Presidents have long worn watches, but over the past couple of decades, timepieces have increasingly served as props: ways for presidents and Oval Office hopefuls to telegraph something about their approaches. Bill Clinton and his Ironman Timex wrist monster (theoretically) ingratiated him with the common man. When Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, he had millions in the bank—and maybe some Pateks in the closet—but he often wore watches from Nixon or Seiko that belied his massive net worth. Donald Trump, who projected the image of a successful businessman who would apply that same acumen to governing, alternated between a gold Rolex and a Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1968 that costs upwards of $25,000. That’s all to say: watches are usually the most obvious kind of symbols. But Joe Biden’s watch is not so easily decoded.
In his first act as president-elect on Saturday night, Biden took the