Today is Kanye West’s 42nd birthday, so I had to write a little something about the producer, rapper, fashion, and cultural legend.
Last year when Kanye West made a trip to JP Morgan Chase in New York, I spotted what I thought looked to be a Cartier Crash on his wrist. Ye later confirmed with a Twitter post, and I wrote about how the watch was all too fitting for Kanye. His first single was recorded weeks after he was in a near fatal car crash, and urban legend has it the Cartier Crash’s distinct shape was the result of a similarly unnerving crash. I wrote at the time:
A vintage Cartier Crash in gold, on Kanye’s wrist. For a guy not known for his watches, it’s a remarkably tasteful choice, proving once again that Kanye sets his own trends and doesn’t pay attention to what others are doing or wearing. For a guy that recently rapped “fuck a watch” the Crash truly stands out in a world of diamond-set Pateks and Rolexes. In a year that saw Kanye produce an album titled Daytona and Lil Uzi Vert rapped for 6 minutes about his “New Patek,” a Cartier Crash is a welcome change of pace.
It seems that Cartier Crash might be Kanye’s daily wearer at this point. David Letterman interviews Kanye in the first episode of season 2 of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.” Kanye shows Dave around the West-Kardashian estate and Kanye flaunts designs by Axel Vervoordt, name drops Takashi Murakami, and shows off his own Yeezy clothing line. But amidst all the design and high culture, the thing that caught my eye most was a little more subtle: Kanye’s watch. He was again wearing the Cartier Crash he tweeted about last year. In a room surrounded by Yeezy streetwear, it’s a striking contradiction. But on Kanye, it works. We also know Kanye’s a Cartier fan: the paparazzi caught him wedding band shopping at Cartier, buying Kim’s wedding ring from the iconic jewelry maison, and he’s even been known to rock a Love bracelet on occasion.
Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, also made waves with a Cartier purchase a couple years back. In 2017, Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank went up for auction, estimated to hammer between $60,000-$120,000. Some anonymous bidder went ahead and dropped $379,500, which TMZ later reported to be Mrs. Kardashian West.