A watch says a lot about the wearer.
As Chancellor Merkel gave an interview to Germany's ZDF television channel last year, she pulled up her sleeve revealing a rectangular, silver framed watch with black strap. What ensued was a debate over whether Merkel was wearing a luxury watch or a simple timepiece.
A watch expert consulted by the magazine Stern speculated the watch could be a "Jager LeCoultre Reverso", worth between 4,000 and 8,000 euros, depending on the model.
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Instead, the "luxury" watch turned out to be a "Boccia", worth just 89 euros. "It's for people who want to have a clock that displays the time," a jeweller consulted by Financial Times Deutschland said.
The anecdote about the watch is timely after Germany's ruling coalition led by Merkel lost a crucial election in the state of Lower Saxony. According to some, Merkel's choice of a simple watch shows her aversion to public debt and a fiscal deficit, a stance that some have blamed for a worsening of the euro zone debt crisis and a slowdown in Germany.
"One would expect a country (like) Germany to do better. There has been too much focus on trying to balance the budget when the whole of the euro zone is going into a recession. [Germany] shouldn't have done it now," Professor Paul deGrauwe, a leading scholar of European political economy at the London School of Economics, told CNBC.
"Typical Merkel!" concluded Stern after the watch was revealed to be a frugal timepiece.
"Save she can," acknowledged the TrustedWatch website.