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Historical Horology: What The Presidents Wore

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When it comes to political figures, it’s always interesting to figure out what exactly they’re wearing in a particular photograph. As of late, there have been some brands that are officially endorsed as being “the” president’s watch (as evidenced by this Jorg Gray). But what if you wanted to go back further, and see what, say, George Washington tracked the time with?

Then you, friend, are in quite some luck. Â Over at Hodinkee, Eric Wind has an article that showcases a massive amount of research, and it’s likely the most comprehensive listing we have of the watches used by U.S. Presidents.

29.1 Front

As you might expect, pocket watches make up a large part of what the earlier presidents wore, including a triangular Masonic one carried by Harding. Â It’s when we get to FDR that we see a wristwatch enter the scene (and even then, it’s partnered with a pocket watch).

Not too surprisingly (given the positions of power and, let’s face it, wealth, these men had), there’s a great mix of some serious high-end complications, things like minute repeaters (and, interestingly enough, a 15-minute repeater that Washington had).

LBJ Hamilton

This article is all but must-read for any American with a passing interest in horology – head on over and get to reading.

All images courtesy of Hodinkee

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