Yesterday my colleague Walker approached me to ask about the Patek Philippe reference 5790. He’d never seen one before, but he kept hearing about it in the song “Ric Flair Drip” on the current number one albumWithout Warning, by 21 Savage, Offset, and Metro Boomin.Â My answer to his question was pretty simple: There is no such watch. It just doesn’t exist. But after listening to the song once or twice, I began to doubt myself.
Obviously this situation caught me off guard. Surely the story had to be more complicated than it seemed. I started digging through the lyrics (major shout-out to Genius) and discovered that there are actually several watch references on the album. In fact, the word “Patek” is used a total of 15 times across the 10 songs, and there are multiple nods to Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille too. In “Nightmare” they even say “You got a Rolex / it outdated (who),” which made me doubt my entire existence to date (but that’s another story for another time). Back to Patek Philippe.
It appears that Patek Philippe is now the watch to own in the rap world. Over the years, it’s been all about Rolexes, Franck Muellers, Hublots, Richard Milles, and now the watch brand du jour is Patek Philippe. In 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West told us that “Bueller had a Mueller / but I switched it for a Mille cause I’m richer,” in “Gotta Have It”; and Pharrell (who is not stranger to fine luxury timepieces) raps with French Montana in their song “Bring Dem Things,” “Y’all be Bapein’ / I be human-made and / y’all be APin’ / I’m Richard Mille nation / No Diamonds, just tourbillon facing / with gears and sprockets with sapphire casing.” Even on Without Warning, Offset raps: “I bought the plain Philippe / they said I was being too extra (plain),” implying that the new focus is on complicated, well-made timepieces, not diamond-covered watches.
Without Warning references several watches. The first time Patek Philippe is mentioned is in “Ghostfaced Killers,” when Offset raps,”Yeah, put on the Patek / poppin’ xannys, I’m an addict.” This is followed up with, “…love the Patek on my arm (Patek),” in the chorus. Later in the song, 21 Savage references an “Audemars Piguet flooded / got my wrist numb (bling).”Â
The next time Patek is mentioned is in the song “Rap Saved Me,” when Offset says, “We big like typhoons (woo) / Got fifty-nine eighty with moons (bust down).” Now, this can only refer to the diamond-encrusted Patek Philippe 5980 that Offset is often seen wearing. The 5980 is a modern Patek Philippe Nautilus chronograph, but there’s a problem here too: the 5980 does not have a moonphase. There is a modern Nautilus with moonphase, the 5726, which is an annual calendar too. Offset goes on to reference the 5980 again in the song “Still Serving.”
Then there’s the big one. The mysterious 5790. In the songs “Ric Drip Flair” and “Darth Vader,” Offset talks about his “5790” multiple times. The chorus of “Ric Flair Drip” is:
“Chopper with the scope so do not test me (drrt) yeah (drrt) / Ric Flair drip go “woo” on a b***h (woo) / Fifty-seven ninety split the coupe on my wrist (ice) / multi-million dollar, I’m a fool with the hits (ay).”
In “Darth Vader,” Offset further refers to having his “fifty-seven nineties on deck (seven ninety).” Neither me nor any of my HODINKEE colleagues had ever heard of a Patek Philippe reference 5790 or a reference 5790 produced by another watch brand when I put out the call yesterday afternoon. I took a look at Nicholas Foulkes’s Patek Philippe: An Authorize Biography, and even called someone very close to Patek Philippe to confirm that there was no super secret watch we’d just never heard of before. Both sources confirmed what we already believed to be true: A Patek Philippe reference 5790 has never existed.
What I do know is there is a 5970, which is a a modern perpetual calendar chronograph by Patek Philippe. The 5970 was first released in 2004 and was replaced by the 5270 in 2011, which we reviewed here. The 5970 is no longer in production but can be found at auction for estimates in excess of $100,000. Needless to say, it’s a pretty niche and horlogically-savvy watch to rap about.Â
There’s one more layer to the story. Digging through Instagram accounts and doing a few Google searches, I also couldn’t find any photos of 21 Savage, Offset, or Metro Boomin wearing a 5970. That certainly doesn’t mean that none of them owns one, it’s just interesting that the 5980 chronograph seems to get the most wrist time when the 5970 gets so much love on the album.
The real take-away here though is a simple one: Watches have become more mainstream than ever, and even though Patek Philippe is known for being the most traditional brand in high-end watchmaking, it has now found its way into pop culture. Who knows why the lyrics on Without Warning ended up the way they did, maybe it’s an error or maybe it’s just creative license.
Or maybe they really are rapping about the 5790. And Raymond Weil is about to blow up big time.