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Watch & Learn: Bill Clinton’s Panerai Luminor

Hail to the former chief’s wristwatch

While he was in office, former President Bill Clinton was known his folksy, every-man style. His most daring fashion statements were wearing jeans and a Timex Ironman. How times have changed. In his post-Presidential life, Clinton has amassed a watch wardrobe of an estimated 50 pieces. And front and center in this collection are several timepieces from Panerai.

Clinton is still a player on the world stage. Seen here on a stop in Indonesia last month, Clinton was spotted wearing a brushed titanium Luminor Panerai 44MM Reference PAM00089 GMT. Panerai and policy making goes way back to when Officine Panerai was named official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy in 1900. The company’s distinctive style (ginormous cases, oversized luminous numbers, protected crowns) evolved as part of the effort to create the perfect dive watch.

After Panerai parted ways with the Marina Militare, they started focusing on timepieces for the civilian population by producing special edition collections. The former President’s watch was part of a limited edition run of 2,500 and is no longer in production, but you can find an equally elegant style in the 1950 3 Days GMT automatic.

Both models feature the squared Luminor case, distinguished by a half moon-shaped crown guard, a distinctive basic black dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers and a brown alligator strap. Inside beats the Panerai P.9001 automatic caliber movement with a 72-hour power reserve.

This spare style makes the Luminor especially well suited for a trip abroad. A big part of his charisma is his folksy charm, but with rotating bezels and bulky chrono pushers, most dive watches are far too sporty for meet-and-greets with dignitaries and potentates. The Panerai lends Bubba extra polish without taking away his trademarked swagger.



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