Emmanuel Macron removes luxury watch during pensions interview
Emmanuel Macron subtly removed a luxury watch from his wrist during a key television interview on his unpopular pension reform, in what critics say is further proof he is “president of the rich”.
During the half-hour prime-time interview on his decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, Mr Macron can be seen starting the broadcast with a large watch with a blue face and black strap on his left arm.
Social media commentators pointed out that he then surreptitiously removed the timepiece 11 minutes into the conversation, placing his left arm under the table while calmly continuing to answer a question. When he brought it back, the watch was nowhere to be seen.
Many online commentators claimed the timepiece was made by F.P Journe and cost €80,000 (£70,000).
In fact, the watch cost far less than some claimed. According to France Info, it is a BRV 1-92 model of French company Bell&Ross valued at €2,400 (£2,110) and carries the colours of the president’s security unit, GSPR. He has been wearing the same watch for the past year and a half. It was already spotted at the football World Cup in Qatar.
Emmanuel Macron qui voudrait planquer sa montre à 80.000 euros?
Ça ressemble à une fausse polémique:
1. Il la porte souvent
2. C’est un modèle à 2.500€ aux couleurs du Groupe de sécurité de la présidence de la République (GSPR)
3. Elle semble gêner en tapant la table pic.twitter.com/pvnvqLFsWj
— Raphael Grably (@GrablyR) March 23, 2023
“€2,400 is expensive but it’s 40 times less than prices circulating on the internet,” wrote France Info.
The Elysée insisted that Mr Macron had removed it because it was “clinking on the table”. Indeed, he removed it just after it could be heard touching the desk while he mentioned “blockages”.
Regardless, the Leftist opposition instantly pounced on the images as the latest proof that the president had no idea what it was like to be on the breadline in France. They argue that the reform will above all affect low-paid workers.
“Just as he is talking about ‘minimum wage workers’ who have never had such high purchasing power, he discreetly removes his pretty luxury watch,” wrote Clémence Guetté, an MP from the France Unbowed party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
The French president likes to be known as “the master of the clocks”, meaning he decides to speak and act at a time of his choosing.
However, for his detractors who are dead set against raising the retirement age, he is an out-of-touch ex-banker incapable of understanding the concerns of the average modest French worker.
Critics also claimed Mr Macron was wearing a €5,000 (£4,000) Hermes suit. Here again, fact-checkers on French media said it was a far less costly model by Parisian tailor Jonas & Cie valued at around €450 (£395).