Kanye’s Cartier Crash Is a Legendary Piece of Design
Welcome to Watches of the Week, where we’ll track the rarest, wildest, and most covetable watches spotted on celebrities.
One look at this list, or any previous round-up of A-lister watches, will tell you exactly what famous dudes tend to gravitate toward: showy Rolexes, impossible-to-miss Richard Milles, gorgeous Patek Philippes. But if we can count on Kanye West for anything, it’s not doing what everyone else does. So it was only a mildly pleasant surprise to see him wearing the melted, distorted, straight-out-of-a-Dalí-painting Cartier Crash on his wrist while touring David Letterman around his house. Beyond Ye, though, this week was full of refreshing timepiece choices, including ones made by NBA superfan Barack Obama and a guy who’s chock full of surprises in Jake Gyllenhaal.
Kanye’s Cartier Crash
Legend has it that in 1967, Jean-Jacques Cartier, then the head of Cartier London, got inspiration for the Crash from a scorching car wreck that either a customer or manager of a Cartier shop was involved in. Cartier allegedly recovered one of his brand’s timepieces from the crash and found it had changed shape, oozing out in different directions from the heat of the blaze. Kanye knows iconic design when he sees it, and has a certain affinity for art inspired by car wrecks—you might say that it is the “Through the Wire” of cult-favorite timepieces.
Barack Obama’s Fitbit Ionic Watch
Barack Obama, freed from the suited-up stateliness required of him as president, has been getting some major fits off this year. His “44”-embroidered Rag & Bone bomber jackets was one of the most discussed style moments of the year. Last weekend, he appeared at Raptors-Warriors game two in a leather jacket and a very pragmatic timepiece choice. Behold his $250 (but on sale for $200!) Fitbit Ionic that, according to the product’s listing, gives the former POTUS fitness guidance and health insights.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s Cartier Santos
Back in the 19th century, if a pilot wanted to check the time, he had one of two choices. The first was to do the incredibly daring and dangerous act of taking one hand off the stick to rummage around for his pocket watch. The second option was to take said pocket watch and MacGyver a strap to fasten it to the wrist. This grated on the celebrity pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont, who brought his complaints to a buddy named Louis Cartier in 1906. Cartier whipped up a proper wristwatch for Santos-Dumont and the first men’s timepiece made specifically to be worn around the wrist—the Cartier Santos—was born. 113 years later, Gyllenhaal wore the model out at an event celebrating the new Broadway show “Sea Wall / A Life.”
Andy Ruiz’s Rolex Datejust
Andy Ruiz, the new heavyweight champion of the world, showed up to Jimmy Kimmel Live! with a belt-worthy timepiece. Ruiz, of course, is the new-to-the-scene, unfathomably large boxer who has captured our hearts. The Datejust, meanwhile, is a classic that never, ever goes out of style. The yin and yang of those two elements is really working here.
Drake’s Patek Philippe 5740 Nautilus Perpetual Calendar
After putting together a string of extremely over-the-top and very Drake timepieces, the rapper came back down to earth this week. He wore a Patek Philippe Nautilus to the red-carpet premiere of “Euphoria,” the new HBO series he executive produced. Drake and his watch collection contain multitudes: one-up Drake wears limited-edition Richard Milles, fanboy trash-talking Drake wears iced-out customized Pateks, and executive producer Drake apparently keeps it classic in a reference 5740.
Jay-Z’s Rolex Day-Date II
Jay-Z’s appearance at Game Three of the Finals made headlines for other reasons, but we shouldn’t ignore his watch entirely. The rap world’s first billionaire wore a Rolex Day-Date II in very crisp platinum. A round of applause for A-plus matching: head-to-toe black outfit plus black-dial Rolex equals a can’t-miss ‘fit. Now remake The Black Album!