Elitist watch maker Audemars Piguet sells watches for people who easily remark, “my watch cost more than your car.” With all this money to spend, they get a bit generous with big shots like Presidents and big-shot actors. In this case Audemars Piguet created timepieces for both former President Bill Clinton and actor/California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Put to the test, we will see whose watch comes out on top. This stringent test of watch pretention and excess can only be determined by testing the most important watch qualities that the esteemed watch enthusiast takes into consideration when purchasing a new “investment.” If the call is too close, most horological collectors just buy both. Here, only one can be the winner!
Clinton: Jules Audemars Clinton Foundation Equation of Time
Schwarzenegger: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger
Analysis: Both watches have names that are a whopping seven words long! I think they each could have added a couple of more words to the names to make them sound more dignified, like the tittles of foreign dignitaries. However, there is only a limited amount of real estate space on a watch, and there must be room for other things, like time telling.
Outcome: Looks like a tie here. Each comes on well, but a little lacking with only seven word names. In Germany however, the Schwarzenegger watch might win as the words are each probably 26 letters long.
Schwarzenegger: The Royal Oak Offshore is typically a well ordained watch, and here it has been imbued with a larger size. The watch comes in 18k rose gold and the strap is crocodile leather. Watches can never be more than 18k gold because gold is a soft metal that would scratch too easily or not hold shape as well. Rose gold gives the metal a more pink hue than the standard yellow gold. Inside, the watch has gold hands, and lots of gold in the movement. Crocodile straps are just about the finest non-metal watch straps you can get. Smooth and classy. And with a watch this rugged looking, you can almost convince people you wrested the croc’ for it’s hide yourself.
Clinton: No expense has been spared here as the top models (all 42 of them because Clinton was the 42nd President) are in full platinum, the most expensive of all metals. Some of the models come in rose gold or in white gold, but leave those for the peasants. Currently, platinum prices are hovering around $1,460.00 an ounce. Time to redo the bathroom with platinum tiles. The Clinton watch also has a crocodile strap, but this time dyed black instead of brown. Wonder if you can get Audemars Piguet to do a nice platinum strap, with a crocodile print of course.
Analysis: When it comes to exclusivity and shine, platinum is the way to go. However, gold does have a certain aura to it that only a gold watch can provide, and gold is the standard color for wealth and success. If you wear the platinum watch, you are at risk of fooling people into thinking you are merely wearing a white gold watch, and in the mostly lowly of places, even a highly polished steel watch!
Outcome: Overall the high price and mythical status of platinum beats out the warm rose gold hues. Sure some people might not know what material it is at first, but the watch is going to be worn amongst like-minded individuals who wouldn’t dare suspect you of wearing anything but platinum. The nod goes to the Clinton watch for sheer indulgence across the board. And you can always melt it down later for yacht money.
Schwarzenegger: This watch is relatively simple when it comes to complications, which are the different functions and complexities in a watch’s movement. Both watches are self-winding mechanical automatics. The Schwarzenegger offers basic seconds, minutes, and hours readings, along with a 12 hour chronograph (12 hour stopwatch). It also has the date, but that it is. Unlike lesser chronographs however, this movement has a high power reserve of 60 hours when fully wound, and remarkable accuracy.
Clinton: Prepare yourself for a long list. While the Clinton watch sets no records for the amount it can do, it certainly tells you more information that you could possibly care about. There is the basic time telling (second, minutes, hours) along with a full perpetual calendar (day, date, month, leap year), and of course a moon phase indicator. Next, you get the time the sun is going to rise and set on that day. And for those of you that are interested, you get an equation of time hand on the watch. The equation of time is the difference between the time on your watch and the actual “solar” time. The difference is always a maximum of plus or minus 15 minutes. So we are never that far off, but it is good to know of course, when someone asks. Otherwise, the Clinton watch houses a meticulously hand assembled and decorated automatic mechanical movement.
Analysis: Both watches are automatic mechanical movements, but since the Clinton watch has a see-through exhibition back, you can see its lovely decorated movement and winding rotor moving about, it is more desirable to the discerning watch lover. The Schwarzenegger watch is a sturdy and solid traditional chronograph, but offers a limited amount of “show me factor.” Alternatively, the Clinton watch offers lots of useful (and useless) information, but might have you struggling to figure out what time it is.
Outcome: Here the Clinton watch has to win again for the sheer number of things it can do. You have the bragging rights to know the sun is moving just a bit faster today than our clocks, and the power to proclaim that it is OK to have a drink because the sun rose over 5 hours ago. Further, watchphiles will gather around for the many “oohs” and “aahs” that staring at the movement through the back of the watch will yield.
Schwarzenegger: Toughness and Luxury don’t always go together. You tend not to be driven to take your Bentley offroading. However, in this case the Schwarzenegger Royal Oak Offshore watch is a bit of a contradiction. The Royal Oak Offshore series of watches is by definition is a sports watch, and inherently has all sorts of shock-absorption and thick materials to protect it. You can even dive to 200 meters with it. Not that any bare human can dive 200 meters. If you don’t care about dents and scratches, you can give this watch a good beating, and it will keep on ticking. Also, it looks pretty bad-ass, you know anyone walking down a dark alley with this watch has a rose gold gun to match.
Clinton: The same toughness of the Schwarzenegger watch has not been bestowed on the Clinton watch. This is a luxury watch at every angle, and delicate to match. Yes, you can wash your hands with this watch on, and shake it up a bit. The movement isn’t so delicate as to require first-lady like handling, but you probably should keep it at home if you are planning on engaging in some hardcore campaigning in the evening.
Analysis: On the one hand, we have a rugged look with a rugged soul (rugged like a war general’s “never-see-battle” shiny new boots). On the other hand we have the piece of art that you want to handle with a white glove. The Schwarzenegger watch is designed to take a beating if it ever needed to (hostage/ransom situation), while the Clinton watch is most at home in thickly carpeted rooms.
Outcome: Clearly the Schwarzenegger watch roughs the shine out of the Clinton watch in this category. True to their namesakes, one is big and rough around the edges with a complex name, while the other is a complex gentleman having a rough history with women who are big around the edges.
Schwarzenegger: Watch sizes are a big deal these days, and no, it has never been suggested that the size of a man’s watch is an attempt to compensate for anything. The Schwarzenegger watch is on the very large end of the size spectrum at 48mm wide. That will sit right across most wrists, but the watch is designed to be comfortable on most any wrist. Much of the size is in the thick bezel, but there is lots to see in the face with the number indicators and several subdials reside. This is probably too big for most people, but the way Schwarzenegger likes it.
Clinton: Here we have a much more reasonable size at 43mm. For some, this is still considered large, but most are perfectly content with this size, which is just over average. Most people are content with being a bit over average right? Given the complications this watch has, it is actually impressive to see it in a case under 45mm. Even with all those subdials you can still make out what the readings are.
Analysis: Size, like other things are typically a matter of personal preference or a function of one’s specific dimensions. There are those that absolutely will not wear a 48mm watch, and others who love the idea. Most today are enthused to brandish a large showy watch. However, the 43mm Clinton watch will never look too big with an outfit, and always look sharp.
Outcome: By a slight hair the Schwarzenegger watch wins here because big is in. You want the most amount of people to see you wearing this watch at Starbucks, or while they are in a passing plane. When you have this watch, you are going to have other watch too. Others that wont look as ridiculous in a suit or entertaining little people with their little watches.
Schwarzenegger: No one said looking good would come cheap. Here the Schwarzenegger watch is the bargain of the two. The pictured rose gold Schwarzenegger watch retails for just over $52,000. For that money, you could barely buy a Hummer H2, and not even close to Schwarzenegger’s preferred vehicle, the Hummer H1.
Clinton: Well the President has the Governor beat here. The platinum version of the Clinton watch is over $137,000. A stately time piece indeed. This is no high-end Bentley money, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone with a more exalted watch hanging around. Like the President of the United States, there are some more powerful people in the world, but they are few and far between, and good luck trying to get retail price for them. For your entrance into presidential timepieces, Audemars Piguet gives you a enclosure for your Clinton watch that is a detailed replica of the White House itself. This white model sitting on a wooden platform opens up like a coffin providing an eternal resting place for your lifesavings.
Analysis: Neither of these watches would be considered a value. Don’t expect to hear terms like “deal, budget, economical, third world, or reasonable” when buying one of these watches. You might however hear about how the Clinton watch costs more than some people make in their entire lives in most places of the world. Regardless, when you fly to those places to help them you will look doing so, and you’ll know that if they could afford your catch, they would gladly offer any number of first-born children.
Outcome: Clinton does it again. By commanding more than twice the price of the Schwarzenegger watch, the Clinton watch is truly the watch to lust after you have too much gold bullion burning a whole in your pocket. Take that Governator! Really there is nothing the Schwarzenegger watch can do about this other than also be made of platinum, and covered in diamonds… Say that is not a bad idea!
Schwarzenegger: There are two things that the Schwarzenegger watch is trying to do, emulate Schwarzenegger the man, and Schwarzenegger the actor (in the Terminator movies mostly). The Schwarzenegger watch is based on the popular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch. There are some new design cues, and the back is engraved with an ode to Arnold, along with his signature. Schwarzenegger is one of the worlds most popular actors. Married in to the Kennedy family, and is California’s worst spoken Governor. Many hope that he will someday return to make movies, others hope that he will succeed in amending the US Constitution to allow for foreign-born Presidents.
Clinton: Former two-term US President, attorney, Rhodes scholar, and now giver of watch funding speeches for starting at $250,000 a talk. His most recent foray has been assisting his wife Hillary Clinton with her ambitious presidential Campaign. She might just win so that people get a chance to have Bill back in the White House. If that result occurs, Bill likely won’t be allowed back in the Oval Office. Bad memories, or too much temptation. On the ring around the face of the Clinton watch, “The White House” is writen, and on the back, you have another ode to Bill Clinton, along with his engraved autograph.
Analysis: Both watches are based on existing Audemars Piguet models with just a few design differences and mostly the personalized engravings on each. Both are stellar and beautiful watches in their own regard. It boils down to the power of the person they are named after. Schwarzenegger is the worlds most popular action hero and feared terminator. He has battled the Predator, and saved the future. Now he is struggling to save California from itself, and appeal to bipartisan demands. Clinton was a successful world leader, is one of the most popular people on the planet, and can boast of a successful economy while the US was under his command. He now spends his time getting paid to do what he does best, talk.
Outcome: Although both are winners in most all regards, President Clinton beats out Mr. Schwarzenegger. Not only does he have the permanent protection of the Secret Service, but he also has been able to effectively use his accent, where Schwarzenegger still fumbles on the pronunciation of the state where he is governor.
WINNER: It is probably no surprise that the Jules Audemars Clinton Foundation Equation of Time watch is the winner. With its superior price, complexity and namesake, it was just too much for the Audemars Piguet Arnold Schwarzenegger Royal Oak Offshore. Nevertheless, in other battles the Schwarzenegger watch would have won if the criteria had been more limited to strength and size. Good thing we value a well rounded leader. The Clinton watch remains the ultimate watch you want to own. You don’t even get one for being elected President. Better start saving.
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