It is an open secret that Vladimir Putin has given away some of his watches to common people during his trips in Russia. In August, he was drinking tea with a local shepherd in the Republic of Tuva and gave his Blancpain watch to the shepherd’s son.
In September, Putin visited the city of Tula. He had a meeting with local workers when Viktor Zagayevsky, a mechanic, asked the prime minister to leave something to them as a gift. Putin flung his arms up and said that he did not have anything with him. The worker saw a watch on Putin’s wrist and wondered if he could give them the watch for good memory of their meeting with the prime minister.
It could be seen that Putin was taken aback with such a request. However, he removed the watch – another Blancpain – and gave it to the worker.
“I gave the same watch to a shepherd’s son in Tuva. I liked it a lot, so I bought another one,” he said.
In October, Putin visited China. He was photographed wearing another Blancpain, which, as it seems, Putin likes a lot indeed. A Blancpain, Leman Aqualung Grande Date watch, which Putin was wearing in China, costs $10,500, according to Wristwatch Annual 2009 Catalogue, the Vedomosti newspaper wrote.
Before developing a passion for Blancpain watches, Putin was wearing Patek Philippe. As it turns out, other Russian officials prefer this brand too.
For example, Andrei Kostin, the President of VTB Bank, wears a Patek Philippe, Sky Moon worth $240,800, as the above-mentioned catalogue states.
Aleksei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, wears a Patek Philippe, Chronograph Annual Calendar ref.5960, worth $78,800. The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Naryshkin, wears a modest model of Patek Philippe priced at $29,700.
Breguet is another popular watch brand among Russian officials. President Dmitry Medvedev wear a Breguet, Classique Moon Phase, priced at $32,200.
The Breguet watches of Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin and Sberbank’s head German Gref, are twice less expensive than that of the president - $14,900 and $14,200 respectively.
Gazprom’s chairman, Aleksei Miller, was snapped wearing a very expensive Breguet, Classique Grande Complication Tourbillon for $112,100.
Ulysse Nardin also enjoys great popularity among Russian statesmen. Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and the head of RosNanotechnologies Anatoly Chubais were photographed wearing UN watches priced at about $16,000.
Vladimir Resin, Deputy Moscow Mayor, was photographed wearing a DeWitt, La Pressy Grande Complication. An employee of the company that makes these watches, said that they cost 1.044,800 Swiss franks.
Mr. Resin owns at least one extremely rare watch – a GreubelForsey Double Tourbillon 30°. They can be available in white gold or platinum priced at $360,000 or $425,000 respectively, Wristwatch Annual 2008 Catalogue said.
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov wears a Bovet watch. A spokesperson for the company said that it is a white gold Fleurier Minute Repeater. The retail price of this watch is about $300,000 in the United States.
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