‘Which watch for…’ is a new series that suggests suitable watches for men and women from all walks of life, the more unusual the better. Our series opener ponders the question, which watch for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the controversial Australian secrets leaker who these days certainly has more time on his hands than most.
That’s because a bizarre cat and mouse game continues between Assange and the British authorities, (the massive and mounting cost of which has baffled and angered senior politicians and even the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson). Julian Assange recently spent his 777th day as a guest in the Ecuador Embassy in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge, with no end in sight as to when he may have safe passage out of the country.
So far, the cost of ensuring the 42 year old Wikileaks founder does not try to sneak out of the embassy without being arrested for his troubles has cost the British taxpayer over £5 million. Since June 2012, for each and every day that goes by, three British police officers are stationed outside the Embassy around the clock, ready to arrest Assange should he attempt to leave. Assange must know them all by name.
However, he has no intention of leaving, and Ecuadorian authorities have pledged that he is welcome to stay in the embassy for as long as it takes, which could be forever. So the question is, why exactly are the British authorities continuing to throw good money after bad over a Swedish court case that has no bearing whatsoever on Britain? Of course we know the answer to that, it’s the Americans, but for now it’s not so much a Mexican stand off as an Ecuadorian one.
It all started when Sweden demanded the return of Assange to their country on sexual assault charges dating back to 2010. Assange claims the charges are trumped up and are politically motivated in an attempt to hand him over to the American authorities for questioning concerning the massive amount of sensitive and confidential material he released as leader of WikiLeaks.
In the past two years, Assange has received a number of celebrities to the Embassy including Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Graham Nash (of Crosby Stills Nash & Young fame) Lady Gaga and ex-football legend Eric Cantona. In between visits, with plenty of time on his hands, which watch could we recommend for Julian Assange?
Franck Muller Crazy Hours
Crazy times call for a watch with crazy hours. The celebrated Franck Muller Crazy Hours watch was conceived by Franck Muller during an overly regimented holiday in Mauritius. Assange has to set his own daily routine, but it might add some fun to the proceedings if the watch he wears will jump to the correct time. The hour hand jumps every time that the minute hand completes its revolution. Nevertheless, you can still tell the time accurately thanks to the control and inventiveness of the complications on this special watch.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionelle World Timer
Julian read somewhere that most CEOs start their day at 5am, so he likes to set his alarm for 4.55am to get an edge. The Vacheron Constantin World Timer has a movement so sophisticated that it is capable of indicating not only the full time zones, but also the partial ones — with 37 time zones it total. So whenever Julian wishes that he could be somewhere else, which must be often, he can at least know what time it is anywhere in the world.
The Last Laugh by Mr. Jones
Another unusual watch which will kill that little bit of extra time when it comes to a time check, because this watch forgoes the customary hour and minute hands. The time is displayed on a skull’s teeth. The upper row of teeth show the hours and the lower show the minutes. With mirrored eyes and nose this typically macabre watch from British watchmaker Mr. Jones is a memento mori to remind Julian that life is brief, but at least by sleeping each night in the Ecuador embassy he has afforded himself the last laugh.
Suunto Outdoor Watch
There’s no doubt Julian needs to get out more, so the Outdoor Watch is just what he needs. This Finnish (as opposed to Swedish) watch will give him altimeter and barometer readings for his small temperature controlled bed/sitting room. It even has a compass in case he loses his way to the kitchenette.
Sony Smart Watch
Physically, Julian Assange may not have set foot outside of the Ecuador embassy in two years, but his thought provoking Twitter messages are sneaking onto the internet each and every day. Julian reckons he has sent over 50,000 of them from the cramped confines of his embassy room. The Sony Smart Watch lets you stay on top of email and social network updates such as Twitter without reaching for your phone. The screen is readable in bright sunlight, a prospect that Assange probably longs for every day. Below the screen are three buttons: Back, Home, and Sort, three little words which Julian must hope will one day become a reality.