Putin’s extravagant watches doubted by opposition

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been pulled up by his opposition group Solidarity over claims that he wears wristwatches far out of the league of his apparent $100,000 (£65,000) annual salary, in a video dubbed “Watches of a Kleptocrat”.

The video questions how Putin can afford his collection of high-end timepieces, offering that they might be evidence of government fraud.

His range of watches is thought to include a platinum A. Lange & Sohne Tourbograph worth about £322,000, as well as a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, a Breguet Marine and a Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date.

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Boris Nemtsov, a former prime minister and Solidarity’s leader is said to have written a sarcastic blog regarding the watch collection in which he writes: “Putin, it seems, did not eat or drink for six years to acquire this collection”.

Putin is also said to be known for giving away luxury watches as gifts, often on a whim and sometimes from his own wrist.

In 2009 he gave a watch to a “stunned factory worker”, and in 2010 is said to have tossed a Blancpain watch into wet concrete while visiting a construction site.

The video then compares Putin’s collection to the sub-£500 Jorg Gray timepiece worn by Barack Obama and the £80 Swatch worn by French President Francois Hollande.

Solidarity’s efforts to highlight the collection comes only a short time after Russia’s Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, had to acknowledge that his $30,000 Breguet timepiece was photoshopped out of a picture earlier this year.
 

 

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