The art of politics involves surrounding a candidate with the right kind of subtle symbolism: blocks in a classroom that spell out BLM in the background, a perfect rosy-cheeked babe to be kissed during a photo-op, maybe even a pair of matching true-blue suits as a show of unity and togetherness. During the event announcing Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate, another bit of symbolism revealed itself: the presidential candidate’s watch. Peeking out from the sleeves of Biden’s navy blue suit was a black Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. The watch is a sleek choice for the presidential candidate: John F. Kennedy wore an Omega watch during his presidential run and on his inauguration day. Omega is also, famously, the watch brand NASA astronauts were issued before going to the moon.
Perhaps most notably, Omega is also the natural foil to (and rival of) Rolex…which is what the current president wears. Through watches alone, the two candidates are positioned as opposites: Donald Trump is known to wear a yellow gold Day-Date, and it’s most often visible when he’s out knocking balls around on one of his golf courses. Taken all together, a gold watch on a private golf course tells a story of unabashed country-club decadence. Biden’s stainless-steel Omega is a luxury watch, too. But this model at least is a more hard-wearing one, built to withstand harsh environments—whether that’s a trip to the moon, a dive to the bottom of the ocean, or, in this case, a presidential campaign in the midst of a pandemic. If the watch was a subtle bit of politicking meant to send a message about the type of candidate Biden is—or maybe more importantly, the kind he isn’t—the Omega watch hit all the correct notes. Also this week, it continues to be the summer of Chris Pine and the watches in the NBA Bubble still rule.
Biden’s Omega Seamaster
John F. Kennedy wasn’t the only suave, beloved figure to wear an Omega. The name I didn’t get to is James Bond. In 1995, Pierce Brosnan’s 007 introduced the world to the Omega Seamaster and Bond has been wearing the watch model since. A special agent who smoothly saves the world from the brink of annihilation? Biden probably wouldn’t reject that comparison.
The Seamaster isn’t Biden’s only Omega either. Reps with the brand confirms he owns a Speedmaster—the Moonwatch—and he’s also been spotted with a couple different versions of the Seamaster, including one with a white dial and another with an ocean-blue bezel. Since Lyndon B. Johnson wore a Rolex Day-Date in the Oval, that watch has been known as the President. But times have changed drastically over the last several decades. History’s more recent politicians, Trump excluded, often gravitated towards more affordable pieces—Bill Clinton famously wore clunky and despised Timex pieces—to signal their kinship with the everyman. November might give Omega a chance to stake out its own claim as the new watch for presidents.
Chris Pine’s Rolex Day-Date
When the temperature and humidity start to rise unbearably and the rest of us seek refuge in air-conditioned rooms, that’s when it’s Chris Pine’s time to shine, baby. Last year, we fawned over his orange creamsicle Comic Con look and vacation caftan, which was so dreamy and relaxed I described it as a style quaalude.
Pine has found a reliable formula for his summer ‘fits this year: short shorts, shirts with more buttons undone than done, and the occasional cowboy hat. Yeehaw! This week, he landed on a way to elevate the summer look he’s cultivated by pairing another goofy hat and a cheetah-print shirt with a gold Rolex Day-Date. The watch does a nice job of balancing out the look: a classic watch with an outfit that’s anything but.
James Harden’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
The fashion is still hitting in the NBA bubble. We’ve seen a much higher share of full printed sets, shorts, and graphic tees than we normally would pre-game—and the high-powered watch game has been at all-time levels, too. Harden’s very-green Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore would be a showstopper whether worn on the red carpets of the Toyota Center or the NBA campus in Orlando. The Offshore was designed to be the statement-making piece of the Royal Oak family and this model certainly delivers on that promise. The full name of the watch really tells you everything you need to know: Royal Oak Offshore Diver “Funky Colour.” Funky indeed!
Russell Westbrook’s Richard Mille RM-011 Felipe Massa NTPT 10th Anniversary Edition
Much like their on-the-court play, Westbrook and James Harden’s pregame tunnel fits are a one-two punch. This is a fitting pairing between watch and wearer. The special edition is named after Felipe Massa, one of Richard Mille’s original athlete ambassadors. Massa actually helped test-drive many of the brand’s early watches, seeing how well they stood up to actual racing conditions. The watches are built to be worn during competition and to stand up to vibrations and shocks. It’s the same technology that allowed Odell Beckham to wear one on the football field—and, hopefully, one day for Russell Westbrook to play his rumble-to-the-basket and rim-rattling style with an RM on his wrist.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A
The following are quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the world’s most confident footballer:
“I am like a Ferrari among Fiats.”
“I can’t help but laugh at how perfect I am.”
“I came like a king, left like a legend.”
Obviously a watch can’t speak, but if the Nautilus—with its famous eight-year wait list and sky-high auction prices—were given the ability to shit talk, I bet it would sound a lot like this. Still, the Nautilus says a lot nonverbally. And if you’re the perfect footballer, you need a perfect watch: none in the world probably fit that description more than the Patek Philippe Nautilus right now.