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A watch expert helps CILISOS evaluate 6 politicians’ watches

Well, it looks like Malaysians have been taking the advice to WATCH their local politicians a little too literally, since pictures of certain high-profile politicians and their wristwatches have been making the news and social media shares:

MyWatch papar jam tangan mewah ahli politik   Malaysiakini

Two Sen Translation: MyWatch exposes luxury watches of politicians. Click for Malaysiakini article.

 

The backstory…

Let’s turn time back a few days – over the weekend, Sri Sanjeevan Ramakrishnan posted a series of pictures of watches worn by our local politicians and a blurb of their jaw-dropping cost on his Facebook page. Sri Sanjeevan is also the chairman of Malaysian crime prevention watchdog MyWatch. So yea, we guess you might say MyWatch decided to watch the watches of our local politicians.

I-see-what-you-did-there

#shioksendiri

Sri Sanjeevan has gone on record saying that while this was the result of research done by the people in MyWatch, it isn’t part of MyWatch’s duties or any hidden agenda – just for “the public to know what kind of lifestyle these politicians are adopting”. And the public does seem interested in knowing, since the posts have been shared more than 25,000 times on Facebook alone. It has also prompted one of the ministers featured in the post to state on Twitter that the allegations were untrue:

Ahmad Maslan on Twitter   Fitnah  Ini kerja pembangkang  Saya tak pernah ada Rolex Submariner   tak pernah memakainya. Jam saya yg biasa saja. http   t.co 1MJs22sHOX

Screencapped from Ahmad Maslan’s Twitter page. Click to link.

All this hoo-ha of course brings about three questions:

  1. How accurate are the prices shown in the pictures?
  2. What watches are some of our other political figures wearing, and how much do they cost?
  3. How many watch puns can I make in an article?

What we did was that we went and got high-res images (at least 1024 x 768) of the politicians in question and sent them to the managing editor of a luxury goods magazine in Singapore (who prefers to remain anonymous) to see if he can identify them. Our expert was also a former associate publisher of a popular international watch retailer. We then checked the prices of the identified watches online to see how much they cost.

But before that…

 

DISCLAIMERS UGAIZ!!

None of us in the CILISOS offices know our watches very well. This writer has not worn a watch since high school. So what gives me the street cred to write an article about watches? Well, I’m also the owner of a one-of-a-kind custom-made watch:

IMG_20150414_142334

Very good for pickup lines, okay?

Also, as we found out, identifying watches from pictures is HARD. While our watch expert identified the manufacturer and model of some of them, we quickly realized that some models come in different variations not just in cosmetic design, but also in features – often with dramatic differences in price. So to be fairer, we’ll put the price range for these watches.

Also, if you happen to be featured in this article and we got your watch wrong, please let us know and we’ll fix it. #kitakawan #dontseditionus #terimakasihYB

In the few hours since this article has been posted, readers have been correcting us on the identification of some of the watches. We’ll mention them in updates. See? Not easy to identify okay. #weloveourreaders #likeourFBpage

Also, most of them probably have more than one watch, so we’ll only compare those that matched R. Sanjeevan’s post, otherwise we’ll just discuss what we found. We also expect the prices to be higher than in the Facebook posts since some of the prices are now inclusive of GST.

We originally submitted 14 politicians  –Eight from BN and six from Pakatan – to our expert, but we had to exclude half of them since we couldn’t properly identify them because of the angle or focus. For example, we excluded the Lims due to their preference for shiny watches, as our expert couldn’t make out any characteristics due to the glare.

The Lims

Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng

Alright now that we got ourselves covered, let’s start from cheapest watch, with belongs to…

 

1. Former PAS Spiritual Leader Nik Aziz (RIP)

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

11113171_620378241396966_2920848129673316826_n

Click to link

 CILISOS photo:

9

Image from Farizizhan.com. Click to enlarge.

Expert opinion:

None, but it’s a MATCH!

Price from Jadigital:

RM 350

Casio Muslims Prayer Compass Watch

Click to buy!

 CILISOS notes:

Thanks to the distinctive digital compass, identifying the watch was pretty easy. The only thing is that Nik Aziz must have switched straps sometime between when the two photos were taken, or that he has two of the same watch with different straps.

 

2. Former PM Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

10408700_620378184730305_5994533362212472629_n

Click to link.

CILISOS picture:

Mahathir

Image from bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com. Click for full image.

Expert opinion (on the CILISOS picture):

“Can’t really see enough of it but from the lugs and strap I think it might be a Bulgari.”

Price from Bodying.my:

RM 6,000 – RM7,000 

bvlgari   men   Find a wide array of watches at Bodying.my

Click to buy!

CILISOS notes:

In case you missed it, Tun Mahathir is wearing different watches in both photos – but we went with ours. The Bvlgari models range from RM6,000 – RM 59,000 but this is our best guess based on the straps and the overall shape.

Update: A reader pointed out that the watch that Tun Mahathir is wearing has TWO dials, while the Bvlgari model has one. This reader identified the watch as a Phillip Stein Signature which (converted from USD) costs between RM 3,000 – RM 12,000. It’s also used as a health aid, as the watches contain an “antenna” that collects and sends natural electromagnetic frequencies into the wearer’s body. Seriously, anonymous reader, how did you even find this???

Philip Stein 2 BK CSTB  Signature Large Dial.

Click to buy!

 

 

3. PKR Vice-President Rafizi Ramli

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

None

CILISOS picture:

Rafizi

Image from Malaysia Chronicle. Click to enlarge.

Expert’s opinion:

“Tag Heuer Monaco”

Price from Bodying.my:

RM 15,000 

tag heuer monaco   men   Find a wide array of watches at Bodying.my

Click to buy!

CILISOS notes:

Okay, there are A LOT of Monacos and these things go from RM 9,000 to RM 37,000 (confirm not this one). We can’t really be sure if we got the right model since the watchfaces are different colors, but the straps and the bezels match. Otherwise, it could be a Tag Heuer Carrera, which is about RM 5000 – RM 7,000.

Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Men s Watch  Stainless Steel  Silver...

Screencapped from Google Shopping. Click for to enlarge.

Update: A few of our readers mentioned that the blurry red logo isn’t Tag Heuer’s and might instead be a Victorinox or “other similar Swiss army brands”. Here’s a watch with the Victorinox logo for comparison:

vw241121

Click to buy!

If it is a Victorinox, prices start at RM 1,100 up to RM 15,000 from Panerai Malaysia.

NAH, BACA:
9 epic Malaysian driving FAILS that will make you facepalm yourself

4. Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

11150291_620575374710586_7046490218711436091_n

Click to link.

CILISOS picture (Not the same watch):

Khairy3

Image from The Star. Click to enlarge.

 Expert’s opinion:

“It’s a Rolex, probably a Submariner.”

Price from Wing Wah Watch:

RM 19,000 – RM 45,000

Watch Catalog   Wing Wah Watch

Click to buy!

CILISOS notes:

Both pictures don’t feature the same watch, but we went with ours. While we do trust our expert’s evaluation, we were a little thrown off by the leather band, as all models we came across had metal link straps. However, the watch face does resemble the Submariner so our best guess is that KJ replaced the metal ones with custom leather straps, but if ugaiz have any other ideas please fell free to correct us  😳

Oh, also Khairy has a lot of watches, from what we can tell. In fact, his watch pictures were the easiest to find. They seem to range from really expensive looking ones…

Khairy2

“Cant really tell, but might be a Hublot”. Click to enlarge.

Some of our readers have identified the watch above as a Luminox (RM 1,750 non-sale price from Lazada)

Luminox Male Black Dial   Black Strap  3051BO    Lazada Malaysia

Click to buy!

 

…to one that won’t look out of place on a schoolkid:

Khairy4

Image from The Malaysian Insider. Click to enlarge.

Probably still expensive tho’. We’ve just been informed by a reliable source that the yellow watch is a Casio G-Shock, probably costing around RM 400. 

 

5. First Lady Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

11080250_620575414710582_713285740646085225_n

Click to link.

 CILISOS picture: 

Rosmah1

Image from The Malaysian Insider. Click to enlarge.

Expert’s opinion:

“I think it’s a Hublot but can’t see it well enough” – BRAND MATCH

Price from Bodying.my:

RM 26,000 – RM 29,000 on sale, original price: RM34,500 – RM 37,000

hublot big bang   women   Find a wide array of watches at Bodying.my

Click to buy! On sale!

 CILISOS Notes:

While the price on the original post went as high as RM 79,200, we think it took into consideration the other more expensive models that came in different colors. There were only two black ones as worn by Datin Rosmah, so we’re pretty sure we got the model narrowed down. The only thing we don’t know is how much the custom straps cost.

Datin Rosmah definitely has quite the watch collection, as we also found quite a few that aren’t on Sanjeevan’s original list. However, the one we want to highlight is this gem(?)-encrusted beauty over here:

Rosmah3

Image from The Star. Click to enlarge.

… which our expert thinks “might be a custom job”. Anyone wanna take a guess on how much it costs? We’re guessing it’s not from Sinma  😆

 

6. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

Two watches, but we couldn’t find hi-res picture so we used our own.

CILISOS picture: 

Hishamuddin 1

Image from Malaysian Review. Click to enlarge image.

Expert’s opinion:

“Hishammuddin is wearing a Rolex GMT Master II in this picture”

Price from Wing Wah Watch:

RM 34,800

Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR  New watch    Wing Wah Watch

Click to buy!

Cilisos notes:

We glad that Datuk Seri decided to go with the more colorful option as the two-toned dial made the exact model he’s wearing a lot easier to identify. This is also (allegedly) his cheapest watch, with the other two identified by Sanjeevan to be between RM 50,000RM 70,000.

 

7. PM Tun Nazib Razak

R. Sanjeevan’s post:

11133638_620575338043923_8716097147523191606_n (1)

Click to link.

CILISOS picture:

Image from The Malaysian Insider. Click to enlarge.

Expert’s opinion:

“It’s an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore” MATCH!

Price from bodying.my:

RM 180,000 (including GST)

Audemars Piguet 26402CE.OO.A002CA.01 Watches Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Watches at Bodying.my

Click to buy!

CILISOS Notes:

The models in this range are from RM 80,000 – RM 299,000. We went with the model above since it most resembles the watch in the picture. PM Najib also has a few other watches in his collection which we weren’t able to get in hi-res form, but here’s one not on the original list that our expert identified as “some kind of Hublot,” which can range from RM 30,000 – RM 720,000

Najib2

Image from The Malaysian Insider. Click to enlarge.

 

 

This is proof that BN politicians are (insert seditious word here)!

Who_Watches_the_Watchmen__by_thebloodyxxx

Image from Thebloodyxxx at Deviantart.com

 

Well…. if we were to look at Sanjeevan’s post and even this article at face value, we might be tempted to think that it shows that certain politicians have a little more money to throw around than others, with the implication that the money was…umm… sourced from the Rakyat.

Sri Sanjeevan Ramakrishnan

Some of the comments on the posts.

However, this view is quite skewed as, first of all, we’re judging based on a selected list of people, as well as selected photographs. Second, you might have noticed that we have made a whole bunch of corrections based on reader feedback. It’s not really a reflection of our expert, but rather to cement the point that it’s really REALLY hard to identify watches down to their make and model just by looking at pictures. We don’t know how the MyWatch people did it, but it was a headache on our side. Heck, we’re even expecting some of ugaiz to tell us how wrong we are in the comments. We’ve been getting corrections from readers and adding them to the article. However, even these aren’t conclusive as they are still best-guesses based on the picture. You can join in the conversation here, or, the next time you happen to shake a politician’s hand, hold on a little longer so you can check out his watch and let us know.

We also can’t tell the authenticity of a watch from pictures. It’s not that we’re implying that our leaders buy their watches from the gerai pasar malam, but rather that they could be wearing “fashion brands” – cheaper watches that are inspired by the designs of more expensive or popular models with a few added modifications to the design. A friend of ours over at Timekeeper Malaysia sent us some examples (with the Rolex Submariner as the base comparison):

Parnis heehee

All these watches (except the Rolex) are under RM 2,000. Click to buy!

Lastly, the price of a watch may show wealth, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate where the wealth comes from, meaning that here is a chance these watches were bought with their own hard-earned money. After all, Sanjeevan himself was previously in the spotlight for dropping RM 340,000 on special car license plates, to which he responded:

“No one can question me. It is my hard earned money and I can do as I please with it.” – R. Sanjeevan, as quoted in The Star

While we do think it’s quite a novel way to look at things, we don’t think that it’s fair to make snap judgements based on photos of politicians and their watches for the reasons above. So maybe as Sanjeevan himself has said, it’s really not supposed to be indicative of anything other than a way for the public to look into the lifestyles of certain politicians.

………….Or everyone can just do what Tony Pua does to avoid all this wristwatch drama by just not wearing one.

tony-pua

Image from Anwaraidc.com.

Seriously, we couldn’t find a picture of him wearing a watch.

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