As women can be judged by their handbags, so men can be judged by their watches. In this anything-but-ordinary election cycle, we look back at the timepiece styles of U.S. presidents to see what’s changed and how our country’s leaders’ personal styles stack up. Since 1789, every American leader has carried or worn a watch of some kind.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (favored fine French timepieces), and Abraham Lincoln (a big customer of Tiffany and a lover of engraving) all carried pocket watches, of course, as that was the fashion.
Some presidents have indulged in luxury, while others have preferred inexpensive functional wristwatches from the likes of Timex: George W. Bush wore a Timex Easy Reader with both gold and silver crowns, and Bill Clinton wore an early model of the Timex Ironman to his inaugural ball. Barack Obama wore a relatively inexpensive (under $2,000) TAG Heuer 1500 Two-Tone Diver watch while campaigning in 2008, and afterward his Secret Service detail gave him a $200 stainless steel Jorg Gray 6500 Chronograph, which he wore during the inaugural proceedings. The president also enjoys wearing his $200 FitBit Surge fitness super watch (Ted Cruz is a fan, too).