While most publications use their line of questioning to inquire about a new album from John Mayer, The New York Times has chosen to focus on the singer/songwriter's growing interest and obsession with wristwatches - with a collection valued in the tens of millions. “I think you’re born a watch person,” Mayer told the Times. “Even if you don’t own a watch for a while, you either get it or you don’t.”

Calling his Rolex Explorer II his first "real" watch after getting a check for his 2001 breakthrough album, Room for Squares, Mayer has since found other favorites like the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, Rolex Daytona Chronograph, Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph and Lange & Sohne Double Split. While a choice excerpt appears below, head here to read the piece in its entirety.

Moonlighting from his career onstage, he contributes to the influential watch site Hodinkee and has been on the jury of the venerable Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. In Hollywood, Mr. Mayer has become a go-to guy for other celebrities (Drake, Aziz Ansari) looking for advice on their watch purchases. His platform as a pop star, in fact, gives him a unique opportunity: to translate the insular world of fine mechanical watch collecting to the iPhone generation. Here is a guy who has jammed with the Rolling Stones and dated Katy Perry, after all, and who also knows how to accessorize a chief-executive-worthy pink gold Audemars Piguet with a tattoo sleeve. “John is something of a watch-nerd icon,” said Benjamin Clymer, the 32-year-old founder of Hodinkee, which features watch news and reviews catering to next-generation aficionados. “I think, in a lot of ways, John made it O.K. to really go deep into watches and not be embarrassed about it. I can’t tell you how many guys have come up to me at events and said, ‘My wife or girlfriend thought I was crazy for caring about watches so much, until I told her John Mayer was the very same way.’ ”

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