News & Opinion | March 24, 2023 6:21 pm

Reports of the Cost of Emmanuel Macron’s Watch Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

There are lots of pricier watches out there

Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron.
YOAN VALAT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Political scandals can involve virtually anything, from cocker spaniels to oil reserves. As French president Emmanuel Macron learned this week, apparently the public was clamoring for a political scandal involving watches — and that’s just what Macron provided.

Macron is currently under fire for his proposal to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64. An article at The Guardian explains just how a watch factors into this. The details are these: on Wednesday, Macron appeared on a televised interview to discuss why he was backing such a controversial measure. Some keen-eyed viewers noticed something odd: Macron was wearing a watch for part of the interview, but appeared to take it off partway through.

For his part, Macron contends that he removed the watch for a very different reason: it was making a noise when it bumped into the table.

The incident led some of Macron’s critics to argue that he had removed the watch because of its cost. “According to #Macron, the smicards have never seen their purchasing power increase so much!” Member of Parliament Farida Amrani wrote on Twitter. “At the same time, the President hides his watch, the price of which is much higher than the monthly salary of a smicard.” (“Smicard” refers to a worker making minimum wage.)

According to a BBC report, however, Macron’s watch cost quite a bit less than the $80,000 value some observers had ascribed to it. The report cites information provided by the Élysée Palace to the effect that Macron’s watch is a Bell & Ross BR V1-92. Macron’s is personalized, which likely raises the cost somewhat — but if you’d like to order one here, you can do so for $2,400.

The Best Military Watches to Collect (And Why You Should Be Collecting Them)

They’re utilitarian, they’re handsome and, in many cases, they’re affordable.

It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s also far from the most expensive watch out there. And given Macron’s salary and background in the finance sector, it seems very likely that he could afford a more expensive watch if he wanted one. Still, you can’t help but wonder: would Macron have prompted this outcry if he’d just left the watch on and dealt with the noise it was making?