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There is a certain enigma around the British Royal family, reminding us of prestige, power and wealth. As the Royal family is always in the spotlight, the media follows them everywhere, from what they’re wearing to where they’re heading. We know that the blue blood dress to perfection, and like their sartorial choices, they pay great attention to their timepieces.
Given the watches the Royalties wear on numerous occasions, it is safe to assume they’re passionate watch collectors. From Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Omega to Cartier and Breguet, many iconic watch brands have graced the wrists of the affluent.
So, who’s wearing what? From Duke & Duchess of Cambridge to Duke & Duchess of Sussex to Prince Charles and the Queen herself, let’s take a closer look at some of the most iconic timepieces the Royalties love to wear.
The Queen is quite a watch aficionado known to collect elegant and feminine timepieces. As per some reports, she has at least 14 most sought-after watches in her collection that she has famously worn on multiple occasions. One of the most memorable instances was during The Queen’s Coronation in 1953, where she was wearing the Jaeger LeCoultre 101. With all eyes glued on her, the Queen could subtly check the time while maintaining the etiquette, thanks to the watch’s smallest watch movement.
In celebration of her diamond jubilee, former CEO of JLC, Jerome Lambert, gifted her with a stunning white gold version of the Calibre 101. The watch is bejewelled with precious stones and continues to be one of the smallest and oldest movements in production today, though in small quantities. When it comes to watches, The Queen has unbeatable taste, which reflects her Royal stardom.
Other watches in The Queen’s collection include:
Following Her Majesty’s footsteps, Prince Charles is also a passionate watch collector who sticks to the classics. He likes his Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and Patek Philippe but also prefers Parmigiani, Hamilton, and Breguet. As you can think, Parmigiani is quite the sapling in respect to the other influential Swiss manufacturers. However, its rare Fleurier Toric with a gold case and classy black leather strap has been Prince Charle’s absolute favourite for many years.
Most recently, he wore the Toric with a well-tailored grey suit at the Royal Ascot, an annual high-society horse racing event. The classic yellow gold watch in 39mm is appropriately majestic, which the Prince discreetly tucks underneath his cuff.
In the 1980s, Charles switched between the JLC Reverso and Cartier Santos and during his training as a jet pilot and in the 70s; he wore a Hamilton RAF Pilot’s Chronograph.
Other watches in Prince Charles’ collection include:
Like her charming personality, Princess Diana held an impressive watch collection representing her unique and bold style. She was a style icon for many for her well-curated wardrobe and aesthetic clothing sense. If you are lucky to witness Princess Diana’s legendary wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, you must remember the iconic Vacheron Constantin model 4481. Her Majesty gifted the timepiece to her newlywed daughter-in-law as a wedding present. She also wore a gold Patek Philippe gifted to her by Charles.
Being the trendsetter she was, Diana wore both her Patek (Ref. 3618) and that of her husband (Ref. 3445) on the same wrist during the latter’s polo matches in the 1980s to bring good luck. Apart from the royal family, Diana was gifted many watches by others. For instance, the Arabian Royal family gave her a decorated Asprey watch. The princess later modified it into her famous choker necklace.
Following her legal separation, the Princess of Wales wore her two Cartier timepieces. One is the Tank Louis Cartier with a yellow gold case & a black alligator strap, and the other is a yellow gold Tank Francaise. Following Diana’s death, Prince William inherited the Cartier Tank Francaise.
If you haven’t already noticed, the Duke of Cambridge sticks to his Omega Seamaster Professional Quartz 300M timepiece. While it’s easy for everyone to assume that the Royal family’s younger generation doesn’t hold much interest in watch collecting, the truth is that the watch was a gift to William from his late mother, Princess Diana, before she passed.
The Omega timepiece features a chronometer, a uni-directional rotating bezel, a screw-in crown and a helium escape valve. The Duke of Cambridge even wore the Omega during his wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011.
Serving elegant looks with every public appearance, the Duchess of Cambridge well knows how to keep it simple yet classy. She flaunts the lustrous Cartier Ballon Bleu with a 33mm steel case, white dial, and shining bracelet gifted to her by her husband, Prince William. The Cartier Ballon Bleu looks perfect next to the oval sapphire engagement ring that belonged to Princess Diana. Kate Middleton’s choice is anything but sophisticated that well goes with her image.
Prince Harry’s watch taste is similar to his other choices, which are slightly different from the rest. Having served in the military for over 10 years, Harry’s taste in watches remains faithful to functionality and reliability. Given that he was once a part of the Apache helicopter regiment, he has a limited-edition Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 built only in 48 examples for the members of the Apache attack.
Apart from this, he also owns a special version of Breitling Aerospace Avantage, awarded to pilots who have accomplished combat missions. It is a unique-looking special-edition timepiece featuring an illustration of an Apache helicopter at 3 o’clock and the Army Air Corps Wings at the 9 o’clock position.
Harry is a defense personnel, so it is easy to see his watch choices that well-portray his interests.
Other watches in Prince Harry’s collection include:
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, keeps things elegant, simple and stylish. Before she was married to the Royal family, Meghan was an actress who gifted herself a two-tone Cartier Tank engraved with ‘To M.M. From M.M.’, which she plans to give to her daughter. She wore the same watch in the Suits TV show as Rachel Zane.
However, after marrying Prince Harry, Meghan has been spotted wearing a Cartier Tank Francaise on many occasions, which Prince William inherited from late Princess Diana but exchanged with Harry for Kate’s engagement ring.
The British Royal Family sets an example with their style and preferences in timekeeping. And with all the famous watches in their collection, it is safe to say that the Royal family has the most diverse yet striking collection. These timeless pieces are some of the most sought-after in the world and also embrace an interesting story which draws our attention.
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