If you manage a global corporation, then you usually have a full appointment calendar. To keep track of time during days filled with multiple meetings and processes, you need a reliable watch that will serve you well day in and day out. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that the managing directors of well-known companies put their faith in tradition and precision rather than complications. From high-priced Patek Philippe watches to more affordable G-Shock models, virtually everything is represented in boardrooms across the globe.
What watches do the successful CEOs wear?
Whether business casual or prestigious luxury: the watch choice here usually depends heavily on the generation and the business environment. Let's take a closer look at some of the most influential CEOs and their watches.
Popular classics: Rolex, Breitling and OmegaThe three classic brands of the watch industry never fail to impress. Rolex, Breitling and Omega are so well established on the market that you will never go wrong with a watch from these manufacturers. For example, Virginia Marie Rometty (IBM) swears by the elegance and understatement of the Rolex Cellini. John Hammergren (McKesson), Jerome Powell (President of the US Federal Reserve) as well as Jeffrey R. Immelt (General Electric) also prefer a very classical style and trust in the Rolex Submariner (Ref. 116610) and the Breitling Chronospace (Ref. M78365). In addition, Breitling is also represented by Satya Nadella (Microsoft), who has been wearing a Colt Automatic, for example. Traditionalists are in good company with James P. Gorman (Morgan Stanley) and can also revel in the eventful history of the Rolex Daytona, which became very popular when it was worn by Paul Newman, among others.
ROLEX SUBMARINER 116613LN
Wall Street and global corporations: Dedicated to luxuryIn the financial sector, there is a great deal of importance attached to prestigious luxury goods. For example, Michael Corbat (Citigroup) owns a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Perpetual Calendar (Ref. Q149242A) and a Girard Perregaux World Time (Ref. 49557-52-131-BB6C). Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), on the other hand, has long expressed his enthusiasm for Rolex, and as early as the 1980s he was sporting a Rolex Day-Date – also known as the president's watch. The CEOs of global corporations also represent luxury with their high-quality timepieces: Akio Toyoda (Toyota) wears a Patek Philippe Calatrava (Ref. 5119G) which makes a bold statement with a market value of around €20,000.
ROLEX DAY-DATE 228238
However, many CEOs forgo overly expensive watches by choice in order to appear modest to the outside world and bring themselves closer to their customers. David M. Solomon (Goldman Sachs) was often seen with a Shinola Runwell Chrono, which with prices below €1,000 is clearly one of the more affordable models out there. Philip Falcone (Harbinger Capital) on the other hand wears a down-to-earth and functional Casio G-Shock. James Dimon (JPMorgan Chase), CEO of the largest bank in the United States, even chooses not to wear watches or other jewellery whatsoever.
Silicon Valley: New money, old valuesFor a long time now the new generation of CEOs has worked in Silicon Valley. Although the dress style is generally casual, the art of Swiss watchmaking has also found its way onto the wrists of some prominent figures there. Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn) has been seen sporting an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (Ref. 15400ST), which was conceptualised by design genius Gérald Genta and features a distinctive, nautically influenced style. Whereas Jeff Bezos (Amazon) relies on a Ulysse Nardin Dual Time, which is also held in high regard by talk show legend Larry King and NBA star Michael Jordan.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK DUAL TIME 26120ST.OO.1220ST.01
However, certain figures in the IT industry are more modest. Tim Cook (Apple) relies on a modern smartwatch and of course wears the in-house developed Apple Watch, while Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, relies on a Casio Duro (Ref. MDV106-1A), which is available from just €40. Whereas for the younger generation of CEOs, watches haven’t been a necessity for a long time. The technology moguls in particular sometimes even forgo watches altogether and prefer to take the same approach as the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Elon Musk (Tesla) therefore renounce the glamour and status symbol that a luxury watch represents at public appearances and remain true to their minimalist style.