For some professionals, a wristwatch is more than just a timepiece; it’s a fashion statement. Hamilton Powell, the CEO and founder of Crown & Caliber, an online secondary market for luxury timepieces, previously told Business Insider that a watch is the best icebreaker because when you’re in a different place, you can approach a stranger and remove any barriers with just two words, “Nice watch.” He also stated that a watch conveys information to others about the type of person you are and what you appreciate.
Sourcing from the Crown & Caliber’s team of specialists and Business Insider, here is the compiled list of the world’s wealthiest CEOs and their watches. Here are the watches preferred by high-level CEOs, arranged from lowest cost to most extravagant.
- Randall Stephenson (TAG Heuer Kirium)
Randall Stephenson is the former chairman, CEO, and president of AT&T, the world’s largest telecommunications business, and served as the Boy Scouts of America’s National President from 2016 to 2018. Stephenson has been AT&T’s CEO since 2007 until his stepping down in June 2020. He was also known as a watch enthusiast owning a TAG Heuer Kirium CL111A with a retail price of $2,850.
- Satya Nadella (Breitling Colt)
In 2014, Satya Nadella was chosen CEO of Microsoft. Nadella has been a Microsoft employee for roughly 25 years. Before he was appointed CEO, he was vice president of the computer maker’s Cloud and Enterprise Group. The Crown & Caliber team believes Nadella is sporting a Breitling Colt Automatic, which costs roughly around $3,620.
- John Watson (Breitling Aerospace)
Until January 2018, John Watson was the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Chevron Corp. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and entered Chevron in 1980, where he served as vice-chairman of the board from 2009 to 2010 and as CFO from 2001 to 2005. The Breitling Aerospace E79362 is in his collection, and though this model is only available pre-owned through secondary markets, a comparable alternative costs $4,375.
- Dieter Zetsche (Chopard Mille Miglia GMT)
Dieter Zetsche was the chairman of the board of directors of Daimler AG, a worldwide automotive firm, as well as the head of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. He resigned in May 2019 after 13 years at the head. He’s a watch owner and a similar Chopard Mille Miglia GMT Chronograph 16/8992-3001 to the one he’s wearing costs $5,260.
- Jeffrey Immelt (Breitling Chronospace)
For more than 16 years, Jeffrey Immelt was the CEO of the industrial behemoth General Electric. He was widely acknowledged for his achievements as a CEO, having been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” by Barron’s three times. He resigned in 2017 and became a venture partner at the venture capital company New Enterprise Associates. Crown & Caliber specialists recognized a watch Immelt has been seen wearing as a Breitling Chronospace, with an identical model retailing for $6,110.
- Tony Aquila (Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean)
Tony Aquila is the CEO of Solera Holdings, a Texas-based company that develops risk-management and asset-protection software. He started the company in 2005 but was succeeded as CEO in May 2019. Aquila has been photographed sporting an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, which costs $6,550.
- Dara Khosrowshahi (Chopard Mille Miglia)
Dara Khosrowshahi, the current CEO of ride-hailing behemoth Uber. He took over the business in 2017 when the board of directors chose to remove creator Travis Kalanick. Khosrowshahi was previously the CEO of Expedia, a travel company. Khosrowshahi is wearing a Chopard Mille Miglia 16/8997 with diamonds, and a comparable model costs $6,800.
- John Hammergren (Rolex Submariner)
In 2001, John Hammergren was appointed CEO of McKesson Corp. McKesson is a significant provider of healthcare information technology services, pharmaceutical distribution, and healthcare services. He announced his retirement in April 2019. His watch was recognized as a Rolex Submariner 116610, with an identical model retailing for $8,550.
- Jeff Bezos (Ulysse Nardin Dual Time)
Amazon’s founder, chairman, and CEO, Jeff Bezos, holds the title of world’s wealthiest person from the end of 2017 until the end of 2021, with an estimated $185.8 billion net worth, according to Forbes. Bezos owns many watches and is regularly pictured sporting a Ulysse Nardin Dual Time. His exact model is no longer available, but a comparable watch costs $12,900 which is a low-key choice for a billionaire like him.
- Michael Corbat (Jaeger LeCoultre Master Perpetual Calendar)
Michael Corbat has been the CEO of Citigroup, one of the world’s biggest banks, since 2012. He has been at Citi since 1983 when he finished Harvard University with a degree in economics. Corbat is frequently pictured sporting a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Perpetual Calendar watch, and a comparable model costs $19,600.
- Akio Toyoda (Patek Philippe Calatrava)
Akio Toyoda has been the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s second-largest carmaker from Japan, since 2009. He joined the board of directors in 2000 and was advanced to executive vice president in 2005. Toyoda has been pictured several times sporting what Crown & Caliber believes is a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119G, and a comparable watch costs $22,680.
- Jeff Weiner (Audemars Piguet Royal Oak)
Since 2009, Jeff Weiner has served as the CEO of LinkedIn. In 2016, Microsoft paid $26.2 billion for the business, and Weiner contributed to the transaction. Weiner, who wears the most expensive watch on the ranking, is also the youngest CEO, at 49 years old. Weiner’s timepiece, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, costs an undisclosed sum. On Crown & Caliber published in the Business Insider, a pre-owned Royal Oak is presently available for around $28,000.
In A Nutshell
A watch is a status symbol and a declaration, especially for business people. But have you ever wondered why the costliest watch worn by the aforementioned CEO costs only $28,000, which does not even meet 1% of their net worth? Not to mention Bill Gates, whose net worth is estimated to be approximately $128 billion but who wears a Casio Duro watch that almost anyone can afford. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is not even spotted wearing one. We can speculate that they are not exactly known for their style or delighting in luxury items such as timepieces, and the statement they choose to make with their fashion choices is that they simply don’t care and that they are more apprehensive with being on time rather than being trendy.