A chance opportunity by journalists to take a picture of the watch worn by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has caused a stir in the blogosphere.

Bloggers have noted that Lukashenko was wearing a Swiss watch Patek Philippe Calatrava 5120j on his right hand, valued at almost $17,000, during a recent trip to Lithuania.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov reportedly wear the same "low end" Patek Philippe watches, according to the website Charter 97.

We say "low end" as the rarest of Pateks can sell for millions, indeed many raised over $200,000 each at a recent auction.

US President Barack Obama reportedly wears a Jorg Gray 6500 Chronograph watch, worth... $325.

Jorg Gray's website proudly describes itself as "the presidential watch company."

To compare prices: President Lukashenko's Patek Philippe is 52 times more expensive than President Obama's watch.

The US has previously described Lukashenko as "the last dictator in Europe," and Belarus as, "an outpost of tyranny in Europe."

Since 1994, Lukashenko's presidency has included Soviet-era policies - like state ownership of the economy, despite objections from Western governments - and alleged threats of violence towards those who vote against him.

In contrast, Lukashenko promotes himself as a "man of the people," and reportedly has a fondness for roller skating... and expensive watches.

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