How did you personally get started down this road?
I’m not really a collector of anything, really. I’m not really into, like, collecting art, or wine, or cigars, or cars. I collected baseball cards when I was a kid. I bought my first IWC when I was 24 and have been collecting watches ever since then. Now I probably have 20 or so in my collection.
Do you remember what that first model was?
It must have been a GST of some form—it was just a badass steel watch with a light-colored face. Definitely not white, but more of a gray face. And it was probably the watch that I wore for five or six years. It rarely ever came off my wrist, and I still wear it today. I had it serviced, and I know a lot of watch collectors don’t like getting them refinished, but for me, I like them looking nice.
Yeah, the refinishing thing is big for provenance, but you’ll be okay. I think watches owned by Tom Brady are going to be fine. They’ll have great provenance.
Yeah, hopefully I don’t sell them, which I don’t think I ever will. These will be hopefully in my collection for a long time.
Or pass them down.
Yeah, if these kids earn it. These kids better freaking earn it. I’ll tell them that.
That watch you got when you were 24—did you buy it to mark a specific occasion, or did you just need a watch?
I hadn’t really had any watches. I had a watch I was given because whenever we’d go to bowl games in college, they would give you a watch as a gift. When I went to the Rose Bowl in 1997, they gave us a watch. I don’t even remember who made it, but I gave it to my dad. I was drafted by the Patriots in 2001. I was making, at the time, a lot of money: $185,000. I thought I was rich. And then my second year we won the Super Bowl, and I signed a new contract. So it was the fall of 2002. We played a game on Thursday night [against the Detroit Lions], I think on Thanksgiving. Then I flew to New York City with my friend [former Patriot] Lawyer Milloy, and we went to the Tourneau store on 57th Street.
I bought this IWC as really my first watch ever. I paid, like, eight or nine grand for it, and it was more money than I’d ever spent in my entire life—on a watch. And I couldn’t believe that I would ever spend that kind of money on a watch. Now watch prices have gotten totally out of control. I still love having that watch in my collection. It’s a great reflection of a great time in my life.