If there is one thing, we wouldn’t mind our global leaders to have a difference of opinions on, it is their personal taste in things. And what better way to define such tastes, than observing the kind of wrist watches they all don. So, while David Cameron believes that ‘Gentlemen don’t wear jewellery’, his counterparts from other parts of the world, well, visibly disagree. Irrespective of their political agenda being populist or development focussed (or plain non-existent), most of them draw consensus on the fact that a wristwatch, however subdued or exorbitant, makes a statement.
From Mahatma Gandhi’s humble pocket watch to Nelson Mandela’s Tissot, this piece of personal accessory never goes unnoticed. For the love of watches, we tried to delve into timepieces our leaders wear while they are busy changing the world for better times.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Our very own Mr. Prime Minister, whose rags to riches story is an inspiration to many, relies on American Watchmaker Movado for time keeping. One of the most popular and influential Indians of all times and arguably the most stylish among the existing ones, he wears his style on his sleeves ( literally).
Barack Obama, President of United State of America
Helmed to be one of the most powerful people in the world, Obama has a knack for doing things differently. While his counterparts trust the well-established brands, Obama chooses to sport a smart watch – Fitbit. True to his reputation of being one of the most progressive and people-friendly statesmen in today’s world, Obama can be seen flashing the smart wearable on multiple occasions. Although, apparently the reason he chooses Fitbit over other smartwatches is the absence of an audio recorder in the device (so much so for national security). Well, Fitbit rather not make any changes to that given the stature of its possessor.
François Hollande, President of France
President of France favors a $150 Swatch Quarterman; quite an antithesis from his predecessor, Nicholas Sarkozy. Though it might seem counter-intuitive to watch a state leader act like a plebeian, it sure does live up to his image of being approachable and friendly. Also, in speculations, his triumph is attributed to his humble living.
Any Trump(et) blower picking up a clue?
Vladamir Putin, President of Russia
To put things in perspective, the collection of Vladmir Putin’s watches is six times the amount of his official annual salary. The world’s most powerful man is sure a cognoscente of timepieces. The most valuable watch in the collection is a $500,000 A.Lang & Sohne Tourbograph; while his other favourites include Patek Philippe and Blancpain.
Mr. Putin, if nothing else, we agree with you on your choice of the wristwatch.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel holds her fort in what essentially is a men’s world. The badass Chancellor of Germany sports both, a Boccia Titanium timepiece and the title of world’s most powerful woman with élan.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Canadian rock star Prime Minister trusts IWC Regulateur for his wrist when being watched and loved by the world. His goodwill gestures are a talk of the town. In a nutshell, he is everything the world needs in a leader today, including empathy for a classic timepiece.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina
The woman of many firsts dons an elegant yellow gold Rolex Lady Datejust. The first directly elected female president and the first woman to be re-elected into office, acts as both a role model and style icon for women beyond Argentinian borders.
Kim Jong-un, North Korean Supreme Leader
Speaking of the enigmatic land of North Korea, which has captured our imagination, curiosity and amusement over years; it is difficult to even decipher the brand of watch worn by its celebrated Supreme Leader. Speculated to be a handmade, pricey Omega De Ville from Europe, it does suit his reputation of being a megalomaniac (we didn’t say that!).
Dalai lama, Spiritual Leader of Tibet
The spiritual leader of Tibet who is known for his austerity wears a Rolex. Though as a measure to camouflage the brand he “allegedly” rotates his watch 180 degree around his wrist, making it difficult for anyone to take notice. But as they say, ‘Peace is when time doesn’t matter as it passes by’.