Jewelry & Watches

10 Signature Watches Worn by Royals

These watches have appeared at coronations, royal weddings, and engagements.
IMAGE PUBLIC DOMAIN/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS; COURTESY LUCERNE
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Luxury timepieces are markers of history, products of keen craftsmanship and bearers of heritage stories.

For royals, as they are for everyone else, they're also a style statement, a memory, an inheritance, a family heirloom, or a prized possession of sentimental value.

Below, the signature watches of your favorite royals and their specific significance.

Queen Elizabeth II

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To no one’s surprise, the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom owns one of the world’s most expensive jewelry collections, which, according to the book The Queen's Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II includes fourteen luxury watches.

A few of the Queen’s choice timepieces are designed like bejeweled accessories, such as the yellow gold and diamond Jaeger-LeCoultre watch that’s hidden on a diamond bracelet, which she wore during her coronation in 1953. The Calibre 101 is regarded as the world’s smallest mechanical movement.

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The Queen has also been seen wearing a white gold and diamond Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse, an 18k Audemars Piguet watch, and another Jaeger-LeCoultre, called the Reverso.

King Felipe VI

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The simplistic Cartier Santos, an evergreen model that can be worn to both formal and casual occasions, is the King of Spain’s watch of choice. He has also been photographed wearing an Omega and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak City of Sails Alinghi edition on a leather strap, which is believed to have caught his eye during a yachting connection.

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Prince Charles and his Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph

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Prince Charles has been seen wearing the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph since 2015, and most recently at Meghan and Harry’s wedding. The prized watch is an automatic, yellow gold chronograph that’s quite a sight, as organic watches have become a rare choice for wearers these days. Other than his go-to timepiece, HRH is also known to favor Cartier and Patek Philippe watches. 

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Prince William and his Omega Seamaster Professional

 

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Prince William has remained loyal to a single timepiece: the Omega Seamaster Professional. It’s been said that he never leaves home without it, and despite not having any photographs to prove it, he reportedly wore it on his wedding day in 2011.

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The prince’s prized possession is a stainless steel luxury sports watch with a blue bezel and blue wave dial, which matches Kate Middleton’s blue-themed regalia. The Seamaster is said to be what Prince William personally selected from his late mother’s prized possessions, and is believed to be the exact same timepiece that Princess Diana used to teach him how to tell the time.

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Kate Middleton and her Cartier Ballon Bleu

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As with her sartorial style, the Duchess of Cambridge’s timepiece of choice is a nod to modesty, too. Her 36.6 mm-wide Ballon Bleu Medium comes without diamonds and the quartz movement is said to be priced less than that of automatic mechanical models

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The Duchess’ Ballon Bleu is a third wedding anniversary gift from Prince William, who seems to have a penchant for giving his wife heirloom pieces adorned in chic blue. In theme with her sapphire engagement ring and oval drop earrings set (which all once belonged to the late Princess Diana), Kate’s Ballon Bleu features blue sword-shaped hands and a blue synthetic spinel cabochon into its crown.

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She was frequently spotted wearing the watch as she toured with the prince across Australia and New Zealand on the year of their anniversary, and many other occasions since.

Prince Harry and his Rolex Explorer II

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The Rolex Explorer is said to be unpopular among Rolex aficionados, yet the timepiece is regarded as a symbol and icon of the bold and brave, and true adventurers of life. Prince Harry of Wales, during his military service in Afghanistan, sported the Rolex Explorer II, a timepiece designed to withstand the test of time, extreme climate, and weather changes.

Prince Harry was also seen wearing his Rolex sans his military uniform to television interviews, and with jeans and a shirt on casual days. Next to the Explorer, the Breitling Aerospace is another Prince Harry approved timepiece, which is likewise classic and built for adventure.

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Meghan Markle and her Cartier Tank Française 

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“To M.M. from M.M.” reads the hidden message that’s engraved on the back of Meghan’s watch, which happens to be the former Hollywood actress’ gift to herself, celebrating a career milestone. Her TV program, Suits, was set to proceed on its third season at that time.

The two-tone, small face Cartier retails at £4,800—a “splurge” for Meghan back then. She intends to pass on her prized timepiece to her future daughter. “That’s what makes pieces special, the connection you have to them,” she said in an interview.

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Prince Andrew and his Rolex Platinum Day-Date

 

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A true-blue Rolex aficionado, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, has been inseparable from his Rolex Platinum Day-Date for decades and counting. The Rolex loyalist chooses to wear it on monumental events of his life, including his engagement and marriage to Sarah Ferguson in 1986.

Occasionally, such us on his honeymoon trip, Prince Andrew would trade his quarter-centuries old Day-Date for his stainless steel Submariner, which he reserves to wear on casual days, matching his sporty outfits well.

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Prince Michael of Kent and his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

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The always impeccably dressed first cousin of the Queen, Prince Michael of Kent, is often seen with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak on his wrist. Through the years, this two-tone, vintage timepiece, which features Audemars Piguet’s signature tapestry dial in dark grey, has always been the unexpected accessory that punctuates the prince’s dapper style.

Crown Prince Frederik Of Denmark: Rolex Submariner Kermit

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For avid sportsman and heir apparent to the throne, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, the Rolex Kermit is an ideal time-telling device. The stainless steel Submariner ref. 16610LV was launched in 2003 to celebrate the Rolex Submariner’s fiftieth anniversary, and given the moniker “Kermit,” in reference to its green aluminum bezel insert.

Whether he’s attending to royal duties, or out sailing, running marathons, or completing an Ironman, Prince Frederik is hardly ever seen without his Rolex Kermit.

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