Talking Watches: With Don McLean

By Cara Barrett

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If you’ve never caught yourself singing along to “American Pie” by the legendary Don McLean, then you’re doing it all wrong. If you are unfamiliar with the American ballad, stop what you’re doing, Google it right away, and take a listen. McLean wrote the iconic song back in 1971 and it spent nearly two months at the top of the Billboard charts before going on to collect innumerable accolades, the most recent being selection for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress (not to mention being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004).


Since the stratospheric success of “American Pie,” McLean has had a few more hits, such as “Vincent,” and “Driedel,” and he continues to tour the world performing today. A few decades ago, McLean discovered a love of watches and began to build his collection, buying his first watch while on tour in London around 1990, a gold-plated Rolex that he used to lull his baby daughter to sleep. Later, he added to his collection, which now ranges from elegant Patek Philippe Calatravas to sporty Rolexes to a more robust Chopard “Mille Miglia” chronograph. He likes picking up watches from his local dealer in Palm Desert, California, as well as scouring pawn shops for unexpected finds. No matter where the hunt takes him, he’s always sure to be a wearing a watch on stage while he performs. So, without further ado, this is Talking Watches with Don McLean.



Blancpain Villeret Complete Calendar 6595


When chatting with McLean about some of his favorite timepieces, he was quick to point out that he likes watches that are both a little dressy and easy to wear. He immediately pointed to this early Blancpain Complete Calendar with moonphase in two-tone steel and yellow gold as one of his most beloved. This complication is a staple of the Blancpain brand and one that has seen many iterations over the decades.



Cartier Tank Fran├žaise


Another favorite of McLean’s is the Cartier Tank Fran├žaise in stainless steel. First released in 1996, this classic watch is one that McLean frequently wears on stage due to its legibility and its traditional look. In fact, it’s the watch he chose to wear on stage while performing at …read more      

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