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Important Figures in Watch History: Michelle Obama

Paul Altieri

Little girls look up to her and women want to be her. Michelle Obama was amongst our nation’s most iconic first ladies — leading American children in her ‘let’s move’ campaign and inspiring women to work hard and achieve their dreams.

And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, Michelle Obama quickly became a style icon, too. With a keen eye for modern designs and an emphasis on bold colors, the FLOTUS supported many up-in-coming American designers and graced the covers of countless magazines.

Over her two terms, the Princeton and Harvard Law graduate raised a family, supported her husband’s presidency and ran her own foundation. To say she had to keep track of a lot, including the time, would be an understatement. Here are the watches that helped her keep track of it all.

Michelle Obama prefers to wear a Cartier Tank watch
Michelle Obama prefers to wear a Cartier Tank watch

The Classy Cartier Tank ref. W51008Q3

In her official portrait, Michelle Obama wore her stainless steel Cartier Tank ref. W51008Q3. The look is elegant and classic with a matching steel bracelet and white dial set inside that iconic rectangular case. The dainty 25mm watch features painted Roman numeral hour markers with dagger-shaped hands and houses a quartz movement. Besides looking great, this Tank is water-resistant up to 96 feet.

Over the years, we saw Michelle wear this watch on countless occasions — a real testament to the beauty and versatility of this classic timepiece. But, Michelle wasn’t the only first lady to sport a Cartier Tank, Jackie Kennedy was also famous for wearing the watch — hers with a leather strap.

Michelle Obama was likely gifted this Neon Ultraviolet ToyWatch for her "Let's Move" campaign
Michelle Obama was likely gifted this Neon Ultraviolet ToyWatch for her “Let’s Move” campaign

The Bold ToyWatch Neon Plasteramic Ultraviolet

Michelle Obama was known for making bold fashion statements. So when she started wearing this fun and sporty Neon Ultraviolet ToyWatch, everyone took notice. The watch was quickly picked up by magazines and fashion blogs, selling out the watch quickly after she wore it back in 2010. FLOTUS was given the sports watch as a gift from Barack, likely a nod to her ‘let’s move’ campaign.

ToyWatch timepieces are known for being lightweight and oversized at 39mm, but inspired by high design luxury watches. It’s also outfitted with a three-hand quartz movement with a magnified date window and mineral crystal face.

Paul Altieri
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