Whether you like his politics or loathe them, the one thing everyone can agree on is that President Joe Biden has excellent taste in watches. Not to mention an expansive one...from Rolex watches to Apple watches, Omegas to Seikos, Biden's wrist has worn them all. But this is a savvy wrist - it knows the right time to be humble and the right time to razzle-dazzle 'em. After all, watches are an easy target - wear a Rolex to a fundraiser or a Seiko to an inauguration, and you can count on being in the news the next day. These are the watches he wears the most.
Rolex Datejust 41
As Bloomberg notes, when Biden put his hand on the bible on January 20, 2021, he did it wearing a Rolex. It's a brand that might seem at odds with the everyman image Biden has been at pains to cultivate. But the model in question - a jubilee edition 41 Rolex Datejust, in steel, with a blue dial - is a world away from that flashy yellow gold Rolex Day-Date his predecessor was so fond of it... which is probably the point. Refined and with just the right balance of sportiness and elegance, it's expensive but not ostentatious, reserved but not shy, dignified but not standoffish. Basically, it was the perfect, bipartisan choice for the US's newly minted 46th president, who, by favoring Rolex, joined a long tradition of everyone from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower. Barak Obama even chose to wear his Rolex Cellini in his official presidential portrait.
Seiko Alarm Chronograph
When Biden addressed the nation for the first time after being officially declared the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, he chose to do it in a simple Seiko chronograph. The two-tone piece is practical, affordable, and very much in keeping with the down-to-earth everyman the nation had chosen as their new president. But for all its simplicity and understatement, it's still a stylish chunk of metal. With pieces like this in his collection, even Donald Trump couldn't accuse Sleepy Joe of having a tired taste in watches.
In 1953, Vulcain gifted Harry Truman a Cricket. Since then, they've given a Cricket to every president that's followed in his wake. Today, it's been worn by so many presidents, it's earned the title of the 'President's Watch.' Clearly too impatient to wait for a freebie, Biden was seen sporting the watch long before he was voted into the White House. According to MSN, this was the watch Biden wore for his portrait as Vice President, and the one he wore for the majority of his tenure as Veep.
The sportiest watch in Biden's collection is the Tissot T-Touch. It features a rubber bracelet and a smorgasbord of features, including a compass, altimeter, weather, alarm, and chronograph. He's not been seen wearing it much in public lately, but it was an almost permanent fixture during his time as Obama's sidekick.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
When Biden's in casual mode these days, it's an Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch you'll usually see strapped to his wrist. First launched in 1957, the "Speedy" is a watch with a long, storied history. When Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, took his first steps across the lunar surface, he was wearing a Speedmaster, making it the very first watch to grace a planet other than our own (apparently, Neil Armstrong didn't think keeping an eye on the time was necessary for the success of the mission). Since then, it's been NASA's preferred timepiece, featuring on every piloted mission since the 1960s. It's not only astronauts that are fans, though: at its star-studded 60th Anniversary bash in 2017, everyone from Ellie Goulding and Professor Brian Cox to Liv Tyler and George Clooney turned out to show their respects. Serious, down-to-earth, and performance-driven, this is a watch that values substance over style but still manages to look good anyway. Basically, it's Biden's public persona in a nutshell. Interestingly enough, Omega gifted Richard Nixon one of the very first Speedmasters ever made, but in a rare pang of conscience, Tricky Dicky decided to turn it down after deciding it went against protocol. The yellow gold timepiece now sits in Omega's archive.
Omega Seamaster 300m Diver
Biden does love an Omega... this time around, it's the Omega Seamaster 300m Diver we're interested in. Up until Biden, President Kennedy was the only President to wear an Omega in office. But whereas Kennedy's was a delicate gold watch with a simple face and a leather band, Biden's is a big, beefy Seamaster with a chunky face and an even chunkier bracelet. He clearly likes the model though - according to Chrono24Magazine, he's got not one but two, the first the so-called "James Bond" model with a blue dial and the second a newer edition with a black face.
As gearpatrol.com says, Apple watches might be polarising, but that hasn't stopped Biden from wearing a classic model with a black strap from time to time, most prominently at 2019's 4th of July Independence Day parade in Iowa. But wearing an Apple watch when you're a civilian and wearing an Apple watch when you're the leader of the free world are two very different things. Barak Obama famously fought to keep hold of his Blackberry and then his iPod when he was in office, but both devices had to go through major modifications before White House security gave them a pass. These days, technology devices are more contentious than ever, with the more high tech the gadget, the more of a risk it becomes. Speaking via bbc.co.uk, Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Bruce Schneier explains the problem, "Everything is a potential vulnerability… Apple News, everything, because it's all connected, because anything can affect any other thing," he says. "That's why this is so complicated. That's why ditching the device is often the best security advice, even if it's not practical." He might love his gadgets, but Biden might need to stick to his Omegas and his Seikos from now on.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith