Paul Mescal attends the Gucci Cosmos evening Vernissage at 180 The Strand on October 10, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Gucci Cosmos)

What Paul Mescal did for silver chains and short jogging shorts he’s now doing for obscure Cartier timepieces…

The holy trinity of watch collectors: archive, vintage, rare. Any combination of these traits can make the difference between something that is merely a watch – no shame in that, though – and something that is a wearable piece of history.

Trust everyone’s favourite sensitive leading man Paul Mescal to be spotted rocking a timepiece that claims all three. And not even for one of those rare night red carpet moments. Sham was wearing it to the pub while relaxing with Foe co-star and fellow Irishman Saoirse Ronan.

Paul Mescal, Cartier,
Image: Instagram/thecinegogue

The watch in question is the Cartier Tank Square Incurvée, also known as the Tank Faberge, and is a rare variant of the classic Tank timepiece first created by Louis Cartier in 1917.

Paul Mescal, Cartier
A close up of the elusive Cartier timepiece. Image: Instagram/thecinegogue

The Tank Square Incurvée was introduced back in the 1960s, a novel expression on the Tank’s timeless symmetry. Its features include a tonneau-shaped case with rounded corners and a simple white dial with Cartier’s signature black Roman numerals and railroad-style minute track.

According to Cartier, despite the extreme nonchalance of Mescal’s styling and setting (although if you ask me that is the perfect way to wear a watch such as this), that specific Tank Square Incurvée comes straight from the Cartier London vintage watch collections.

Vintage, archival, rare.

Not the actual watch worn by Mescal, but this piece from the Cartier Collection provides an insight into the subtle dimensions of the original Cartier Tank Square Incurvée design. Image: Cartier

Since his breakout role as the bookish Connell in Normal People, the 27-year-old from County Kildare has become a close friend of the Cartier brand.

At the Vanity Fair Young Hollywood event, Mescal’s stylist Felicity Kay chose for him a black Wales Bonner suit, a black tank top, Christian Louboutin shoes finished with the minimalist perfection of a black-and-gold Cartier Tank Louis. Later again, a Cartier timepiece contrasted with a Gucci logo suit–another brand that Mescal has now boasts ambassadorial rights for–worn with a simple white tank top.

Paul Mescal, Gucci, Cartier
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 13: Paul Mescal attends the “Aftersun” UK Premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at the BFI Southbank on October 13, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for BFI)

Traditionally a fan of understated design, Mescal has dipped his toe into show-stopping styling when the need arose. Two of his companions for the 75th Annual Cannes Film Festival, for example, were a Pasha de Cartier Grille in 18K yellow gold and a Santos-Dumont in 18K white gold that almost overshadowed his own presence on the red carpet​.