Cover Take a look at some of the most important watches worn by past US presidents. (Photo: Courtesy of Bettmann/Getty Images)

We take a look at some of the watches worn by America’s past presidents.

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States

Donald Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 election has us wondering about what he'll get up to post-presidency. But one thing’s for sure: he has some seriously enviable wrist-candy. Over the years, the American businessman-turned-world leader has been photographed wearing numerous gold wristwatches.

An extremely elegant Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine Ref 1968 was seen strapped to his wrist on election night in 2016 and he’s pictured here sporting a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date while playing a round of golf in Florida.

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Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States

Tag Heuer's 1500 two-tone was one of Barack Obama’s watches of choice while in office. It’s a sophisticated everyday watch that Obama wears with a black strap.

The former president has also been gifted several pieces. In 2007, the Secret Service gave him a Jorg Gray Chronograph, which had the enforcement agency's  logo printed on the dial.

And Vulcain presented him with one of its steel Anniversary Heart Automatics in celebration of his 2008 inauguration. The case back is engraved with: “President Of The United States Nov. 4th 2008 / Barack Obama.”

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States

Bill Clinton is known to have owned numerous wristwatches, including top-notch models by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubuis, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Panerai.

He was given a LIP to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day Normandy landings, as well as a Vulcain Cricket by Finnish jewellery store owner Keijo Paajanen in 1997.

But Clinton seemed to prefer a Timex Ironman digital watch, which we have to say is pretty nerdy––in a good way! The politician wore it regularly throughout his presidential run, despite The Washington Post calling it “an unsightly blemish” and a “wrist gargoyle”. Owch.

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Lyndon Johnson, the 36th President of the United States

The 36th president had a lot of watches. Lyndon Johnson famously wore a Patek Philippe Ref 2526 with “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You” printed on the dial, as well as a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox with the presidential seal etched onto the case back.

Johnson also owned Vulcain, Rolex and Hamilton wristwatches. Although he mostly wore a yellow gold Hamilton Pacer during his 1960 campaign, which was given to him in 1958 during a visit to the McDowell County Democrats in West Virginia.

Its case back reads: “Presented to / Senator / Lyndon B. Johnson / By the / McDowell County / Democrats / Welch, WV / Oct. 18 58”.

John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States

John F Kennedy was given a square-shaped Omega in yellow gold by his friend Grant Stockdale, which he wore to his inauguration in 1961. The case back reads: "President / Of The / United States / John F. Kennedy / From His Friend / Grant". A bold statement considering this watch was presented to JFK in 1960, a year before he actually won the election.

Kennedy also had watches by Cartier, Nastrix and, of course, Rolex. The most famous, of course, being the yellow gold Day-Date given to him by Marilyn Monroe. It came with a poem and an engraving that read: “JACK / With love as always / from / MARILYN / May 29th 1962”.

Alexander Autographs sold the Day-Date in 2005 for a hefty US$120,000.


Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States

Often referred to by his initials FDR, Franklin Roosevelt had an impressive skeletonised minute repeater, which he picked up at the Lions Club in Havana in 1942. It’s currently housed at the Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in New York’s Hyde Park.

The 32nd president also had a Tiffany-signed Movado Triple Calendar Ref 44776. It’s said that FDR’s son-in-law originally received the watch as a Christmas gift in 1944, and decided to re-gift it to Roosevelt not long afterwards.

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