January 06, 2018

Timeless Tales of U.S President Watches


Back in the day watches were a mere time-telling necessity, worn by people to serve a daily purpose. As the world of fashion and glamor advanced, watches became a symbol of personality and preferences; reflecting taste, class and choice. Presidents of the United States have always been at the epicenter of all conversations around interesting vintage watches. It all started with George Washington, who sported a large simple key-wound Lepine Pocket Watch, purchased by his fellow Founding Father Governor Morris.  Washington had asked him to get a simple gold watch of good quality in Paris. Morris subsequently went to Jean-Antoine Lépine, watchmaker to King Louis XVI, and one of the greatest watchmakers who ever lived. 

lepine pocket watch

George H.W Bush (41st President)

vintage watches

Known to check his watch often, and many times in debates, there is little record of what watches he wore and wears. However, his repeated glances at his watch raised quite a few eyebrows during his presidency and hence, as a general measure, Presidents were trained to not look at their watches during debates.

We know that he was presented a beautiful Vulcain Cricket by Keijo Paajenan, in 1990. However, it's unconfirmed if he wore it or not. We think the picture above might be a Timex, but we haven't been able to confirm. 

We do know that he wore a customized black Timex for a number of years (pictured below) given to him by then-Congressman C.W. (Bill) Young (R-Florida) which is confirmed by a confirmed letter where Bush expresses that he's "especially pleased to see that the black Timex is still ticking". 

george herbert walker bush 41 vintage watch timex

Bill Clinton (42nd President)

Bill Clinton vintage watch

Amongst all U.S Presidents, if there is anybody who had a huge collection of vintage watches it's Bill Clinton.  Funny enough, of the various watches, there was tremendous buzz around the Timex Ironman digital watch. Clinton was called a ‘techno-nerd’ after he showed up wearing the same geeky watch to the inaugural ball in 1993! In the following years of his presidency, Bill Clinton was also seen sporting a Vulcain Cricket given by Keijo Paanjenan, a watch he was seen wearing frequently.

Bill Clinton has also been seen wearing the legendary, exclusive, limited edition A. Lange & Söhne Grosse Langematik Gangreserve made for luxury watch retailer, Wempe's 100th Anniversary. In the picture below, he is seen wearing 100% Platinum.

George W. Bush (43rd President)

He has been popularly known to be wearing a Timex at most times, seen wearing the Timex i-Control during his 2000 election campaign. He was soon seen switching to a simpler, Timex Indiglo with white & black numerals.

Barack Obama (44th President)

obama vintage watch

Everyone has always kept a serious eye-out on vintage watches worn by Obama. For almost a decade, he was seen wearing a TAG Heuer 1500 Two-Tone Diver which he also wore a few times as President. Throughout much of his campaign, Obama wore a Jorg Gray with a Secret Service dial on the dial, in black leather straps and white stitching.  Amongst many others, latest in his collection is the New Balance N7 that he wears currently.

Donald Trump (45th President)


There is enough hoopla around the current President of the United States for matters we would rather not get into. Even though Donald has his Trump Signature Collection, he is mostly seen wearing high-end gold (of course!) dressy watches from the 80's. On election night, Trump was spotted wearing the classical and elegant Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1968 in pink gold. The President has also been frequently known to wear a classic yellow-gold Rolex Day-Date.  

Amongst many others which were exchanged as gifts with Donald Trump, a prominent one which caught our attention was a yellow gold Patek Philippe Ellipse with blue dial and integrated bracelet. 

rolex vintage watch day date


NEW - Joe Biden (47th US Vice President and possible 46th President?)

Does Joe become number 46? with less than two weeks left that's anyones guess.  Joe loves to tout his folksy image and being from Scranton, PA, so one might think he might be sporting something fairly utilitarian and in some ways that's sort of true.  Joe's watch of choice for the past 10 plus years has been a stainless steel blue Omega Seamaster.  Much like Joe, not too flashy and at roughly $4k USD new, it's a watch well within reach for many of us mere mortals. Used models on the secondary market  can go far well under $2k USD.  We believe it's the Ref. powered by the Co-Axial calibre 2500, now discontinued by Omega.  Let us know if you have any info to the contrary.  Either way, it's a rugged and timeless dive classic watch, so whatever you think of Joe's politics, at least he's got decent watch taste!

joe biden omega seamster





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