Gordon Sondland wears $55K watch for impeachment testimony

December 17, 2019

Gordon Sondland wore a $55,300, 18-carat, white gold watch during his impeachment testimony on Wednesday.

Sondland, 62, was invited to testify because of his role as U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Visible on his wrist, next to a shirt cuff monogrammed with his initials “GDS,” was a marine chronograph watch from the luxury brand Breguet.

The median annual U.S. household income is $63,179, according to the U.S. census. Sondland’s net worth is estimated to be between $78 million and $185 million.

Sondland was previously the CEO of Provenance Hotels, a highly profitable boutique chain.

He grew up in Washington state, where his parents had settled as Holocaust refugees and operated a dry cleaner. Sondland broke into the hotel industrywhen he purchased Hotel Theodore during a foreclosure for $7.8 million. That hotel is now worth $58 million and is just one of the 14 hotels owned by Provenance Hotels.

Sondland and his wife, Katherine Durant, own an art collection valued at up to $25 million. The Portland Art Museum has a wing named for the family, and the Frye Art Museum’s in Seattle named its Café Frieda in honor of Frieda Sondland, Gordon Sondland’s mother. The two also manage a philanthropic foundation that provides grants to art and educational institutions.

Sondland has donated $420,000 to Republican candidates since the 1980s. He also gave $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee. He stepped down as CEO of Provenance Hotels after being nominated to the ambassadorship by Trump, but his wife stayed on as chairwoman of the company.

While working as EU ambassador, Sondland became involved in the negotiations with Ukraine that became the basis for the House impeachment effort. In his opening statement, Sondland was the first witness to claim there was a “potential quid pro quo” between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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