Here is an interesting and rare find that will likely appeal to collectors of dictator paraphernalia. A Certina brand watch with a happy little picture of the now dead former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein. The Certina brand is controlled by the powerful Swatch Group who is now using Certina as a means of releasing classically styled sports watches such as the Certina DS-1 and DS square.
This Certina watch was liked commissioned by the Iraqi embassy and was reportedly distributed in 2001 in Warsaw Poland during a political delegation. Interest groups, associations, and companies will often commission self branded or designated watches to commemorate an event or affiliation. This just happens to be a particularly macabre example given the history and reputation of the reign of Saddam Hussein.
Saddam Hussein was actually known for being very fond of placing images of himself on all types of watches and clocks. While very rare in the Western world, there are Rolex and other fine watches strewn around with smiling faces of Saddam all over them. Watches with pictures of people on them are cheesy to say the least, but if while he was in power Saddam gave you a watch with his face on it, and he saw you wearing anything else, I am sure you can imagine the likely consequences. Click here to see a review of the book “Saddam Hussein Watches.”
Other than having the picture of Saddam on the face of the watch, the Certina is a “DS” watch model and most likely features a quartz movement with a gold plated case and leather band. A respectable watch by most standards, and certainly a testament to another era in world politics. In 2001 Iraq was by no means popular, but was flying under the radar a bit in terms of the geopolitical scene. It is hard not to compare this watch with something that might have Adolf Hitler’s face on it, or any other infamous man of genocidal reputation.
See Certina watches on Amazon here.