Regardless of the power and influence one has, there is one universal threat that every man has to fight: the ticking clock. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), we are yet to find a way to manipulate the way time flows. Thus, it is the greatest humbling agent of all. The most one can do is to take control of how you function in regards to the ever-ticking clock. The watches on a person’s wrist serves as not only a piece of art and craftsmanship to display, but a representation of control over their lives in relation to time. Today, we will be looking at 5 influential men from the past and present and their choice of watches.


1. John F. Kennedy’s Omega

JFK and his watch

John F. Kennedy, one of the best-loved presidents the U.S. had, was also loved by friends and family surrounding him, which is represented by his watch. The watch was gifted to him with an engraving on the back that wrote “PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES JOHN F. KENNEDY FROM HIS FRIEND GRANT” from his friend and former Florida State Senator Grant Stockdale. He commissioned this custom order Omega even before Kennedy was officially elected president, showing his deep support and confidence for his friend. Fortunately, as we know, Kennedy did go on to be the president of the U.S. and was seen wearing this watch on various occasions. 


2. Buzz Aldrin’s Omega Speedmaster

Buzz Aldrin and his watch

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever land on the moon, was also the man responsible for taking the first ever wristwatch to visit the moon. In the above photo, you can see Aldrin confidently showing off his Omega Speedmaster, which his friend and partner Niel Armstrong captured. Perhaps this watch symbolized the time ticking on Earth while he and his team had a different experience with time up in space. Unfortunately, this valuable piece of history is currently lost. Most likely it is lying somewhere on the surface of Earth, unless Aldrin managed to leave at the moon. Who knows?


3. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Rolex

MLK and his watch

Martin Luther King Jr., commonly regarded as the most influential figure in the civil rights movement, wore his Rolex Datejust at almost every event. The history of how and from who he received this watch and where it is now is a mystery but its prominence in his life is certainly not. We can see numerous events big and small alike that he wore his precious watch to: including his historic arrest in Montgomery (1958) and the meeting with President Lyndon Johnson (1964). It is evident that as a man with a never-ending schedule packed with honorable tasks and events, he valued how he utilized his time no matter what he was doing. And his Rolex served his best tool for making the clock tick for him. 


4. Bill Gates’ Casio Duro

Bill Gates and his watch

As you may already know, Bill Gates was once the most wealthy man and still continues to keep his title as second wealthiest person in the world. However, this lies contrary to his humble choice in timekeeping. His watch – the Casio Duro – is priced at an affordable $50. As the co-founder of the most influential software company, Microsoft, it is obvious that he has a passion for technology and innovation. This mind for technology, however, does not necessarily have to correlate with fancy, luxurious products. His focus is within the practicality and timelessness of the piece, which the modest yet effective Casio Duro offers. Gates, through his watch, reminds us that what’s often important is not the price tag, but the quality. After all, why spend hefty amounts of money on a watch when time-keeping is the only utility you derive from it? 


5. Jeff Bezos’ Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 233-88-7

Jeff Bezos and his watch

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, sits at number one on the list of wealthiest people with his whopping $180 billion in net worth. Just like Gates, Bezos is a man of innovation and constant technological pursuit. The importance of time in his life is evident and his choice of watch to regulate it is the Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 233-88-7. Unlike Gates, Bezos’ watch does have a considerable price tag of $13,000. Although a negligible price to Bezos, to the average man, this watch is several times more expensive than what can be afforded. This watch serves as not only a keeper of time, but as a reminder of his distinguishable status in the world. 


Written by Sudona Barton of the Rotate Watches team.