Photographs: Getty Images, Cartier; Collage: Gabe Conte
Jacob Elordi has a Cartier problem. The Saltburn star has been popping up in a wide array of the Parisian maison’s beautiful watches for months now—at film premieres, during talk show appearances, and as of this past weekend, while hosting SNL for the very first time. And while the young actor’s collection spans more than just Cartier—he used to be a brand ambassador for TAG Heuer—his recent obsession with the iconic jeweler falls right in line with the greater horological zeitgeist.
While the Tank has always been a symbol of quiet elegance and restrained design amongst the fashion set and creatives, the dainty dress watch took a back seat—in a big way—to hulking dive watches and chronographs from the late 1990s through, well, fairly recently. Now, however, not only are smaller watches back, but leading men are even experimenting with ladies’ watches. The 2020s really does seem to bear a faint, echoing resemblance to the 1920s in one respect: Small, shaped, precious metal timepieces are all the rage.
To be fair, the particular Tank that Elordi rocked on SNL wasn’t one of the daintier iterations of the beloved model—instead, it was a Tank Louis Cartier watch in the maison’s Large size, measuring roughly 25mm wide and rendered in 18-karat yellow gold. (This particular black-dialed, gold-cased model isn’t available in a smaller size, but similar gold-cased watches with quartz movements measure 22mm wide.) Granted, if you’re 6’5” like Elordi, the Large model is probably the way to go.
The thing that the Large size Tank models have going for them—for watch guys, at least—is their hand-wound movements. While it’s possible to buy certain Large models with quartz calibers, these wider pieces generally feature mechanical movements, whereas the Small models are all battery-powered these days. While this is sort of a shame if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool nerd who favors vintage designs with old-school, hand-cranking engines, the old maxim attributed to Andy Warhol largely rings true: “I don’t wear a Tank to tell the time…I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear.”
The Tanks that Elordi has been spotted with have run the gamut from vintage Louis Cartier models to modern Louis Cartier models to a diamond-studded Tank Must.
The wonderful thing about Cartier’s contemporary Tank collection is that despite an ever-changing lineup that seems to switch references in and out and dizzying speeds, there’s truly a Tank for just about everybody. So if you’re looking to cop the Elordi look, you don’t necessarily need serious coin to do so—and you should, if you can, because there are few watches on the planet more versatile and sophisticated.
Originally Appeared on GQ