On Sunday, Pete Buttigieg (“Boot-edge-edge” as his campaign is encouraging people to pronounce it) formally announced his candidacy in South Bend, Indiana, where he has served as mayor for eight years. The guy has come out of nowhere to become the young upstart that everyone’s talking about for the 2020 Democratic nomination. He’s a 37-year-old war veteran, former management consultant, and the first millennial to run for President. He’s seen a surge of support since he formed his Presidential exploratory committee towards the beginning of this year as well, placing as high as third in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Anyway, Buttigieg’s team also released a cool “design kit” to allow supporters to use logos and create their own yard signs, banners, etc. They think it’ll be crucial to run the kind of grassroots campaign Buttigieg is building.
On the design kit page, there’s something of a “mood board” with pictures of Pete, his dog, his husband, the Indiana and South Bend flags, and a number of other things. There’s also something of moderate interest for us: a photo of his watch.
Skagen was founded in 1989, but was acquired by Fossil for $237 million in 2012, and operations are now overseen out of Fossil Headquarters in Richardson, Texas.
It’s a fine choice for a watch for a Presidential candidate — minimal, inoffensive, seemingly free of controversy. I wouldn’t expect most candidates to wear anything to flashy, expensive, or gold (then again…). But, I’d love to see a guy like Mayor Pete take a look at our list of the Best American Watches in 2019 and pick something off there. For example, Cameron Weiss, of Weiss Watch Company, is a perfect of bringing manufacturing jobs to America while at the same time leveraging the internet to build a business and customer base in a way that would not have been possible before the digital age. Some of the other microbrands featured — Oak & Oscar and Martenero, for example — are equally good choices, showing how entrepreneurs can leverage globalization to build unique products and companies that still bring jobs to the U.S.
Look, Mayor Pete is pitching himself as the guy who can connect with the Rust Belt. But as old jobs continue to hollow out these cities and towns, new tops of jobs will have to fill the void. People using their creativity to build small watch companies by leveraging the internet, the global supply chain, and even some American manufacturing are but one example of that.