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Tyler, the Creator is Rescapement's 'Collector of the Year'
We still on the boat!
Let’s start with the album. Back in June 2021, Tyler, the Creator released his sixth studio album, “Call Me If You Get Lost.” It’s a certified Rescapement slapper, dripping with luxurious references that might make 2010s Kanye or Jay-Z blush. In fact, the album feels more like an aesthetic than merely music — it’s modern yacht rock but way cooler than your dad blaring Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” — it’s yacht rap or yachtcore.
In the first 30 seconds of the album, he blusters “Geneva water the best,” so it’s also pretty clear Swiss excellence is on Mr. The Creator’s mind. So one might expect a litany of references to Patek, Rolex, or AP, the way one often does in a rap album such as this.
But Tyler’s luxurious references aren’t the ones you might find on a typical album. No, he’s already seeing around the next corner, and then the next one. No iced-out (or Tiffany) Nautiluses to be bragged about here.
Now, let’s talk about the watches. By now, it’s well known that Tyler’s been wearing his Cartier Crash hard for the past year or so. While he can’t be credited with popularizing the Crash among the rap group — that distinction lies with Kanye — he’s taking the trend to its logical conclusion.
“Keep your Patek, I spent that on art,” he raps on Lemondhead, hinting that he couldn’t care less about those hyped Pateks.
Tyler’s showing that the most thoughtful people in the room aren’t even buying Pateks anymore. Listen, with all the grumbling around waitlists, watches selling at 4x retail, etc., sometimes all it takes is a guy like Tyler to tell it like it really is. Spending $100k on a Patek that sells out of the boutique for $30k is stupid, full stop. It’s not an investment, it’s not long-term thinking, it’s not anything. Tyler brags about being a “true connoisseur,” and the real ones like him are opting out of the system entirely.
Guys like Tyler, they spent that on art.
But! Tyler still loves his watches. “The Cartier so light on my body, thought I floated here,” he raps on Hot Wind Blows, after bragging that he just landed in Geneva.
In his music, he still boasts about watches, just not the big, bold watches you might associate with a celebrity like Tyler. For him, it’s small, elegant Cartiers that are worth bragging about. Being a true collector means thinking differently than everyone else. Sure, Tyler’s music has always been a bit different. And now, his watches are too. And I absolutely love it.
And he didn’t stop at the Cartier Crash. He’s also been spotted wearing a vintage Must de Tank Cartier. In the 1980s, Cartier introduced the Must line as the brand’s affordable alternative to its mainline Tank Louis or other, more expensive models. For a guy like Tyler, it’s the perfect mix of high-low, and shows you don’t need to splurge on a Crash to make vintage Cartier look d*mn good.
Things got crazy from there. Tyler was spotted at Monaco’s ‘88 Cartiers’ auction in October, snapping photos with John Goldberger (above), and from the looks of it, snapping up a few watches too.
Since that auction, he’s been seen wearing a vintage Cartier Obus that looks to have come from the sale. The watch is immediately recognizable thanks to its large yellow gold bezel with blue enamel Arabic numerals.
Let’s just step back for a minute and think about how cool that previous sentence is: One of rap’s biggest stars showed up at some watch auction, casually snapped a photo with one of the most famous watch collectors (John Goldberger, see photo above), and, oh yea, decided to bid on (and win) a couple lots, too? What other celebrity is at that level? It’s a cherry on top that he’s not bidding on the headline lots (which, by the way, he definitely could), but on low-key, moderately priced watches.
And that wasn’t his only auction win. Since Monaco, he’s also been spotted wearing a vintage Cartier Coulissant, a tiny baguette-shaped watch with a protective sliding window that conceals the dial. It’s another off-the-wall addition to Tyler’s growing Cartier collection.
So there you have it — Tyler’s got at least four vintage Cartiers in his collection:
Cartier Crash (1991 Paris Limited Edition)
Must de Tank Cartier
It’s a hell of a collection, and Tyler’s a long way from his Casio-wearing days, but it’s obvious that the same IDGAF aesthetic still permeates his every Cartier purchase. More than a mix of high and low, I think of Tyler as a cultural omnivore, someone who draws inspiration from all aspects of the culture. And that’s what makes him our Collector of the Year.
Tyler, please email me your address to collect your prize for being named the Rescapement Collector of the Year. Congrats, and we can’t wait to see what Cartier you pick up next.
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