George Herbert Walker Bush may very well have been done in by his watch. In one of the most famous incidents in watch history, Bush dealt his re-election bid a blow when, during a televised debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot on Oct. 15, 1992, he twice glanced at his watch as if he were bored with the proceedings and had somewhere more important to go. Asked about it years later during an interview on TV, Bush confirmed that he was, if not bored, at least impatient for the debate to end. “Was I glad the damn thing was over?” he asked, rhetorically, in self-defense. As the debate was ending, he was thinking to himself, “Only 10 more minutes and I’ll be done with this crap,” he told his interviewer. I don’t have much info about what watch he wore, but looking at his wrist certainly did not do his re-election campaign much good
It was President Bill Clinton who started the unfortunate trend (followed by President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama) of wearing a cheap watch while campaigning and as President. Clinton wore a $50 Timex Ironman-Triathlon digital quartz watch.
Since leaving office, President Clinton has become a bit of a watch collector, wearing a Panerai, LeCoultre, Franck Muller, Roger Dubius and Cartier.