US presidents and watches are a notorious combination: Since the timepieces on the wrist can be understood as a mirror of one’s own personality, they should always be chosen with great consideration and with an eye to public perception. While affordable quartz watches stand for a noble down-to-earth attitude, higher-quality or more expensive models, on the other hand, are associated with sovereignty and dominance. (Whether this is true or not is another story.)
In fact, especially in the last century, owning expensive luxury watches was common practice among high-ranking politicians (as our article Tyrants and Their Watches shows), whereas nowadays they tend to show more modesty.
But what about Donald Trump, who is considered to be anything but down-to-earth and makes no secret of the silver spoon in his mouth? Strangely enough, the size of his hands, which was first mentioned by a journalist in 1988, seems to be a particular political issue here. Even a Wikipedia article called “Tiny Hands” takes up this topic. With small hands, the choice of the right wristwatch is therefore all the more important. Let’s see if Trump succeeds in this or not:
Given his tie quirk, we would have expected a similar Napoleon complex when it comes to his choice of wristwatch, but Trump is in for a surprise here: With the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse (Ref. 3738/122), he wears a yellow-gold watch on his wrist, which is rather dainty in nature with case dimensions of 31 x 35.5mm. The design was first introduced in 1968 and is based on the principle of the “golden ratio”. These proportions are considered particularly harmonious in art.
The most obvious choice for a president: the Rolex Day-Date aka “President”. When it was launched in 1956, this model was the first watch ever that could display both the date and the day of the week written-out. With the specially developed three-link “president’s bracelet”, the high-quality yellow gold case and the useful complication, the watch quickly became a favorite among US presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson were all avowed Day Date fans.
The third and last watch, with which Trump often appears in public, is a Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1968 (Ref. 1968 43043/000R-9592). This square watch has a 35mm pink gold case, i.e. a Vacheron Constantin gold alloy with copper. The movement in use is the hand-wound calibre 1003, bearing the Geneva hallmark. With an overall height of only 1,64 mm, it is one of the thinnest movements in the world.
Trump doesn’t strike us as a great watch enthusiast, even though his watches are quite alright per se. However, the fact that he wears a dress watch for golfing just makes us shake our heads in disbelief.
What emerges is his love for gold watches, which is in accordance with his eccentric lifestyle, although he should be careful not to strain the filigree pieces too much.
If you want to read more about US politicians and their watches, make sure to check out our two articles Obama’s favourite: Jorg Gray 6500 Chronograph and Watches in the US Election Campaign: From Omega to Citizen.