Tyler, the Creator is a man of exceptional taste.
The rapper, fashion designer and agent provocateur has been shaping youth culture and style for the best part of a decade. From popularising brands like F***ing Awesome and Supreme in the early 2010s to almost single-handedly reviving ‘preppy chic‘ in the late 2010s/early 2020s, Tyler’s always been ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion.
In recent years, the tastemaker (real name Tyler Okonma) has also discovered a passion for vintage cars – collecting rare and tasteful rides like his Fiat 131 Abarth, Lancia Delta HF Integrale and immaculate BMW E30 M3 – as well as a keen eye for vintage watches.
His latest timepiece purchase is yet another indicator of his exceptionally good taste. Tyler was spotted wearing a rather rare and unusual vintage Cartier at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s annual Art + Film Gala earlier this month: a Cartier Tank Obus Quadrant. It’s a model that even seasoned watch fans might not have heard of, but one that’s definitely worthy of our attention.
One of the more unusual incarnations of the famous Cartier Tank, the Obus is a perfectly square watch, topped and tailed by so-called ‘fancy lugs’ for a little visual flair. The Quadrant variant of the Obus (which is sometimes considered a model line in its own right) features a thick bezel with Roman numerals flanking a smaller, detail-less dial.
We have it on good authority that Tyler’s watch is actually Lot No. 10 from the recent 88 Cartier auction held by Monaco Legend Auctions on the 16th of October earlier this year. Dating from the 1980s and boasting a quartz movement under the hood (much like the profligate Must de Cartier Tanks from this era), its blue champlevè enamel numerals contrast strikingly with the watch’s yellow gold case and red leather strap.
We also know how much Tyler paid for the thing, too: €9,100 (not too shabby). The Tank is one of the most iconic dress watches of all time, but the Obus Quadrant is a rather obscure choice. Really, it’s peak Tyler – especially the fact that he picked it up at swanky Monaco auction, likely himself, rather than just some jeweller. Nicely done.
Tyler’s got a real taste for Cartiers, it seems. He also owns a Santos-Dumont as well as a rare Cartier Crash. Like his Obus, they’re all yellow gold on leather straps. He might be an endless innovator, but he sure appreciates a classic combination…