In a ballsy move, a metal worker at a Russian weapons factory asked the powerful former Russian President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for his wrist watch. More surprising is that Viktor Zagaevsky actually got Putin to hand over the watch, for good.
The story is simple. While in the Russian town of Tula, Putin was touring a weapons factory and doing a speech on the economy of the region. Putin is extremely well regarded in Russia, and his actual place in politics has been debated as it sometimes seems that he does more than merely sit as a former Prime Minister. Another area of inquiry regard how Putin can afford his lavish lifestyle. Russian politicians report their annual incomes, and while they aren't minuscule, they certainly don't allow for a collection of luxury Swiss watches - among other luxuries that Putin enjoys (such as sport diving in a submarine). While the questions are valid, they are a bit naive. As a former Prime Minister, and currently an extremely powerful man in Russian, Putin is bound to have "alternative" sources of income of wealth upon which to draw from. The former KGB man is no novice at secrecy. Still international questions arise as to Putin's actual status in Russia. Nevertheless, the Russian people seem not to mind. Putin is considered a national hero and symbol of Russian pride. He is fiercely nationalistic.
It was not the first time that Putin was known to gift a watch, but he is not exactly known for it. No one is to my knowledge. Putin is known as an avid fan of luxury watches, and is seen wearing them even while engaging in sporty activities where even most luxury watch owners would sport nothing more than a Casio due to fear of timepiece harm.
The watch that Putin happened to have on at the time was his well-loved Blancpain
Aqua Lung Big Date, as he has been seen wearing it often. It is a steel cased watch of a modest size and very thin for a mechanical timepiece. It has a big date complication and water resistant to 100 meters with a soft black leather strap. New, the watch goes for about 6,000 euros. For Viktor Zagaevsky, the watch will certainly have a great deal of sentimental value, not to mention be a new luxury for someone who likely has never purchased more than a bargain watch. I feel that Putin made a prudent decision as the good-will attached with the move is invaluable.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review