Spot the Watch: Bill Gates and a $50 quartz diver watch

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Just two weeks ago in late April, Microsoft founder Bill Gates popped by the Harvard campus to speak with the undergraduates of his alma mater (although he was a drop-out, he eventually received an honorary law degree from the University in 2007, three decades after his class graduated).

On his tour to the Harvard Microrobotics Lab and the Harvard Biodesign Lab, he viewed demonstrations of ongoing leading research, including robotic bees and soft robots. Bill Gates then took on a casual Q&A session with the students, and here we spied a dive watch when he rolled up his sleeves.



A closer look at his watch:


So, what could be on the wrist of this guy in a plain good ol’ olive wool sweater who happens to have a net worth of USD 90.5 billion?

Well, the answer came almost without a surprise, as Bill Gates is known for his frugality when it comes to watches.

On the wrist is the Casio Quartz Diver 200m WR (Reference: MDV-106-1A) which one can purchase at Walmart for USD50 (or perhaps even lower, if you use coupons!).



The MDV-106-1A from Casio in 44mm stainless steel case is one of the brand’s classic dive watch with a water resistant of 200m and other standard dive watch features, such as a uni-directional rotating bezel and a screw down crown. This highly legible quartz watch has a battery life of 3 years, almost perfect for the lifestyle of a busy billionaire!

This concludes today’s Spot the Watch, but do let us know in the comments below if you agree with Bill Gates’ choice or, if you have better suggestions for him!


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  1. Fernando Quiñones on

    Nice election Mr Gates..! You could wear a PP, AP, VC, etc.. It doesn’t make you better than the others..

  2. Bill Gates is the definition of wealth, he doesn’t need a ten thousand dollar watch to prove that.

  3. He spends a lot of time around poor people. Everyone already knows he’s rich. What he doesn’t need is any more jealousy and negative public opinion as they see him flaunt his wealth in their faces.
    Perception goes a long way. He spends plenty of money, but a watch is a statement. He either wants to keep a lower profile or simply doesn’t care. But with his wealth, I think you’d have to go out of your way to end up wearing a $50 or $10 Casio as he’s been known to do. He doesn’t want everyone thinking tax that SOB more! Even though he’s paid more taxes than anyone else and their anger is irrational. Any watch company would give him a watch to wear for marketing alone, and that would bring him even more money. It’s part of the game…

    • “He spends a lot of time around poor people”

      All of humanity save Bezos is relatively poor compared to him lol.

  4. Nilton Azevedo on

    He shows that watches aren’t important and that there is a greater purpose in life that we should strive for. What anyone else thinks or says we should think about items which do nothing for humanity is truly irrelevant.

    • Steven A Chernick on

      He shows he just doesnt care to spend his money on watches, nothing philosophical behind it i dont think.

  5. Alot of respect to see him so humble in his choice of timepeace. It speaks volumes about his character and values.

  6. I’d like to see Bill in a spring drive grand seiko or if the price of a spring drive is too much for his delicate sensibilities maybe a 9f quartz grand seiko. He’s really into charity so those are pieces that aren’t overt symbols of wealth but they’re tech driven, built to an outstanding level of detail and will last a lifetime. He can keep buying and breaking $50 watches or he can get something nice that will last and he can leave to his kids. He’s a family man (as we should all be) and let’s face it.. You’re not leaving that Casio to your kids.

    • He could easily afford to buy Patek Phillipe (the company) if he wanted. He just isn’t sucked in by the BS about heirlooms.

  7. Bob Gnarley on

    Come on Bill! You can do better than a $50 watch! I love my Citizen Ecosystem as well as I like some of my other collectibles. And when I don’t want to appear too common, I wear my Tudor Pelagos..

    Show a little moxie as well as your 90.5 B.B.

  8. Well just because the guy has money doesnt mean he likes watches, as much as some of us who love watches but never enough to buy most of them.

  9. Funny thing is that most people who are criticizing his watch pick would praise him if it were a sub on an Everest rubber strap.

  10. Well, he has a Bombardier jet, so I think he could spring for something a little nicer, but sharp personal appearance has never been his forte.