- A watch is a status symbol and a statement, particularly for those in business.
- Business Insider spoke to the horological experts at Crown & Calibre to identify the luxury timepieces worn by some of the world’s most powerful CEOs.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For some businessmen, a wristwatch is more than a time-telling device. It’s a statement.
“A watch is the greatest icebreaker there is,” Hamilton Powell, the CEO and founder of Crown & Calibre, an online secondary market for luxury watches, told Business Insider. “In an unfamiliar city, I can approach a complete stranger and with two words eradicate any barriers: ‘Nice watch.'”
“A watch tells people about the type of person you are and what you value,” Powell added. “The guy who wears a blinged-out gold-diamond Hublot is very different than the guy with a vintage stainless-steel Zenith chronograph.”
With the help of Crown & Calibre’s team of experts, we’ve put together a list of wristwatches worn by the former and current CEOs of some of the world’s most powerful companies.
Here are the timepieces favoured by prominent executives, organised from the least to most expensive.
Bill Gates, the cofounder and former CEO of Microsoft
Bill Gates is the cofounder of Microsoft. He became a billionaire at age 31.
In November, he surpassed Jeff Bezos to reclaim his spot as the world’s richest person after two years in second place, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. But Forbes’ current calculations are different, meaning the current ranking of the world’s wealthiest billionaires is unclear. Bloomberg estimates Gates’ current net worth to be $US110 billion, while Forbes has it at $US106.8 billion.
Casio Duro – $US70
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart
Doug McMillon has been the president and CEO of Walmart since February 2014 and has worked for the company for nearly 30 years.
Apple Watch – $US399
McMillon is frequently photographed wearing an Apple Watch. The price of the various Apple Watch models starts at $US399 on the Apple website. (But, unsurprisingly, it can also be purchased on Walmart’s website for less.)
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
McMillon is in good company, as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook understandably wears an Apple Watch as well. Apple is the world’s most valuable company, Business Insider previously reported. Cook assumed the position of CEO in 2011; prior to that, he was the chief operating officer under the company’s late cofounder, Steve Jobs.
Apple’s stock climbed 2% in October, finally pushing the company’s market value past the coveted $US1 trillion threshold.
Apple Watch — $US399
Cook is rarely seen without his Apple Watch. You can purchase one on Apple’s website. They retail starting at $US399.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T
Randall Stephenson is the chairman, CEO, and president of AT&T, the world’s largest telecommunications company.
Stephenson has been the firm’s CEO since 2007, but was rumoured to have been considering stepping down in September.
TAG Heuer Kirium CL111A — $US2,850
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Satya Nadella was named the CEO of Microsoft in 2014. Nadella has been with Microsoft for about 25 years. Before being appointed CEO, he served as vice president of the computer maker’s Cloud and Enterprise Group.
Breitling Colt Automatic — $US3,620
The Crown & Calibre team believes Nadella is wearing a Breitling Colt Automatic in the previous photo. It currently retails for $US3,620.
John Watson, former CEO of Chevron
John Watson was the CEO and chairman of the board of Chevron Corp. until January 2018.
He received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and joined Chevron in 1980, serving as its CFO from 2001 to 2005 and vice chairman of the board from 2009 to 2010.
Breitling Aerospace E79362 — $US4,375
While this model is only available pre-owned through secondary markets, a similar option retails for $US4,375.
Dieter Zetsche, former CEO of Daimler
Dieter Zetsche was the chairman of the board of directors of Daimler AG, the multinational automotive corporation, and head of Mercedes-Benz cars. After 13 years at the helm, he stepped down in May.
Chopard Mille Miglia GMT Chronograph 16/8992-3001 — $US5,260
A similar model to the watch Zetsche has been seen wearing retails for $US5,260.
Jeffrey Immelt, former CEO of General Electric
Jeffrey Immelt served as the CEO of industrial giant General Electric for more than 16 years. He was frequently recognised for his success as a CEO, being named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s.
Breitling Chronospace M78365 — $US6,110
Tony Aquila, former CEO of Solera Holdings
Tony Aquila is the CEO of Solera Holdings, a Texas firm that produces risk-management and asset-protection software. He founded the company in 2005 but was replaced in the chief executive position in May.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean — $US6,550
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber
Dara Khosrowshahi, the current chief executive of ride-hailing giant Uber. He took over the company in 2017 after its board decided to oust founder Travis Kalanick. Formerly, Khosrowshahi was the CEO of Expedia, the travel company.
Chopard Mille Miglia 16/8997 – $US6,800
Khosrowshahi sports the Chopard Mille Miglia 16/8997. A similar model retails for $US6,800.
John Hammergren, former CEO of McKesson
John Hammergren was elected CEO of McKesson Corp. in 2001. McKesson is a leading provider of healthcare services, distributing pharmaceuticals, and providing information-technology solutions to improve healthcare. He retired in April.
Rolex Submariner 116610 — $US8,550
A similar model to Hammergren’s retails for $US8,550.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
Jeff Bezos is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Amazon.com. Bezos snagged the title of wealthiest person in the world at the end of 2017.
In November, Bezos was bumped back down to the world’s second-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. However, Forbes’ calculations are different, meaning the current ranking of the world’s billionaires is unclear.
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 233-88-7 — $US12,900
Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup
Michael Corbat is CEO of Citigroup, one of the world’s largest banks, a post he has held since 2012. Corbat has been at Citi since he graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics in 1983.
Jaeger LeCoultre Master Perpetual Calendar Q149242A — $US19,600
The watch Corbat is often photographed wearing is a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Perpetual Calendar. A similar model retails for $US19,600
Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota
Akio Toyoda is the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, a post which he has held since 2009. Before that, he was appointed to the board of directors in 2000 and promoted to executive vice president in 2005.
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119G — $US22,680
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – $US28,000
Catherine Rice contributed reporting.
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