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Cambodian PM to give luxury watches as ASEAN summit souvenirs

A view of a wristwatch intended as a souvenir for world leaders gathering at the ASEAN Cambodia 2022 summit, in this undated image obtained from social media on November 9, 2022. (Hun Sen official Facebook page/via REUTERS)

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, an aficionado of luxury watches, will hand out intricate, locally made timepieces as souvenirs for world leaders at an international summit he is hosting this week.

Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for 37 years, has faced public scrutiny in recent years after being photographed wearing luxury watches, including by Patek Philippe and Richard Mille, that cost more than $1 million each, while much of the country struggles with poverty.

Photos shared by Hun Sen on his official Facebook page showed a close-up of the limited edition watch face with gold hands, a transparent case and a brown leather strap, emblazoned with the words "ASEAN Cambodia 2022" and "Made in Cambodia".

"These watches have been prepared and assembled by pure Cambodian technicians, which is part of scientific and technology and developments of Cambodia," Hun Sen wrote of the 25 limited-edition watches.

U.S. President Joe Biden is among the global leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the capital Phnom Penh.

A video showed the elaborate inner gears of the watch, engraved with "tourbillon" and "twenty-five (25) jewels" and the name of the Cambodian watchmaker, Prince Horology.

The cost of the Cambodian-made timepieces has not been made public.