Biden: His time
It’s certainly been one hell of a fortnight for Joseph Robinette Biden. Being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States – and serenaded by Lady Gaga’s sweet tones – while Donald Trump slumped out of the White House was a talking point globally. But Biden’s watch choice, which also got some public attention, was rather surprising.
Joe opted for a stainless steel Rolex Datejust with a blue dial and jubilee bracelet to wear on his first day in the White House on Wednesday. Understated and sophisticated, and quite grand grand for such an occasion. Other luxury watches in his collection include an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, Vulcain Cricket and an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. But is he holding back on more expensive watches still?
With news of the election still lingering, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at what some more famous faces have worn during their time in office:
Before he even took office, Dwight Eisenhower was approached by Rolex, who wanted to award the general with a Datejust. It was a gift to celebrate the 150,000th officially certified chronometer.
The watchmaker sent him a gold version and even engraved it with five stars to signify his rank, the date 12-19-1950 and his initials on the buckle of the jubilee bracelet. It famously appeared on the front cover of Life Magazine, in the summer of 1952 and accompanied him to the White House the following year.
John F Kennedy
When he was sworn in, JFK’s choice of wristwear was an Omega Ultra Thin, reference OT3980. He’d been given it the summer before he took the oath, and it was inscribed with ‘President of the United States John F Kennedy’ on the back. The Omega museum bought the watch in a 2005 auction for just over £307,000.
He had a fair collection of watches including a controversial offering – a gold Rolex DayDate from Marilyn Monroe and had a message engraved from her on the back. It was reported that JFK’s aid, Kenneth O’Donnell, was asked to get rid of the watch.
JFK’s wristwear also included a Louis Cartier Tank – a gift from his wife Jackie – for their wedding anniversary in 1957. JFK was wearing this watch when he was assassinated in 1963.
Spending most of his campaign wearing a Timex IronMan Triathlon watch, he certainly started splashing the cash a lot more once out of office. And he’s now got an impressive collection.
At Biden’s inauguration he wore a limited edition platinum model from A. Lange & Söhne. But the former President now boasts a Panerai PAM89 GMT, a Roger Dubuis MuchMore, a Cartier Ballon Bleu and more.
President Barack Obama wasn’t a watch collector. Nowadays he wears a Fitbit but during his presidency he opted for a fairly humble Jorg Gray for public appearances. And why not? He’s a man of the people after all.
But at the end of his reign, he did indulge in a subtle Rolex Cellini, reference 50509. In white gold with a leather band and uncluttered dial, it’s the timepiece he wears in his official portrait.
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