Their time is money – a lot of money, in some cases

‘Globes’ checks out how much leading politicians and business people are spending to tell the time.

The Greek philosopher Theophrastus is said to have said, “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” It would be interesting to know what he would say today, 2,500 years later, if he saw how much senior Israeli politicians and business people are prepared to spend just to know what time it is.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, for example, is known for his fondness for taking watches apart and reassembling them. Would he dare dismantle his own wristwatch, which cost more than NIS 140,000, or would he perhaps rather leave that to an expert?
Then there is Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who waved a bag of milk on the Knesset podium and gave vent to the cry of the poor. Just as well that the bag didn’t drip on his Raymond Weil watch (worth about NIS 10,000). He might have needed Barak’s repair services.
It’s not just a matter of price. Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman makes do with a somewhat less costly watch – only NIS 5,000. However, it works on natural- frequency technology (yes, there is such a thing), which, according the maker, Philip Stein, helps to reduce stress.
As in previous years, Globes’s weekend magazine G took a group of politicians and business people and checked the watches they sport. What their choices signify is for the reader to decide. What is certain is that, at least in some cases, telling the time is secondary to the price of the watch.
The prices that appear here are based on the prices of the watches at the importers’ stores. We thank ChronoTime vice president Roy Aharoni for his assistance in identifying the watches.
Zion Amir, criminal lawyer: Royal Oak Offshore Diver by Audemars Piguet, Switzerland, NIS 80,000.
Ehud Barak, defense minister: Nautilus by Patek Philippe, Switzerland, from NIS 142,000.
Ronnie Bar-On, Knesset member: Big Pilot by IWC Schaffhausen, Switzerland, from NIS 33,428.
Shaul Elovitch, Bezeq controlling shareholder: Pasha Seatimer by Cartier, France, from NIS 30,000.
Gilad Erdan, environmental affairs minister: Monaco by Tag Heuer, Switzerland, NIS 28,240.
Yoav Galant, IDF general: Garmin Forerunner 310XT by Garmin, United States, NIS 2,000.
Moshe Kaplinsky, Better Place CEO: Bi-color Aersopace by B r e i t l i n g , Switzerland, from NIS 18,690.
Avigdor Lieberman, foreign minister: Portuguese Steel Black by IWC Schaffhausen, Switzerland, NIS 51,527.
Yaakov Neeman, justice minister: Signature by Philip Stein, Switzerland, NIS 4,700.
Binyamin Netanyahu, prime minister: Luminor Marina by Panerai, Italy, NIS 24,730.
Jacob Perry, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank chairman: Luminor Marina by Panerai, Italy, NIS 24,730.
Nachman Shai, Knesset member: Pilot’s Watches series UTC Dual Time by IWC Schaffhausen, Switzerland, NIS 32,216.
Eytan Sheshinski, head of Sheshinski Committee: La Grande Classique by Longines, Switzerland, NIS 16,420.
Eli Yishai, interior minister: Parsifal by Raymond Weil, Switzerland, about NIS 10,000.