It’s difficult to think of two more diametrically opposed people on the planet than The Pope and Tyler, The Creator. Or so we thought. When it comes to affordable horological devices, it appears the pair share a common thread.
The current Pope Francis might not drip like his predecessor Benedict (if you remember, the Vatican had to deny the latter had a penchant for Prada slippers, giving us the immortal quote that “[The Pope] is not dressed by Prada but by Christ!”) although he certainly knows his way about a sensible watch. Whereas Pope John Paul II indulged in a $6,000 Rolex Datejust and the steezy Cardinal Ratzinger remained loyal to his German roots with the Black Forest-brand Junghans, the current Papa prefers a plastic Casio MQ24-7B that can be purchased on Amazon for $15. $15! That’s cheaper than most editions of the bible.
Francis isn’t the only power name to opt for a down to earth Casio — Bill Gates, former FBI director Robert Mueller, and former Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have all been seen wearing differing models by the Japanese brand in recent times. Then there’s Tyler, the Creator, whose go-to watch is the similar Casio MQ24-9B, an unfuckwithable option that can be identified by its vintage-looking, yellow face. It’s about as low-key you can get — there are no spinning roulette wheels or aligning planets to be found here. Quite simply, it’s a watch that tells the time and will check out with most outfits.
Of course, the IGOR star has never cared much for sticking closely to the hip-hop hymn sheet. Some rappers are unable to go, like, a verse without mentioning their penchant for Patek Philippe or Rolex, but you get the feeling that Tyler would rather blow his cash on a new McLaren than something by A. Lange & Söhne that ends up gathering dust in a vault. It also checks out with his impeccable personal style. This is a guy who isn’t afraid to mix and match, wearing a Chanel bag with Dr. Martens or a Louis Vuitton scarf over a Supreme coat. The Casio is crispy clean and looks good; he doesn’t need something to overtly telegraph his status or wealth. Funnily, it’s likely the same line of thinking that informs the Holy One’s decision to wear his.
If there’s one caveat, it’s that — as you’d probably assume — a Casio won’t last you a lifetime. They’re kinda like the fast food of watches. I’ve been wearing them for the best part of the last decade and usually re-up every year after the strap inevitably comes apart (for something in the same key but slightly more robust, it’s worth looking into the likes of Timex, Swatch, and Braun). Still, thanks to the quartz crystal inside, they keep fantastic time. Not only that, but these babies are water-resistant, meaning you needn’t worry about accidentally leaving it on in the shower. For someone with an active lifestyle, it’s the perfect cop.
See Tyler and Pope Francis’s models directly below, followed by some additional recommendations from our curatorial team.