Mike Bloomberg gained in popularity as mayor of New York from 2002-2013 due to his largely analytical and data driven approach to creating policies around key education, transport, health and environmental initiatives.
He entered the 2020 Democratic Primaries in November 2019 after previously renouncing any ambition to run for President in 2020. He decided to enter the race due to his dissatisfaction with the other nominees ability to compete with Donald Trump.
It's tempting to say that Mike has chosen to wear a moderately priced watch to increase his appeal to everyday Democrats, but he's been wearing the Victorinox 24221 well before he finally decided to run for President, so I don't believe this is the case.
It seems that Mike is part of a greater trend amongst billionaires to choose watches based on personal preferences such as style and robustness over price and luxury. We've previously covered the watches of Bill Gates, who also opts for affordably priced timepieces.
You can catch several glimpses of Mike's watch in the South Carolina Democratic debate highlights video below. You can also spot watches of several of his opponents, including Bernie Sanders' Citizen Eco-Drive.
Victorinox is a Swiss watch maker most recognised for their impressive army pocket knives. They've been making watches in Switzerland since 1989 and they are generally easy to recognize because of their distinctive cross emblem at 12 o'clock.
Mike's model, the Swiss Army 24221 is generally harder to find these days as it is no longer in production by Victorinox. You can find similar variations such as the Victorinox 249087.
The Victorinox 249087 is a throwback to where Victorinox watches started. The classic design with the white cross and the red background is distinctly Victorinox.
The tough nylon case compliments the simple design with easy to read hour and minute markers.
At 43mm, this is a larger watch, but the nylon fibre case and nylon strap keep it from feeling heavy or chunky.
Swiss quartz movement powers the three luminescent hands and the lume extends to the hour and minute markers allowing for easy reading during low light conditions.
With 25 years of history preceding the 249087 Swiss Army watch, Victorinox have kept to their strengths of quality Swiss manufacturing that can withstand all types of terrain.
All at an affordable price for the average Joe, or indeed, Mike Bloomberg.
Victorinox Swiss Army 249087
One of the Democratic frontrunners for the 2020 election, Bernie’s strong socialist views have won him a strong set of followers amongst the youth and minority groups that want to take on the corporate establishment.
So, does Bernie’s watch fit his political views?
Bernie’s modest stainless steel Citizen Eco-Drive features battery-less technology, which promises to keep on going with minimum maintenance. Whilst Bernie’s political career does seem to keep on going, his heart attack has prompted many voters to wonder if Bernie’s battery can last the distance…
One of the keys to Bernie’s popularity is his appeal to the ‘everyman’. Does his watch back this up? I’d suggest yes. His Eco-Drive is robust, but not flashy. Given the surge in his book sales, he could certainly afford a significantly more expensive watch.
Yes, Bernie wears his heart on his sleeve figuratively and literally. The Citizen Eco-Drive mirrors Bernie’s anti-bank, socialist political agenda.
Trump does have a watch collection, but he doesn’t flaunt it as much as you might expect given his self-proclaimed wealth.
The watch most commonly associated with Trump is the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1968 he wore during his victorious election night in 2016.
The most striking feature of the watch is the square, ultra-thin 5mm case. It is a collectors item and you’ll be lucky to find a similar piece for less than $25,000. At this price point, it sure matches Trump’s desire for luxury and exclusivity.
I’m comfortable arguing this watch isn’t affordable for the everyman and is better suited towards the white privilege commonly associated with Wall St bankers. Trump has made his position on being close with Wall St clear, which is echoed in this watch choice.
Perhaps Trumps strong views on capitalism are best evidenced by his very own watch line, the ‘Donald J. Trump Signature Collection’ he unveiled in 2005 and sold exclusively at Macy’s. Inspired by popular watch brands, the collection was only in shops for 1 year. Sure, this can be seen as another of Trump’s failed business ventures. But, isn’t that capitalism at play? He gave it a shot, the market rejected it and he clearly moved on without it affecting him too much.
Trump’s timepieces also tend to mirror his political views.
Bernie Sanders, the United States Senator for Vermont raised to fame during the 2016 Presidential election when he eventually lost out to the Democratic nomination for US President to Hillary Clinton.
Known for his strong stance against corporate greed in applying his interpretation of democratic socialism, Sanders rallied a vocal fan-base that continued to find support after the 2016 presidential nomination defeat. Given his strong political views on the influence of corporations and role of social welfare, we thought it would be interesting to find out what watch the Senator chooses to wear.
The stainless steel dress watch is 39mm wide, with a black face, three hand functions, date function at 3 o’clock and water resistance rated to 30m – but certainly don’t take it diving (check out our guide to dive watches for this). Citizen has done a really good job of marketing their watch to the “everyday man” since their founding in 1930’s, something Bernie is no doubt aware of when choosing this watch as it fits his political profile perfectly. The Eco-Drive technology pioneered by Citizen does mean that Bernie can campaign without ever having to worry about changing his watch battery (unlike Donald Trump’s largely ill-received foray into watch manufacturing).
The model that Bernie wears (BM0910-57E) is hard to find for retail purchase today. But, that doesn’t really matter as we prefer the style and sleekness of the titanium version of the eco-drive. Both versions of the watch are affordable and stay true to Bernie’s “everyday” appeal.
While the politics and life of President John F. Kennedy are filled with controversy and a wide range of opinions, one thing that is not up for debate is that he is a widely known and recognized man. From his sense of style, relative youth for such a high office, and his tragic death, there are few Presidents that stand out as much as Kennedy in history.
Part of that story is the two iconic women that are so closely tied to President Kennedy and will always come up as topics of conversation surrounding the man himself. Each of these women gave the President a watch, and each watch is a part of history because of it.
For starters, his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, gave her husband an 18 karat gold Cartier Tank watch on their fourth wedding anniversary. This watch was inscribed with his initials, their wedding date, and the Kennedy family arms.
This watch was one of the most recognizable watches that JFK wore because it was the watch that he was wearing on the day that he was assassinated in Dallas, TX.
The 18 karat gold Cartier watch, or as it might be called for JFK, the Jackie, is a watch with a gold face, gold hands, gold lug…basically the entire body is gold. Obviously, it is much more a style and class statement than it is a watch for readability or endurance. This watch has no numbers, only lines to mark the time, and only features a minute and hour hand. With the brown leather band, it was clearly meant to be a fashionable watch that exudes wealth and power.
The particular watch was given back to the first lady after her husband was killed. It was then given to his secretary and eventually ended up in the hands of the collector Robert White.
The second iconic woman is Marilyn Monroe, widely believed to be someone the President was having an affair with, and the second watch, is equally a special part of history, even though it is shrouded in rumors. The Rolex Day-Date model is often referred to as the “President” because many holding the office, from Eisenhower and on after, wore this watch often. The particular one that is attributed to President Kennedy, and was supposedly gifted by Ms. Monroe, is inscribed with a poem in the case, and is inscribed on the back of the watch with, “Jack, with love as always, from, Marylyn, May 29th , 1962″
This watch is made entirely of Gold, from the face to the band. The case was inscribed with a poem, according to stories, that read:
“A Heartfelt Plea on Your Birthday.
Let lovers breath their sighs and roses bloom and music sound.
Let passion burn on the lips and eyes and pleasures merry world go round.
Let golden sunshine flood the sky and let me love or let me die.”
This watch features a day and a date reading, a second hand, and some other features missing from the Cartier, it is still a watch that is clearly built for style.
This watch sold at auction for $120,000 in 2005, far exceeding the expected price of $60,000.
Perhaps the most iconic watch is the Omega Ultra Thin that looks a lot like the Cartier Tank, but sized more elegantly. Upon receiving this watch from Senator Stockdale, Jackie wrote a note thanking the Senator for the “thinnest most elegant wristwatch”. John also wrote to the Senator on a separate occasion, ending the letter with “I am now wearing the Stockdale watch. Again.” Kennedy clearly had enough admiration of the watch to give it the nickname “Stockdale”.
Engraved on the back of the watch: “President Of The United States John F. Kennedy From His Friend Grant”.
He was photographed numerous times wearing this watch, including at his inauguration speech which was on the cover of Life Magazine.
The watch was purchased back by Omega for $350,000 and is now housed in the Omega Museum in Switzerland. Omega released a limited run of 261 commemorative watches in 2008. You’ll be hard pressed to find a similar Omega, unless you’re willing to pay a substantial sum on Ebay or similar.
Seiko produces a homage watch that looks very similar to the Omega Ultra Thin worn by Kennedy, but at a fraction of the price.