MIDWAY : Prized possession

For male accessory enthusiasts, January 20, Tuesday was a historic day, not because the United States got its first black president. We have seen that coming for months.

No, the real excitement surrounded which watch the world’s coolest man would choose for his big day — swearing in to assume the most powerful office of the most powerful nation in the world.

“Would Barrack Obama wear the secret service chronograph that he had been wearing during his campaign,” gasped one fixated blogger, “or would he go back to the TAG-Heuer?”

There were others who continued with their guessing games until Obama revealed what to many might have appeared nothing important to make much fuss about. In the end, however, as they are accustomed to doing, the secret service got their way.

Obama was snapped wearing the Jorg Gray 6500 series that was reportedly presented to

him by his minders on his 46th birthday.

Owning a copy of “the first watch” has now become something extraordinary among collectors. Though the 6500 is not an exclusive timepiece in itself (they are available online for $171.95 each if you buy in batches of 250 or more), Obama’s carries US secret service (USSS) branding, which means it can only be bought by USSS agents in the employee store in Washington DC.

Indeed it is a federal offence (albeit a minor one) to use USSS branding without authority. If you want to get the Obama look, however,

without going to all the trouble of taking a job in the USSS, then there is an alternative. They are not supposed to, but some secret agents have begun to put their merchandise up for sale on eBay.

No watches are available yet, and the service does not publish a full list of what

else they make, but for upwards of $7, you could sport your own USSS “patriotic United States flag pin”. Meanwhile, the bidding starts at $8.99 for a large T-shirt, described by its owner as “nicely broken-in”.

And just $6 is all it takes to get your hands on a USSS patch, complete with black panther design. Presidential it isn’t, but sew it to a baseball cap and they might let you into the employee store.