Why wearing an exorbitantly priced watch is a risky policy

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As US President, Bill Clinton wore a plastic Timex described by The Washington Post also “thick as a brick and beautiful as a hernia”. Yet upon leaving the White House, her wrists received a Cinderella makeover. Clinton now sports a dazzling line of watches like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Audemars Piguet. But he’s not the only former president to elevate his watch game. After leaving the Oval Office, Barack Obama upgraded his $ 250 chronograph to a white gold Rolex.

The choice of wrist candy by presidential candidates sends a message.Credit:

What is behind these conversions to fine watchmaking? The likely explanation is that politicians are acutely aware that their every move has magnified significance. Constantly under scrutiny, the most insignificant point of their life is analyzed to death for meaning. Wearing an exorbitantly priced watch is therefore a risky policy. This suggests that you are not in contact with the big badly washed.

Some politicians ignore all of this. Vladimir Putin has a magnificent collection of watches that would make a hip-hop mogul drool. But most remember the edifying account of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose weakness for Patek Philippe and Rolex led Release newspaper to ridicule him as “president bling-bling.” When François Hollande ousted Sarkozy, he wore a humble Swatch.

Watches of American presidents and presidential contenders.

Watches of American presidents and presidential contenders.Credit:

In the run-up to the US election, the now-eliminated presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ Citizen Eco-Drive reflects his progressive sensibilities, while Democrats Joe Biden’s Omega Seamaster Diver 300M suggests robust reliability – that is, after everything, the NASA brand the astronauts first wore on the moon. Among Donald Trump’s multiple timepieces, the most polished fit is surely his gold Rolex Day-Date. Presented as “the ultimate prestige watch”, it offers a delicious clue as to what makes it tick.

Luke Benedictus is a former editor-in-chief of Men’s Health.

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