5 World Leaders and Their Preferred Wristwatches
All of us have been given the same 24 hours in a day. Some of us go on to make incredible achievements within the time available to us. While some others sit dazed at the edges of our beds every night, wondering where all the time of the day went, and why we have so little to show for the time we had. There could be many reasons for it. However, most people who have achieved anything big in life have done so because, apart from the commitment to their chosen field of activity, they have perfected the art of time management.
Let us take a peek into the choices of watches seen on the wrists of 5 of the greatest world leaders of all times. Their watches speak a lot about their punctuality, conscientiousness, commitment and of course their sense of style and personality.
Barack Obama- TAG-Heuer Series 1500 WD1211
For the world and for America, history is divided as ‘before’ and ‘after’ Barack Obama became president of the USA. He brought in a never-seen-till-then kind of charisma to his chair and was respected world over for his political, professional and personal values. From the time he was a senator till the time he hit his campaign trail for presidency the watch he wore as a daily wear for almost 15 years was a TAG- Heuer Series 1500 WD1211 Two- Tone Divers watch. He wore this watch for the longest stint of almost 15 crucial years of his career. The model he chose was a white dial 1500, stainless steel and Gold watch with a Tan strap. The design of the 1500 is a hybrid of the 1000 Series and the 2000 Series and is considered a Tool Watch. Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio and our own Shah Rukh Khan are the other famous faces who sport their TAG-Heuers proudly on their wrists.
Dalai Lama – Yellow gold Rolex Day-Date and two-tone Rolex Datejust
The Nobel peace prize winning spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism is a self-confessed watch lover. And his chosen timepiece is the ultimate watch of prestige - the Rolex Day-Date. The Dalai Lama loved to disassemble and reassemble his wrist wear even as a child. He owns models of Rolex that are well-known: A Rolesor Rolex Datejust made of gold and stainless steel with a Jubilee bracelet and a Rolex Day-Date made of yellow gold and with a blue dial. He got both of them presumably as gifts. While the position of a Dalai Lama is against materialism, he likes his watches for the pure craftsmanship involved in their making and their design elegance. He is said to love them but claims not to be attached to them. For sure, a tough ask even for a Lama!
Being spiritual perhaps helps when it comes to not being attached, especially to a Datejust! Interestingly, two of the most famous revolutionaries of our times, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara loved their Rolexes too. Then, there is of course the Rolex Daydate gifted by Marilyn Monroe to JFK which had an iconic role in the world’s best loved scandal!
John.F.Kennedy - Omega Ultra-Thin ref OT3980
Apart from being the youngest president sworn in as President of the United States, John. F. Kennedy was equally famous for his movie star good looks and a very suave sense of style. When he took the oath of office in 1961 he wore an Omega Ultra Thin Ref OT3980. His friend, a Florida Senator, gifted him the rectangular Tank-style Omega watch. Anyone visiting Switzerland should not miss the opportunity of seeing it in Omega Museum in Biel, where it is kept after the watchmaker bought it back from one of the private collectors of JFK memorabilia. In 2008 Omega came out with a limited edition recreation of just 261 pieces of this model to commemorate Kennedy’s inauguration as US President in 1961.
Pic courtesy: mrporter
The present president Joe Biden and the world’s most favorite fictional spy James Bond 007, share JFK’s love for Omega. The Omega watches India clientele are also equally prolific making it a truly Alpha Brand.
Pope Francis - Casio MQ24-7B2
Pope Francis, the Bishop of Rome, the supreme leader of Catholic Church and sovereign monarch of the Vatican is known for his simplicity and modesty. He is seen wearing a very reasonably priced Casio MQ24-7B2, under the sleeves of his robes, presumably something he got for himself and not gifted by anyone. The watch is a very basic model of Casio and well like by people around the world. It has an undecorated face with just the Casio logo, a labeling of its quartz movement and its certification for water resistance. It has plain Arabic numerals and its band is made of a simple black resin.
The Pope’s Casio can be considered an inexpensive utilitarian tool for a busy man. He really lives by the principle of keeping it simple. Bill Gates is another famous face who loves the brand Casio which personifies simplicity. Casio watches India prefers range from the vintage to the most popular G-shocks.
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe - Seiko Automatic 29 Jewel SARC013
Shinzo Abe is the longest serving prime minister in Japanese History and is Japan's first prime minister born after World War II. He had a big role to play in the economic resurgence of Japan in the last decade. He has been most often seen wearing Seiko, the iconic Japanese brand. He wears different models of Seiko with GPS options but his favourite seems to be the Seiko Automatic 29 Jewel SARC013 watch. The watch comes with Stainless Steel Case and Band, Window Caseback, and is Automatic with a Manual Winding Crown. The SARC013 has 29 Jewels and comes with a day, date and power reserve indicator. Abe really carries his national pride on his wrist. Steve Jobs and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two other prominent fans of Seiko watches which have many popular diver designs in its repertoire.
Apart from the pure functional utility of a watch, it reflects a person’s style. The legendary American basketball player Kobe Bryant in whose honor, Hublot exclusively made the Hublot Big Bang King Power 48mm Black Mamba watch said that “Everyone looks at your watch and it represents who you are, your values and your personal style”. The watch a person wears, especially if they are people in the public eye, is open for a lot of scrutiny. It is observed as much as the garments they choose to wear. Their styles are discussed a lot, criticised sometimes and copied often. Unfortunately, the world lost Kobe a bit too early but he couldn’t have been more right in what he said.
Watches can be fashion or political statements, conversation openers and many of them can be great investments that live on as legacy even after one’s lifetime. Like Harry Winston says “People will stare. Make it worth their while!” Choose the best wrist wear for yourselves which complements your personality!
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