“Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic,” Pete Buttigieg said in his remarks last week, when it was announced that he was President-elect Biden’s pick for the cabinet position of transportation secretary. He then went on to note that he proposed to his husband, Chasten, in a terminal at the Chicago airport.
What he didn’t mention was that the precise proposal spot was Gate B5. The Washington Post dating and relationships writer Lisa Bonos recently offered a deep dive into this romantic little tidbit and the events that led up to it. Read her retelling for all the sweeter-than-sweet details about how the couple met, and how Gate B5 has become a sort of hallowed ground, an inanimate but all-important character in this couple’s unique love story. (Bonos has spent time reading Chasten’s memoir, I Have Something to Tell You, to present her facts.)
But the thing in Bonos’ piece that stood out to me, and the reason I bring it up here on All That Glitters, is that even though Buttigieg was the one who proposed (with a ring), it was Chasten who sent them on the road to engagement when he gave Buttigieg a watch as a token of his affection, one that has come to take on the significance of a pre-engagement gift.
This was in 2016, when the couple took a trip to Europe. Chasten presented the watch while on a walk to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Chasten writes in his memoir, “I told Peter that I didn’t want to watch the rest of the world go by without him.”
And what watch does Buttigieg wear? It’s a Skagen Ancher in black and stainless steel.
It’s not a Rolex, or an Audemars Piguet, but it’s got Scandinavian design cred, and a man-of-the-people price point (in fact, it’s for sale on the Skagen site for $87 right now).
“Travel in my mind is synonymous with growth, with adventure, even love,” Buttigieg said in his aforementioned speech.
It’s a line that can be applied to watches too, from the stylish and accessibly priced models to the finest grand complication timepieces in the world. Read your customer: The technical features are always impressive, but a little romance—a romantic tale like this one, even—might be all you need to convince them.
Top: This stainless steel men’s quartz watch with black mesh strap from the Danish brand Skagen was given to Mayor Pete Buttigieg, now President-elect Biden’s pick for transportation secretary, as a preengagement gift by his husband, Chasten Buttigieg
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