When you enter the land of fame and fortune, the watch you wear is seen as a big indicator of wealth and status. Given his ranking as the second richest man in the world, you’d expect Bill Gates to own a multi-million pound, custom-made, diamond-encrusted watch like some of his celebrity peers. In reality, this is far from the truth.
Yes, Bill Gates regularly wears a watch. In line with his modest approach to fashion, Gates owns a succession of Casio wristwatches. In an interview from 2014, he describes his wrist wear as “10-dollar” watches. He’s also previously expressed dismay at displays of “over-extravagance”.
It’s fair to say that Bill Gates is a money hoarder rather than a money spender, but it’s this approach to budgeting that got Gates the billionaire title in the first place. Are you keen to learn more about Bill Gates’ collection of Casio watches? Keep scrolling!
A Growing Collection of Casio’s
The celebrities of today are known for splashing the cash on Rolex, Omega, and Audemars Piguet wristwatches, but Bill Gates has never been one to follow the crowd.
Gates has always been pretty clear-cut when it comes to clothing and accessories. During the early Microsoft days, he opted for jumpers and jeans rather than fitted suits like you’d expect. This has resulted in Bill becoming somewhat of a style icon, with high street retailer Topman even creating a collection inspired by his ‘90s dad-look’.
An integral part of Bill Gates’ look is the signature Casio wristwatch. In an interview from POLITICO’s 2014 ‘Lessons from Leaders’ inaugural event, Bill is captured talking about a new type of watch that allows people to monitor their health. The interviewer asks if Bill is currently wearing one of these new devices, to which he replies “no this is a 10 dollar watch”.
The timepiece is a Casio Illuminator W214H-1AV, which can be purchased on Amazon for $21. According to the Casio website, the watch is a classic round design and features a 45mm plastic case, resin band, and digital display. In addition, it is water-resistant to 50 meters and comes with a 7-year battery.
But this isn’t the only Casio we’ve seen Bill wear. In 2019, Gates made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he debuted a Casio Duro Marlin MDV106-1A. At a slightly higher price of $55, the Duro Marlin features a black stainless steel case, resin band, and unidirectional diver’s bezel. The simple 3-hand analog watch operates using the Japanese quartz movement and is water-resistant to 200 meters.
So when it comes to watches, it seems that Bill Gates definitely prioritizes functionality and comfort over glamour and opulence.
The Billionaire Philosophy
Bill’s frugal attitude towards watches seems to coalesce with his philosophy on wealth in general. As well as being a long-term supporter of increased taxation of the rich, Bill has never been particularly concerned with luxuries. Speaking about his pledge to donate the majority of his wealth to charity, Gates said:
“We think that’s a basic responsibility of anyone with a lot of money. Once you’ve taken care of yourself and your children, the best use of extra wealth is to give it back to society.”
This mentality was further confirmed in a 2016 ‘Ask Me Anything’ session that Gates partook in.
“I think people’s spending instincts are set when they are in high school. I don’t like spending a lot of money on clothes or jewelry (for me – I do like to buy nice things for my wife).”, he wrote.
But this isn’t to say that Gates lives a completely modest life. As well as an impressive real estate portfolio, Bill owns a Porsche 911, Bombardier 700 private jet, and a private island in Belize. On top of this, in 1994 Gates paid $30.8 million for a journal written by Leonardo da Vinci called ‘Codex Leicester’.
What do you think – is Bill Gates a sensible billionaire or is he merely not interested in luxury watches?