While his father, the King of Saudi Arabia, sports a modest $6,000 Chopard watch, 38-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman dons a $40,000 limited edition Audemars Piguet timepiece.
It's often believed that the watch you wear is an extension of your personality, reflecting not only your likes and dislikes but also your inner style and character. If that's the case, you might expect a world leader to wear a timepiece that exudes authority and power. However, that isn't quite the case when it comes to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, known as MBS. Born in 1985, MBS is a prominent and influential figure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and on the world stage.
As a member of the Saudi royal family, MBS has been the Crown Prince since June 2017. As Prime Minister, he has significantly influenced both domestic and foreign policies of Saudi Arabia, guiding the nation through a period of profound transformation. One would expect him to wear a limited-edition platinum Rolex or an ultra-rare Patek Philippe. However, believe it or not, the most powerful man in Saudi Arabia is often seen wearing one of the most unusual watches ever made by the Audemars Piguet brand.
The watch in question is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph "Montauk Highway" edition, a limited model introduced in 2009. The watch was created in homage to Montauk Highway, a road that stretches 150 kilometres from east to west, covering the southern shore of Long Island in Suffolk County, New York. This road practically connects New Yorkers to sun, surf, and Hampton style. Limited to just 300 individually numbered pieces, the watch was exclusively sold through New York watch specialists and jewellers, London Jewelers.
The limited-edition watch features the recognizable stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore case design with its distinctive octagonal bezel. Interestingly, instead of an integrated bracelet, the 42mm case is paired with a brown "Hornback" crocodile strap with contrasting blue stitching and a stainless-steel buckle. However, what sets the Montauk Highway edition apart from other Offshore versions we've seen over the years is its dial. The Tapisserie dial is finished in creamy white, contrasted with baby blue Arabic numerals, hands, and a tachymeter scale. The sub-dials are dark brown, making them stand out against the white backdrop. The watch is powered by the legendary automatic chronograph caliber Audemars Piguet 3126/2840, with a date display and small seconds. It offers a power reserve of 60 hours.
The watch was initially introduced with a price of $20,500 over a decade and a half ago. Over the years, the price of the Montauk Highway edition has risen in the pre-owned watch market. A well-preserved example can easily fetch prices up to $40,000. In stark contrast, Mohammed bin Salman's father, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, is often seen wearing a Chopard Imperiale Ref. 388532-3002, a modest watch with a quartz movement and a price tag of just $6,510. But even a $40,000 limited edition watch appears rather unimpressive for a man known for his opulent lifestyle.
Coming from a world of luxury, MBS owns some of the most expensive real estate and personal possessions. His French chateau is one of the costliest residences in the world. He purchased the Chateau Louis XIV outside of Paris in 2015. Additionally, the Crown Prince also owns a $400 million yacht featuring a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci painting. In comparison, Audemars Piguet looks like an ordinary watch.