In an arms factory in Tula, Russia, ex-President Vladimir Putin had just finished giving a speech on the economy, in which he acknowledged that times were tough for many ordinary workers.

"Vladimir Vladimirovich, maybe you'll give me something to remember you by?" asked a metal worker from the factory.

A somewhat surprised Putin, indicated that he had nothing to offer and asked what the worker would have him give.

"Maybe your watch" the worker, Viktor Zagaevsky replied.

Putin did not respond for a moment, and then handed over the Blancpain watch, worth £5,500 - a year's salary for many in Russia.

Putin, a black belt in judo, has successfully cultivated a tough guy image in Russia, and is often pictured shirtless on horseback or skiing down mountains. The chunky Blancpain fits in with the style.

Putin, who famously wears his watches on his right wrist despite being right-handed, has a number of watches.

The most expensive he's been seen wearing is a gold-plated £51,000 Patek Phillipe. Both his choice of watches, and quirk when wearing them, have been copied by members of his party.

The best Patek Phillippe's are only available to the very wealthy. Putin is not officially so, earning less than £100,000 per year, but some estimates suggest that he is a billionaire.


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