Watch Spotting: Vladimir Putin and His IWC Mark XVII

The President of Russia sports an IWC aviator's timepiece during the Oliver Stone interviews.

In late April auctioneers Monaco Legends and Antiquorum revealed its upcoming July auction in Monte Carlo would include a Patek Philippe ref. 5208P – a million dollar grand complication – with “Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin” printed on the certificate. Earlier this month American watch blog Hodinkee picked up the news, which led to a denial from the Kremlin that the watch belongs to the Russian head of state.

Putin, however, is the owner of a IWC Mark XVII, which costs US$5000 or so. The wristwatch features prominently in the final episode of The Putin Interviews, a four part series covering a string of interviews director Oliver Stone had with the Russian President over two years. Putin is spotted with the IWC during the final session with Stone that took place in February 2017.

Vladimir Putin IWC Mark XVII 4

Vladimir Putin IWC Mark XVII 1

Vladimir Putin IWC Mark XVII 2

Over the years Putin has been spotted with a variety of other pricier watches, including examples from A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet, F.P. Journe and Patek Philippe, though not with the infamous Patek Philippe ref. 5208P or anything quite as expensive – which seems like a prudent move by a politician no matter how well-off he is.

An F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu

The most famous Putin wristwatch, however, is the one he is spotted the most often with: the Blancpain Aqua Lung Grande Date. He has given away examples of the Blancpain twice and thrown one into freshly poured cement once, while all the official portraits of Putin that show a wristwatch are of the Blancpain, which is reputedly known as the “Putin Blancpain” in Russia.

Putin with the Blancpain Aqua Lung. Image credit Kremlin

Aqua Lung again. Image credit Kremlin

Screenshots credit The Putin Interviews


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H. Moser & Cie. Introduces Entry-Level, Sports Perpetual Calendar in Steel

The Pioneer Perpetual Calendar is water-resistant and priced at US$40,000.

Having introduced a time-only, stainless steel sports watch earlier in the year, H. Moser & Cie. just revealed the Pioneer Perpetual Calendar, which puts the brand’s signature and inventive perpetual calendar into a water-resistant watches case.

Minimalist in its display and robustly adjustable forwards and backwards at any time, the HMC 800 perpetual calendar movement is ensconced inside a 42.8mm steel case with a screw-down crown, which is rated to 120m. The flanks of the case are recessed and finished with fluting, a feature common to all the Pioneer watches.

H. Moser Pioneer Perpetual Calendar 1

The dial is dark blue fumé, the graduated finish that is the brand’s most popular dial finish. And Super-Luminova dots on the dial flange and hands provide nighttime legibility.

H. Moser Pioneer Perpetual Calendar 3

With the next most affordable Moser perpetual calendar priced at US$60,000, the Pioneer perpetual is well priced.

Price and availability

The Pioneer Perpetual Calendar (ref. 3800-1200) is priced at SFr39,900, or about US$41,000. It arrives at authorised retailers end of June.


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