Daniel Kaluuya's Cartier Is a Watch From the Future

Murray Clark
·2-min read
Photo credit: Handout
Photo credit: Handout

After a fallow year, the best-dressed guests at the Oscars kept it largely classic. There's nothing more glam and exciting and ceremonious than donning a tux. You look like everyone else, sure. Though you also look like a heightened version of yourself; a masculine ideal that was born in a New York enclave for the city's high and mighty, and cemented with every passing James Bond film.

But it's all a bit dated isn't it? That combination of black tux, white dress shirt and a permanent Pan Am smile as the father of bride speech slowly bludgeons one into a catatonic state from which you may never recover. And don't forget the dress watch: the classic, white on black mute option that's supposed to be as homogenous as the stuff on your back.

Photo credit: Cartier
Photo credit: Cartier

At last night's ceremony, Daniel Kaluuya proved that the Old Ways are indeed just that: old. And tired. And aching. A bit like the Oscars! Instead of joining the flock of penguin suits, the 32-year-old went for Bottega Veneta – or 'New Bottega', the brand's social media sobriquet as defined by creative director Daniel Lee's taste for slightly languid and very sexy clothing – and decided to pair with Cartier jewellery, a skeletonised Santos de Cartier watch.

Cartier, of course, is a maison built on the very notion of golden age Hollywood glam, but it's also capable of idiosyncrasy. Switzerland isn't as antiquated as you'd think. Kaluuya's choice riffed on the 2018 ref. WHSA0007: a stainless robowatch that firmly placed Cartier's gaze towards the horizon. Produced in stainless steel, the skeleton watch gives its wearer (and everyone else) a behind-the-curtains tour of the 9611 MC calibre; a vaunted manual movement that gives the watch 72 hours of juice, and one so ornate and complex that it's far too handsome to be hidden under a painfully muted white dial.

It's not typical red carpet fodder. And try as the Academy might to keep things rooted firmly in tradition, guys are taking more risks in what they actually wear to Hollywood's biggest event – like LaKeith Stanfield's Saint Laurent Seventies jumpsuit, and Leslie Odom Jr's holy trinity of outfit changes, and, of course, Kaluuya's neo-Cartier. They're paying off.

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