Article By: Logan Hannen
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to dip our toes into the world of presidential horology and talk about an icon in its own right: Former President Barack Obama’s wristwatch.
Now, when we talk about Obama’s watch preferences, the first answer that springs to mind to those who have been paying attention to the most recent leader of the free world’s wrist is this one:
This is the Jorg-Gray JG6500 Chronograph that was gifted to him by his Secret Service detail in 2007, before he actually became president. It’s by no means a particularly luxurious watch, but it features the Secret Service logo printed on the dial, and the sentimental value, I’m sure, renders it totally priceless.
However, the horological intrigue doesn’t end there. Prior to being gifted the Jorg, Obama notoriously wore a two-tone Tag Heuer 1500 Series in two-tone, sometimes on the bracelet, more often on a brown leather strap. In between these two pieces, and often in more sports-like settings, he’s also been known to wear a couple of different plastic digital watches, including one by New Balance.
Where things get super interesting is that, now that he’s no longer in office, he’s a bit freer in his choice of timepiece. While this may not be the right time for this particular discussion, suffice it to say that American Presidents have, historically, worn very simple, entry-level or even lower watches while in office, an effort to not be bogged down by questions of how they’re spending the presidential salary. Once they’re out, though, the public eye isn’t so intent on them, and they can be a bit more open to spending more on things they love. This includes, in the case of Obama, watches. Just this October, the former President was spotted at the Invictus Games, sitting right next to Prince Harry, wearing a new timepiece: the Rolex Cellini Time in 18k white gold. And, as he usually does, Christian has a lot to say about this very luxurious choice here.
Now, I hate to presume, but given the relative obscurity of the Cellini line, something I absolutely adore, mind you, it does sort of cement the notion that the former President truly is a member of the watchfam, and not just someone who loves watches. That’s a piece that takes a bit of thought to land on, unlike a Submariner or Datejust, both watches that are (generally) a much easier sell. Does this earn him watchfam brownie points? You bet your ass it does.
Just so we don’t think I’m super obsessive (read: creepy), I got all of the nitty gritty details of former President Obama’s watches from this offshoot of the best vintage Heuer blog on the web, OnTheDash. You can check out this section of Jeff Stein’s incredible blog, the one dedicated to former President Obama’s timepieces, here..
Well, I hope that answers in a super concise way one of the most pressing questions of political horology (is that even a thing?) that I’ve ever happened to come across. Keep your eyes peeled for more awesome content both here and on the YouTube channel, as well as on Instagram @TheoandHarris, and remember, keep it classy, watchfam.