The hoopla surrounding President Joe Biden’s Rolex Datejust he wore at the Inauguration has been covered extensively in the media from the New York Times to Esquire. Of course we here at the Everest Journal strongly believe that Biden’s watch choice is worth talking about, but just not in the way others have.
Photo courtesy of Hodinkee
First and foremost, we think the guy has good taste in watches. After all, a Datejust 41 with blue dial, smooth bezel and Jubilee bracelet suits him. He’s from a working class town (Scranton, Pennsylvania) and the smooth bezel and larger size choices make his Rolex a bit more tough looking than the classic white gold fluted bezel in a 36mm case. His other known watches are an Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster, so he has a well-rounded collection that most watch enthusiasts would be proud to own.
Now the matter of whether or not the President of the United States should be wearing or not wearing a Rolex is absolutely silly. Biden is the President and he happens to like watches. He’s a watch guy, and that’s cool. If you’re reading this article you’re probably passionate about watches too. We don’t need to justify our interests and neither does the President.
We are not being partisan in any way in this defense. We are also behind Donald Trump wearing his Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantine watches too. His collection costs much more than Biden’s and it’s Trump’s absolute right to wear what he enjoys.
In fact, that’s the beauty of Rolex in particular. If a person prioritizes owning a Rolex, the starting price points are well within the means of even lower wage earners. Heck, even many managers of Domino's Pizza chains wear Rolexes. And, it should be said, we are proud of their success as well.
I personally derive more satisfaction from owning a nice wrist watch than a car or regular fine-dining excursions. My watches make me happy. What also makes me happy is when I see other people being successful and celebrating their success in a way that is meaningful to them.
Photo by Watch Trading Company
As a nation it seems we are obsessed with relentlessly shaming people for their successes, while at the same time criticizing people for not working hard enough. If you take a lunch break or vacation, you're lazy, if you have nice things you're elitist and out of touch. In America, being a work-aholic is considered a positive and expected trait, but enjoying the benefits of your hard work with material items is considered selfish. When a president wears a Rolex he is branded elitist and haughty and someone who couldn't possibly relate to the masses.
All of this is absolutely ridiculous and honestly, it's not a good look for Americans. Instead of asking "What's a guy with a $7,000 watch know about my struggle?", we should be asking the better question of, "How did this man become successful and how can I do that as well? What can I learn from this person?" In all areas of life we should be celebrating, inspiring, and lifting each other up instead of constantly tearing each other down. We'd be a happier nation if we weren't so resentful of others.
Who knows if Biden’s watches make him happy. But since we are watch aficionados, let’s critique his choice for the occasion. Being inaugurated as President of the United States is as formal as any event that’s not black tie. We might have recommended a dressier watch for the Inauguration, perhaps a Cartier Tank.
In fact if Biden had been wearing a Tank, we predict there would be no articles written about his watch. That’s the weight of the Rolex name causing people to notice. It has become clear that mainstream writers, such as the author of the now infamous NYT article on this topic, clearly don't understand Rolex the way you and I do. As Rolex fans we understand that the brand is not high-end horology.
The mechanical movements are simple and do well for their purpose, but the closed casebacks are there for a reason. There’s no highly decorated movements, but the power of the brand has most non-watch enthusiasts believing that Rolex watches are the best (and most expensive) on earth.
To the Everest Journal team, we also believe that Rolex watches are the best on Earth because we love the way they look and feel. Quite often our emotional attachments to objects are irrational, but honestly if you put a Submariner next to a Nautilus my gut is going to go for the Submariner.
With that said, we applaud your choice of the blue-dial Datejust 41, President Biden. That blue dial is a stunner.
If you're looking for a sporty rubber strap for your own Datejust, check out our line here.
update: since publishing this blog, some people now say they believe the watch has a black dial instead of blue. Either way we think it's an excellent choice for a POTUS.