I got to put together one of my own with all the parts in Zenith’s watch clinic, and we began talking about doing something like the watch we’re launching tonight.”
At first glance, it may seem like the sport of football and the art of watchmaking have little to nothing in common. However, Rodgers was a natural at drawing on his experience as a pro athlete and bringing that spirit to watchmaking. The Jets quarterback is a perfectionist on and off the field. He has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history at 4.52, holds the league’s lowest career interception percentage at 1.4 percent, and the highest single-season passer rating record of 122.5. He approached the design of his first watch with the same level of precision and meticulous attention to detail.
“Aaron did very well at watchmaking, and I think this took him a bit by surprise,” said Tornare. “My product team and I loved his level of involvement. Sometimes when a watchmaker does a collaboration with an ambassador, they just want the brand to make the watch and talk after. But Aaron was really on top of it every step of the way—he would share his preferences or ask for more time to think about a particular aspect, and we’d meet again in a few days. Every detail he approached very carefully.”
After 15 months of tireless work between Rodgers and the skilled team at Zenith, the Chronomaster Sport Aaron Rodgers was finally born. The choice of the Chronomaster Sport collection was a natural jumping off point for the collaboration—it’s an iconic watch for the brand and the sport category was a fitting link for the NFL player. The 41 mm stainless-steel model debuts a green ceramic bezel and complementary lacquered dial and date window for the first time in the Chronomaster Sport family. The color green is particularly significant for Rodgers, representing both the roots of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers and his current team, the New York Jets. For Rodgers, finding the right shade to honor his past and present was key, and for Zenith, that meant matching the different materials of the dial, bezel, and date window.
The watch really serves as an ode to Rodger’s career, telling the story of his personal journey. While the green color scheme is the most obvious, you’ll find “more subtle Easter eggs throughout,” according to Rodgers. Take for instance, the golden tip of the central chronograph hand, which is perhaps another nod to the Packers or perhaps the California Gold of Rodger’s alma mater, the University of California, Berkley. Flip the watch over and you’ll find an homage to the player and his current team with a unique sapphire caseback emblazoned with the Jet’s QB’s “AR” logo.
Despite his perfectionism, Rodgers didn’t let it get the best of him, but it certainly pushed him out of his comfort zone. “One of the biggest challenges was accepting that there’s such a finality to a project like this,” he admits. “Once the watch is made, it’s made. It’s out there on people’s wrists. Maybe we’ll do another iteration down the road, but the first is always going to be the first. But in the end, you have to release a little of that control and that perfectionist mentality and trust in working toward something that makes you feel good.”
Rodgers is, of course, no stranger to working under pressure, so the weight of this finality didn’t derail him in the process. He says his gut told him when the watch was finished and ready to be presented to the world.
“I remember getting off a Zoom call with the team at Zenith, and I turned to my agent and said, ‘I think we’re at a good place, I think this is it,’” described Rodgers. “The folks at Zenith are so kind, and I’m thankful for their patience with me! Because I wanted this watch to be perfect, and in the end, it turned out even better than we expected.”
The all-new Zenith Chronomaster Sport Aaron Rodgers is priced at $12,800 and will be available at Zenith’s physical and online boutiques around the world starting November 2. This limited edition is produced in just 250 pieces, and as one final Easter egg, Rodgers personally signed each box.
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