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May 12th, 2023
All Hail The KING! On 6th May 2023, King Charles was officially crowned the King of the United Kingdom alongside Camilla, Queen Consort, following his 3 days long symbolic coronation ceremony. While everyone seems to be talking about the Royal outfits, the Royal rituals and other aspects of the ceremony, some watch geeks were hooked to find out, ‘What will the King wear on his wrist?’
Now that the moment has already arrived, we couldn’t stop but spend considerable time zooming in on the much-awaited Coronation watch! It is no surprise that the stylish King is an avid watch collector who has shown his love for statement timepieces on various occasions.
Unlike other Royal leaders like Kim Jong-un of North Korea or Vladimir Putin of Russia, who love to indulge in high-end watches, King Charles has been quite unconventional in that way. His choice of watches reflects his character and symbolises his appreciation for heritage.
Picture Courtesy: royal.uk
Frankly speaking, Charles didn’t really wear any for his coronation ceremony. But he surely wore a classic timepiece at the reception and all the other events leading up to his grand Coronation ceremony.
If you’re anyone who has been a keen follower of King Charles watch collection, you’ll know that the Parmigiani Toric Chronograph has been his go-to since 2015. King Charles bought this timepiece a few years back and has demonstrated his appreciation for craftsmanship since then. Given there are so many legendary watchmakers in the world, Parmigiani Fleurier seems like quite an understated pick, isn’t it? Well, if only you knew how steeply the watch is rooted in history.
Michel Parmigiani founded the luxury watch brand Parmigiani Fleurier in 1996, which subsequently emerged as one of the iconic watchmakers of that era. The watches had an impeccable finish and a discreet design, making them the face of the era’s biggest emerging trend.
The Parmigiani ‘Toric’ line formed the base of the brand, and the fact that King Charles wears it on his wrist enhances its celebratory status. But it’s a little-known fact that when Parmigiani started his career in the mid-1970s, he was in two minds. One was watchmaking, and the other was architecture. Parmigiani chose the former to benefit the watch world.
But to show his innate love and appreciation for the later, Parmigiani took inspiration from the architectural word ‘Torus’ to come up with the name Toric. ‘Torus’ means a convex moulding found at a column's base.
King Charles’ interest in architecture is not a well-kept secret. In the late 1980s, he used a V&A exhibition, a BBC documentary and an accompanying book to show his concern about the horrifying modern architectural styles. Therefore, it only seems likely if he appreciates the classic Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph.
The Parmigiani Fleurier 18ct yellow gold automatic timepiece has an elegant 39mm profile with a ridged double bezel. The silver guilloche dial has blue hands, Roman numerals and a date window between 1 & 2 o’clock. The three sub-dials at 3, 6 & 9 o’clock house 30-minute, 12-hour and 60-second markings, respectively. The gold crown, appropriately placed between the two pushers, has subtle, elegant detailing. The watch has an upgraded Zenith E1 Primero movement and has an inscription of Parmigiani's oval 'PF' hallmark on the rotor.
King Charles has been wearing this watch for many years now, and one question that keeps intriguing is, was it a gift or a secret purchase? While several outlets have reported that Prince Charles bought the watch by sending a member of his inner circle to the brand’s London boutique, it can be true that the Prince of Wales purchased the watch himself.
According to reports, the Royal family obtained the watch from a brand retailer in Klosters, a storied luxury Swiss resort where they spent their long winter holidays. It also says the purchase happened between the late 90s and early 2000s. Since then, the watch has been a constant companion of the now-king of the United Kingdom.
While digging through the Royal archives, we’ve discovered some of King Charles III’s most impressive timepieces. And, if there’s one thing we could tell blatantly by looking at his collection- he is an incredibly smart watch collector. You’ll know why.
Breguet gained its first Royal client in 1775 when it caught the attention of King Louis XVI. Since then, the watch saw its presence on several prolific wrists like Napolean Bonaparte, King George IV and others. King Charles joined the league in 2008. The special Breguet was a royal gift to King Charles’ on his 60th birthday in 2008. The back of the watch was engraved with the real feathers of the Prince of Wales’s then-seal.
It’s a classic 18ct yellow gold Breguet timepiece flaunting an asymmetrical design. It flaunts a calendar hand, a power reserve display, and three different types of guilloche decorating its dial.
The British Royal Family has never shied away from showing their dedication towards Cartier, both for watches and jewels. The list includes Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and many others. Throughout the early 1980s, King Charles wore the two-tone Cartier Santos. This stylish timepiece is the epitome of the 80s with classic steel and 18ct yellow gold body and a traditional leather strap.
King Charles’ favourite timepiece throughout the 70s to the 90s was the Patek Philippe Calatrava Date Ref. 3445. The watch features an elegant 35mm solid gold case and a sophisticated champagne dial with stick hour markers. There's a prominent date display at 3 o’clock and a sub-dial at 6 o’clock. It is coupled with a leather strap.
Well, that's not all. Princess Diana wore Charles’ Patek along with her Patek while the later played polo games. This was a way to wish him luck.
As the world witnessed the once-in-a-generation Coronation of King Charles III, all eyes were on his Royal attributes. But for the watch devotees, the stunning piece of Parmigiani Fleurier made the headlines. Given the brand's history, it was assuredly a proud moment for everyone involved in its creation. The beautiful piece of craftsmanship is surely meant for a King!
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