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The Great Watch Schism

  • Najib Benouar


As a cornerstone of gentlemanly etiquette, we, for the most part, like to steer clear of topics like religion and...Russia. But when news broke that the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church was getting lambasted over sporting a slightly flashy Breguet Reveil du Tsar worth about 30 grand, we thought we’d chime in.

Because there’s good reason Patriarch Kirill should keep wearing his watch...

Here’s the deal: some Russian bloggers noticed a picture of Kirill had been photoshopped to remove the Breguet from his wrist (but a reflection of it could still be seen). So naturally, they’re trying to turn it into the next moon landing conspiracy.

The watch in question was a registered gift to the Patriarch, and Kirill once stated that he leaves the watch in a box and never wears it—in response to mounting public sentiment that the church has become too ostentatious. But if he were to actually let the watch lie fallow for too long, he’d be ruining a very nice gift.

See, the watch in question is an extremely high-caliber timepiece (hence the price tag) with an automatic mechanical movement that’s wound by daily wear. By leaving it in a box, Kirill is actually letting his watch fall into disrepair. (You might recognize Jay-Z’s line from “N**gas in Paris”: “Got Rollies that don’t ticktock, Audemars that’s losing time”...meaning he’s got so many watches that some don’t get worn often enough to be regularly wound.) By letting the watch sit in a box, Kirill would be risking the functionality of a precise machine, as well as giving up his share of gearheaded enjoyment.

We’ll assume he sent a thank-you note.