Want more insider watch coverage? Get Box + Papers, GQ’s newsletter devoted to the watch world, sent to your inbox every Friday. Sign up here.
The Goldfinger of reggaeton, Bad Bunny knows how to rock a shiny watch.
From a solid-gold Submariner to a rare wooden Day-Date to all manner of precious-metal ladies’ timepieces, the singer-songwriter-rapper-producer born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio has a confident, carefree style all his own, and certainly doesn’t conform to trends. Indeed, despite (presumably) easy access to the hottest watches in the world, he springs instead for more left-of-center picks.
Poking out from under a cuff during Milan fashion week was an 18K yellow gold Cartier Santos “Carrée,” possibly from the mid-1980s. Though the Santos is a familiar model within the Cartier (and greater horological) pantheon, this particular model, a reference 829600, is notable for its completely iced-out looks, which include a factory pavé diamond-set dial, a diamond-set bezel, and a stunning, matching yellow gold bracelet with diamond-set screws. Worn with jeans, a simple white dress shirt, and a knitted beanie, it simply oozes ‘80s cool—though, to be fair, anyone who isn’t one of the biggest streaming artists in the world might have a tougher time pulling it off its blinding silhouette.
Bad Bunny’s watch comes packed with over a century’s worth of history. In the early 20th century, Brazilian aeronaut Alberto Santos-Dumont conducted pioneering flights in airships around Paris. A member of the Parisian elite, Santos-Dumont was friendly with none other than Louis Cartier, who presented him with one of the world’s earliest, dedicated wristwatches — the watch we’ve come to know as the Cartier Santos-Dumont. Housed in a rectangular case and featuring a simple dial with Roman numerals and, originally, Breguet hands, it preceded the Tank by a handful of years. (It’s also considered, despite its dressy looks, the world’s first pilot’s watch.)
Reintroduced in stainless steel in 1978 as the Cartier de Santos, it became known as the Santos Carrée (French for “square”) and was quickly joined by editions in two-tone, precious metals, and the diamond-studded example worn by Bunny. Famously worn by Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, it became a symbol of power and wealth — a connotation that it continues to carry today, albeit in less potent form given the Tank’s pervasive presence in the zeitgeist.