Art

The $15,000 Detail Hidden in Obama’s Official Portrait

The former U.S. President appears to be a Rolex man.
Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Originally published by Stephen Pulvirent on Hodinkee.

After every U.S. President has finished his term in office, he has had a portrait painted and hung in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. On Feb. 12, Barack Obama had his official portrait unveiled at a ceremony in the U.S. capital, and the massive Kehinde Wiley painting is nothing short of incredible. Being who we are though, those of us at Hodinkee HQ immediately had to look at the painted President's wrist. What watch will President Obama be rocking in the hallowed halls of the United States's national museum? A Rolex, of course.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

The watch in question is a Rolex Cellini reference 50509, which is a 39mm time-only watch with a white gold case and a classic alligator strap. Just in case you're wondering, the precious metal Rolex retails for $15,200. While he was President, Obama wore much less expensive watches, including a Fitbit Surge and a Jorg Gray chronograph given to him by the Secret Service. 

This isn't the first time we've spotted President Obama wearing this Rolex though. It first showed up on our radar in October 2017, when we could see it clearly displayed while the former President was chatting with the United Kingdom's Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto. That it makes an appearance in this official portrait is just further evidence that President Obama must really enjoy the watch and wanted it to be part of his lasting image.

To learn more about the Cellini, visit Rolex online

Hodinkee is the preeminent resource for modern and vintage wristwatch enthusiasts. Through in-depth reviews, live reports, and dynamic videos, Hodinkee is bringing watches to a 21st-century audience.

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