Obama’s Highgear Enduro Sports Watch

OK, I’ll admit it . . . I got lazy. All the time that I was feverishly researching the TAG-Heuer Series 1500 Two-Tone watch and the Jorg Gray Secret Service watch (primarily over the period from September 2008 through January 2009), and spending so many hours searching for the photos showing the watch in detail, I knew that there was — in fact — a thrid watch that Obama wore from time to time. This “third watch” [which may actually turn out to have been his second watch] was a big plastic sports watch that appeared for very casual or informal occasions. In looking for the photos of the TAG-Heuer and the Jorg Gray, I knowingly and willingly ignored this third watch. [OK, now that this confession is under way, I am already feelign better.]

I chose to ignore this watch for a couple of reasons: First of all, I assumed that it was some sort of non-descript Timex Ironman, Casio or Nike sports watch, and that it would be very difficult to identify the exact make and model. I mean isn’t it a fact that so many of these watches look alike, and the one that I was seeing in the photos looked just like all the others, more or less. Second of all, I had the “it’s just a plastic sports watch” mentality. Frankly, I just didn’t care much about whether this lump of multi-functional plastic was one brand or the other. So why serach for information if you expect that finding it will not even be interesting?

Then, in January 2010, a strange thing happened: Having the customary look through the White House Photo Stream, on Flickr, I came across an amazing photo, of President Obama, sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. In 18 months of examining photos of Obama, this was the clearest photo that I had seen of his sports watch, and I decided to grab the photo, crop it to show the watch in full detail, and post the photo on a discussion forum, with the question, “Who can identify this watch?”

What a surprise when, after only a few minutes, someone had posted a message on the discussion forum, correctly identifying Obama’s sports watch as the Highgear Enduro Compass watch. Suddenly, I became interested in learning more about this watch, so that I could share that information on this webpage.

President Barack Obama, Wearing Highgear Enduro Compass Watch

Here are some sample photographs, showing President Obama wearing his Highgear Enduro Compass watch:


Probably one of the most visible events at which he wore the Enduro was during a trip to the Gulf of Mexico, in June 2010, to inspect some of the damage done to the beaches by the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. Notice the work boots, presumably of the oil resistant variety.

Having now identified President Obama’s sports watch, let’s take a closer look at the Highgear Enduro Compass watch.


The Highgear Enduro Compass. Details of the watch are as follows:

  • Highgear is a manufacturer of altimeters, compasses, sports timing devices, and gear and accessories. The “Enduro Compass” is part of the line of sports timing devices, and is described as “Trail Running Wristwear” or “Endurance Wristwear”.
  • The Enduro Compass has six basic modes of operation: (1) time of day, (2) chronograph, (3) review of stored data, (4) timer, (5) compass, and (6) alarm.
  • Key features include a digital electronic compass, a 100 split lap memory, a 100 lap memory, a 24-hour chronograph, a 24-hour timer, three alarms, and dual time zones. The chronograph has 1/100 second resolution.
  • The compass shows directional readings in 1 degree increments, and can be calibrated to compensate for the magnetic declination at a particular location.
  • The watch is water resistent to 50 meters, and has a mineral crystal.
  • The Highgear Enduro Compass currently retails for $80, and is available directly from Highgear, as well as from Amazon, REI and other retailers
  • The Enduro was designed by Highgear, and is manufactured in China.

About the Company — Highgear.   According to its Facebook page, Highgear was born in the Appalachian Mountains in 1999, when outdoor enthusiast Mike Hosey had a vision to create his own unique line of compact and affordable outdoor navigational tools. Aiming to enhance its customers’ experience of the natural world, Highgear evolved significantly in 2001. Watches, hand-held navigational devices, and pedometers were added to the product base, while infusing the entire line with top notch design. Highgear is passionate about the outdoors.

Company enthusiasts spend their time skiing Sugar Mountain, biking Bent Creek, hiking Pisgah National Forest, and paddling the French Broad River. This is where the company field tests its products. The company measures durability, accuracy, and reliability, and then spends hours brainstorming how to make improvements on intuitiveness, design, and function. The result is a line of high-performance tools that make outdoor adventure easier and more fun. Read more on Highgear’s website.

Copyright, Jeffrey M. Stein, 2008 - 2018;   all rights reserved