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Time is of the Essence: Timepieces for the World’s Leaders

What watches do leaders of the world wear? Find out here

When people in powerful positions wear a timepiece, it can sometimes speak volumes about their attitude. For history’s powerful men and women time is of the essence – just take a look at the bling they’re sporting on their wrists.

Mikhail Gorbachev
The 24 karat gold Omega Constellation “Manhattan,” first created in 1982, has seen places on the wrist of former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.

On either side of the black ringed bezel sit two screwed claws that hold the sapphire crystal in place and keep the timepiece watertight.

The Omega Constellation kept time during the East-West détente and made history with Mr. Gorbachev.

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Dmitry Medvedev
Russia’s current President, Dmitry Medvedev, has different tastes and has been seen wearing a gold Franck Muller Cintree Curvex Revolution Tourbillon timepiece.

This special Swiss-made watch has a retro feel with art deco numerals and an elliptical case that displays the tourbillion movement.

The tourbillion keeps the watch moving as a miniature counter-gravity device and is quite popular in luxury watches. This particular watch retails for a stunning $1,046,200.

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Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, sports a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar watch valued at $500,000.

This timepiece, manufactured since 1946 and discontinued in 2006, has a vintage appeal with four separate inner dials that register the day of the week, month, date, and phase of the moon.

The watch also has a tiny repeater hammer and gongs that ring out a beautiful tone when the repeater is engaged.

Only such a precise timepiece could be present when weighty decisions of state are being made.

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Bill Clinton
In stark contrast, former U.S. President Bill Clinton wore a simple Timex Ironman while he was in office. However, now that he is no longer POTUS, he has garnered a collection of swanky watches that include the Panerai Luminor Marina and a timepiece by Cartier Santos-Dumont.

The Panerai and Cartier are minimalist and understated. The Panerai makes a contemporary statement, while the Cartier is more retro with curved bezel and Roman numerals on the face.

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George W. Bush
Former President George W. Bush also wore an engraved American-made Timex Indiglo made for him by a fellow Yale classmate and Timex employee.

The watch face displays the presidential seal, and the engraving reads, “George W. Bush, President, January 20, 2001.”

The Timex model sells for just $50, and almost any American can afford to wear one on their wrist.

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Barack Obama
The Secret Service get to know U.S. Presidents very well, almost intimately, since they have to guard the POTUS continually.

So it was quite an honor when President Barack Obama received a manly stainless steel Commemorative Edition Jorg Gray 6500 Series Chronograph for his 46th birthday from the Secret Service Agents who guard him so closely. It goes without saying that the gift was a surprise, because if anyone can keep a secret, it’s the President’s bodyguards.

The watch has brought President Obama good luck, and he has been seen wearing the timepiece at his Democratic nomination, election victory, inauguration, and when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Margaret Thatcher
Powerful women should not be left out of the scene. If there was anyone who needed to be kept on schedule, it was iron lady, Margaret Thatcher. Can you imagine the watches she wore–a slightly delicate ladies chronograph or a subtle dress watch?

At least one of the watches that got Prime Minister Thatcher to her appointments on time was the gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. This watch has plenty of feminine appeal with diamonds on the bezel, face and bracelet.

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Watches have fascinated collectors for decades, and today’s watchmakers and designers are inventing new and more brilliant feats of technology and innovation to keep fashion lovers and collectors wanting more.

Featured Image Photo Credit: <a href=”″>Barack Obama 10</a> by David Wagner


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