Russia´s ruler, former second rate KGB spy Vladimir Putin is officially a man of rather modest means. He owns a small flat in St. Petersburg, a couple of old Volgas, a 2009 Lada and and a 1987 car trailer inherited from his father. Putin´s salary last year was a rather paltry $112,000. Still he has been able to acquire an impressive collection of the world´s most expensive watches:
President Vladimir Putin declared income of 3.6 million rubles ($112,000) last year, but his watch collection alone may be worth six times that.
Putin, who wears the timepieces on his right wrist, has been photographed sporting a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, valued at $60,000.
The president has also been seen wearing a Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date by Blancpain, worth $10,500.
Made of crocodile leather, sapphire glass and platinum, an A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph may be his most expensive timepiece, valued at half a million dollars.
Shots of the president sporting expensive watches appear in a recent video by the Solidarity opposition group that is circulating the Internet.
Putin's watch collection is worth at least 22 million rubles, Solidarity says.
"Putin, it seems, did not eat or drink for six years to acquire this collection,"Boris Nemtsov, a Solidarity member and former deputy prime minister, wrote in a blog post featuring the video Thursday.
The video begins with Putin lauding his administration's progress fighting corruption. The following scene bears the words "watches of a kleptocrat"
In one clip, Putin presents the son of a shepherd with a $10,500 Blancpain. In another, he tosses a similarly priced Blancpain into wet concrete.
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There are different estimates about Putin´s real net worth. The analyst Stanislav Belkovsky has stated that Putin could be worth about $70 billion. Judging by his watch collection, this estimate might not be very far from to the truth.