As far as elaborate gatherings of Hollywood elite go, the Oscars are a surprisingly tough place to sniff out wristwatches. Every man shows up in a tux tailored just right, with a crisp shirt peeking slightly out of its sleeves—and usually concealing the fine wristwear underneath. It isn’t until the ceremony really starts going that the watches appear from their hiding places. Award winners raise their arms in triumph, embrace their A-list peers, and—if you’re Antonio Banderas—you blow a kiss and in the process show off your watch. While Timothée Chalamet, who is typically watch-allergic, tweeted before the event he had a “ROSE GOLD PRESIDENTIAL ON MY BONEY WRIST,” the elastic cuffs on his Prada outfit kept the watch out of sight all night. For the watches we did get to see, keep reading.
Kanye West’s Ikepod Hemipode
To the Vanity Fair afterparty, Kanye West wore what he recently described as his "favorite watch.” The piece comes from cult-favorite brand Ikepod, which was the brainchild of designer Marc Newson until he exited the company in 2012. Newsom is a renowned industrial designer who has worked on everything from aircraft cabin design to furniture to the Apple Watch. In a press release from 2007, the brand described its Hemipod as “proof that one [who wears it] is attuned to an avantgarde statement of sophisticated taste,” adding that it’s a design “which will look even better in twenty years than it does today.” 13 years in, we’d say that promise is right on track.
Spike Lee’s Rolex GMT-Master II
Over the weekend, Spike Lee was officially inducted into Rolex’s Art Initiative program. Mentoring the future of Hollywood is great. But getting access to amped-up Rolex GMT-Master IIs, like the rose-gold “Root Beer” on Lee’s wrist, might be even better.
Antonio Banderas’s Bulgari Octo Finissimo
Banderas’s Bulgari Octo Finissimo is one of the thinnest watches in the world, with the case’s depth clocking in at only 5.15 millimeters. That post-juice-cleanse thinness makes the watch a perfect date for an awards show: the watch fits neatly underneath the sleeve of a tux and shirt, or can easily slide out when Banderas needs to blow someone a kiss.
Rami Malek’s Pasha de Cartier
Rami Malek is taking his love of Cartier watches into uncharted territory. The actor has long worn different Tanks and Santos models, but at the Oscars he wore a vintage piece from 1993. Louis Cartier originally designed the round Pasha all the way back in 1932. It was the result of a personal request from the Sultan of Marrakech Thami El Glaoui, known as the Pasha of Marrakech, who wanted a watch he could wear while swimming in his pool. (Is that really too much to ask?) Accordingly, the Pasha was Cartier’s first waterproof watch. The model was then made available to Cartier’s upper-crust clientele, originally advertised as, “The powerful new watch for a powerful few men.” Now, it’s worn by Hollywood royalty.
Oscar Isaac’s Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th-Anniversary Limited Edition
Omega’s greatest claim to fame is that its speedmaster was on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist when he touched down on the moon in 1969. Omega went all out commemorating that milestone on the 50th anniversary of the successful mission last year. One of the special-edition watches is this stainless steel model featuring a drawing done in 18-carat gold of Buzz Aldrin disembarking Apollo 11.
Colin Jost’s Tag Heuer Monaco
Colin Jost has worn this funky-for-a-red-carpet Tag Heuer Monaco for the bulk of this year’s award season. The super-square Monaco is a watch with deep roots in racing, and one on every collector’s wish list because it appeared on Steve McQueen’s wrist in the 1971 movie Le Mans.
Taika Waititi’s Panerai Luminor
Another watch that bucks the black-tie watch dress code. Like Jost’s Monaco, Waititi’s Panerai Luminor was originally made for professionals: it was invented in 1949 to meet the increasingly difficult demands of the Royal Italian Navy. The Italian divers needed a watch that could hold its own underwater in extreme conditions and was also extremely legible—hence those Hulk-sized numerals. But over the past few years the watch world has been dominated by sportier models like the Luminor, Monaco, and even GMT elevated with gem settings or precious metals to fit right in at red carpet events. And that’s how a watch originally made for Italian Navy members doing a-diving ends up on an Oscar winner’s wrist.