Usually, I don’t type out profanity in this publication — we’re too tasteful for that. But for the sake of this post, we’ll have to once: Fuck.
Watches are typically much to tasteful or conservative to use one of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on TV, which makes it all the more exciting when they do. Here are a few examples of watches that have been modified — subtly or not — in ways that say “f*ck it.”
I love watches that make an edgy statement, making much of the (conservative) industry throw up their hands and say “that’s not real watchmaking!” Watches need to be more fun, younger, and edgier. F*ck it!
‘F*ck ‘em if they can’t take a joke’ Cartier Tank
First up, perhaps the classiest of the bunch. On the front, this is just a normal Cartier Tank. Nothing special: yellow gold, Roman numeral dial, you know the icon I’m talking about.
But flip it over and you’ll see perhaps the most bad*ss engraving of all time: F*ck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.
This particular Tank was gifted by filmmaker John Landis to the producer for one of his films. Landis is famous for, among other works, Animal House, Blues Brothers, and apparently, the “Thriller” music video. It’s quite the varied filmography, and obviously the man also knew how to gift a watch.
I say this Tank might be the most classy of the bunch for a couple reasons. First, I love a good caseback engraving. A good engraving tells a story. Second, it leaves the watches itself all original. It’s not swapping in a f**k em dial or other aftermarket parts. Sure, I love a good bussdown watch, but sometimes an original Cartier Tank with a subtle engraving will do just fine.
‘F*ck 9-5’ Cartier Santos-Dumont
F*CK 9-5. Speaking of a bussdown watch. This 1980s Cartier Santos-Dumont was painted by New York artist Travis W. Simon in collabration with Foundwell for a collection with fashion brand Moda Operandi.
Of course, it doesn’t have the subtly of the engraved Tank, but this Santos-Dumont makes a f*ck you statement all its own. Is it art? Is it tacky? Does it matter? All I know is I absolutely love it.
The example pictured here sold for GBP 13,000 at Watches of Knightsbridge in November 2021.
Supreme ‘F*ck Em’ Rolex Submariner
Finally, a f*ck em watch from the original f*ck em brand: Supreme. This is a Rolex Submariner with that subtle red detail above 6 o’clock. Supposedly made for Supreme friends and family in 2013, this Submariner was customized by Bamford and never offered for sale publicly at the time (a few examples have popped up for sale on the internet since). It’s also got the Supreme logo engraved on the caseback.
I love the choice of red text — obviously an ode to Supreme’s red color, but it also evokes vintage Red Submariners and feels somehow true to Rolex.
The example pictured here was sold by Justin Reed in 2021, originally listed for $100k. Back in 2015, one sold for $50k.
Rescapement is a weekly newsletter about watches. to get profane content like this straight in your inbox, subscribe now: