When your job involves bearing the political weight of your country and being the spokesperson for millions of people in the international arena, your appearance can play an important role in how you are perceived. Political leaders and members of the Royal family often display a level of quiet sophistication that reflects their believed ability to perform their roles. A watch speaks volumes about how a person carries themselves; from personal taste to their relative affluence and position in society.
So, do these individuals have a watch that aligns itself with their public persona and world status – and does their net worth result in the wealthiest having the most expensive? Miltons Diamonds have identified the watch brands that some of the world’s most visible leaders chose to wear. We also researched the official salaries and net worth figures to discover whether their watch choice aligns.
First up, the UK, let’s see who wears what close to home. Our most recent Conservative party leader and Prime Minister, Theresa May, has an estimated net worth of 2 million and is paid a £149,400 salary by the government. She wears a simple Swatch Chrono worth £106. Jeremy Corbyn, opposition and Labour leader, has also opted for a modest watch – a Timex worth just £96, his annual salary is £114,322.
The Royal Family have stacked up quite the collection of wonderfully rare and expensive time-pieces. Queen Elizabeth II has an estimated net worth of £415 million and reportedly wears a priceless, custom made Gold Audemars Piguet watch. The nation’s favourite couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are fans of luxury models too, with Prince Harry wearing the Rolex Explorer II 216570 worth £10,000 and Meghan Markle favouring her Cartier Tank Francaise bracelet watch worth $3,250.
Prince William with a similar net worth to his younger brother opts for an Omega Seamaster Professional watch as his everyday timepiece, worth a cool £4k. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, wears the Cartier Ballon Bleu 33mm, just moderately more expensive than Meghan Markle’s Cartier Tank Francaise.
Prince Charles tops the lot, he wears the most expensive watch on our list, a £14,000 Parzigiani Fleurier Chronograph, then again with a healthy net worth of $93 million who can blame him.
Two of the most powerful and wealthiest leaders in the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chairman of North Korea Kim Jong-Un, both opt for relatively lower-priced watches. Vladamir Putin wears an $11,000 Blancpain. The Russian leader is paid a salary of $148,203 by the Russian government but has amassed a fortune, outside the office, of $84 billion! Kim Jong-Un wears a $1k Movado Museum, on a salary of just $21k and a disproportionate net worth of $5 billion.
China’s Xi Jinping is worth $1.51 billion on a low $20k salary, wears a $4,500 Omega Constellation.
Ever the business mogul, the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, used a little of his $3.1 billion fortune to establish his own watch brand in 2005. He is often seen wearing his Donald J Trump Signature Collection TR 1050 Chronograph watch worth $10,000. No surprises there! Conversely, Barak Obama wears a Jorg Gray JG6500 Secret Service limited edition worth $450.
The leader of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Pope Francis, has a healthy net worth of £25 million but chooses to wear a classic Casio MQ24-7B watch, worth just £10. His decision to wear a watch of lower value compared to other famous world figures could be interpreted as a reflection of his humble personality and disregard for materialistic items.
A watch can say a lot about the wearer. Is there a need to display a sense of power through an overtly expensive timepiece? These accessories have the power to symbolise more than just a disposable bank account and are a visible reminder of the perceived power of those in charge.
You may not be surprised to see that big-name luxury watch brands such as Omega, Cartier and Rolex are popular among the world leaders. Miltons Diamonds stock an impressive collection of pre-owned men’s Rolex watches and secondhand women’s Rolex watches for you to find your perfect designer timepiece!