Call it Watchgate. The Russian press have been having a lot of fun with the wrist wear of senior Russian public figures and comparing them to their official income. And the latest victim to be caught out is none other than President Vladimir Putin, who declared an income of RUB3.6m ($112,000) last year, but owns watches worth six times as much, reports the Moscow Times.
What the media does is search the press archives for photos of leaders to identify their watches and then look up the value of the timepieces. Putin has been photographed wearing a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar that retails for a hefty $60,000. He has also been photographed wearing a Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date by Blancpain worth $10,500, and a jewel-encrusted A. Lange & SÃ¶hne Tourbograph worth up to half a million dollars, the paper said.
Russian Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill was caught out in the same way only two months ago sporting an expensive Breguet. The watch had been airbrushed out of the photo by the church, but they forgot to also erase the reflection of the watch on the shiny tabletop. Very embarrassing.
Russian daily Vedomosti has done the most extensive report on the topic with a piece in 2009 that lists the watches of nearly two dozen politicians and their watches, most of which were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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