Rolexes are too mainstream for us – The fancy wrist watches of Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Boris Johnson, and other world leaders – Putin has a $480,000 watch

Is that the time already – US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both own a number of luxury timepieces. Photo: AP


Politics aside, what do Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have in common? We can only imagine the pressure these world leaders are under when it comes to tackling timely matters like world peace, or more recently, keeping a global pandemic under control.

When it comes to keeping up with their day, both Trump and Putin rely on their luxury watches. Here, we take a look at a handful of world leaders and what watch they wear to keep our world ticking.

Donald Trump seen wearing his Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-fine 1968 in the Oval Office. Photo: AP

Donald Trump
Like many US presidents before him, including Barack Obama, Donald Trump is a fan of Rolex. The Swiss watchmaker’s Day-Date was famously dubbed the President’s Watch when US President Lyndon B Johnson first wore one in 1965.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-fine 1968. Photo: Vacheron Constantine

Trump was already wearing the President’s Watch before he took office. Other watches he owns include the Patek Philippe Ellipse and a Vacheron Constantin Historiques 1968.

Vladimir Putin wears Blancpain timepieces, among other brands. Photo: EPA-EFE

Vladimir Putin
No stranger to luxury watches, the Russian president’s collection includes heavyweight names such as Patek Philippe, IWC and A. Lange & Söhne, just to name a few. A watch he wears regularly is the Blancpain Grande Date Aqua Lung, a modest reference with a date function.

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Aqua Lung Large Date by Blancpain. Photo: Blancpain

Among the most expensive pieces he owns is the A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite”, a limited edition reportedly worth US$480,000.

A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite’. Photo: A. Lange & Söhne

Kim Jong-un favours thin watches. Photo: AFP

Kim Jong-un
Switzerland’s ban on luxury watch export to North Korean since 2016 has made it impossible for its supreme leader to waltz into a watch retailer in downtown Pyongyang to pick up the latest Rolex or Patek. But that hasn’t stopped Kim Jong-un from acquiring luxury timepieces.

Kim seems to prefer small, thin watches, with commentators wondering whether he wears women’s references.

Movado Museum watch. Photo: Movado

His watch box includes a quartz gold Movado Museum watch and a gold IWC Portugieser.

Justin Trudeau owns an IWC watch. Photo: Reuters

Justin Trudeau
Who knew Justin Trudeau and Kim Jong-un had the same love for IWC? The Canadian prime minister wears his IWC Regulateur everywhere from state visits to holding babies on the campaign trail.

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Via Instagram / @mr.watchley

You won’t see a watch on the wrist of the Dalai Lama – his daily timepiece is a Patek Philippe pocket watch. Photo: AFP

Dalai Lama
We didn’t expect the world’s foremost spiritual leader, who dresses in traditional Tibetan monk attire, to have a thing for luxury watches.

He, however, might own one of the most expensive timepieces compared to anyone else on this list. Instead of a wristwatch, the Dalai Lama is never without his Patek Philippe pocket watch. A gift from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1943, the yellow gold piece, Ref. 658, is a grand complication featuring a perpetual calendar, minute repeater and a split-seconds chronograph.

Via Instagram / @ifuckinglovewatches

An example of this reference auctioned for HK$1.368 million (US$176,500) at Phillips in 2018.

The UK prime minster wears a Patek Philippe Calatrava. Photo: dpa

Boris Johnson
Clean cut and classic are not words we would use to describe Bojo’s hairstyle, but the UK prime minister’s watch of choice is exactly that. He wears a slender Patek Philippe Calatrava in yellow gold with a black leather strap.

A small seconds version of the Patek Philippe Calatrava. Photo: Patek Philippe

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.