The historical drama The Crown has become a global sensation, with some reports claiming that 29 million people watched the latest season, released on November 16th. Created and written by Peter Morgan, and produced by Left Bank Pictures and Sony Pictures Television for Netflix, the series, which take us through the reign of Queen Elizabeth II mixing real facts and characters with fictional script.
As we start the long countdown to the fifth season (2022) and given our fondness of watches, we thought of having a look at the most iconic pieces worn by the Royal family over the decades. With a little help from our friends at Watchfinder & Co., we came up with recommendations to emulate the timepieces most loved by the British Royals:
Queen Elizabeth II – Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse
It is said that Queen Elizabeth II’s watch collection has all the qualities of a true enthusiast. In particular she seems to have a weakness for Patek Philippe, notably, wearing a white gold, diamond set, Patek Ellipse with a blue dial to Royal engagements and a Patek 4975G with a diamond set dial and pearl bracelet to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Aside from her love for Patek Philippe, her go-to piece (worn for her coronation in 1953 and for many years after) was a Jaeger LeCoultre reference 101 – a watch often mistaken for a bracelet because of how narrow the case is.
The movement, housed in the delicate case, was created in 1929 and at 14mm long and 5mm wide it remains the smallest mechanical movement ever produced. The Queen also owned a Vacheron Constantin gold and diamond model which she gifted to Princess Diana after she married Prince Charles.
Diana, Princess of Wales – Cartier Tank Francaise
Princess Diana was known for her glamorous style. In her early 20s she was often seen wearing a gold Patek Philippe, gifted to her by Prince Charles. The Princess of Wales was also known to have a penchant for the French jeweler and watchmaker Cartier.
It was their iconic Tank wristwatch that Diana was most photographed wearing; she owned two versions of the design classic – a Tank Louis Cartier with yellow gold case and black alligator strap and a yellow gold Tank Française (which is now believed to have been passed to Meghan Markle).
As close as
it gets to Diana’s own, Cartier Tank Francaise WE1001RG £16,150.
Charles, Prince of Wales – Patek Philippe Calatrava Disco Volante
Being a bastion of traditional style one of Prince Charles’ longtime favorite timepieces has been the Patek Philippe Calatrava. This is the watch Princess Diana was famously photographed wearing on her wrist, alongside her own Patek, at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor in July 1981 as a tribute to Prince Charles and to wish him luck, whilst he played.
Another of his favorites is an 18-karat gold Parmigiani Fleurier Toric, which he was spotted wearing at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. His impressive collection also includes a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, a Cartier Santos and a custom Breguet that was a 60th birthday present.
A good alternative,
Patek Philippe Calatrava
William, Duke of Cambridge – Omega Seamaster Professional
Prince William is rarely seen without his Omega Seamaster Professional – a gift from his mother, Princess Diana. The watch, which he wore on his wedding day, is a classic Quartz 300M in stainless steel with a blue dial. The Omega Seamaster Professional was also the watch of choice for Pierce Brosnan when playing Bond.
Harry, Duke of Sussex – Rolex Explorer II
In addition to a Breitling Aerospace Advantage, Prince Harry’s impressive watch collection also includes a rare Rolex Explorer II. His is one of only 48 in existence and was made by special order for the Attack Helicopter Regiment that Prince Harry served in.
The Rolex Explorer II
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – Cartier Ballon Bleu
Ever the embodiment of elegance, Kate Middleton is regularly spotted wearing a Cartier Ballon Bleu. Crafted in steel with a guilloche silver dial and sapphire set crown, the devil really is on the detail with this understated piece from the legendary French jeweller.
Prince Michael of Kent – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Prince Michael of Kent is widely considered one of the most dapper royals. No surprise then that his watch of choice is the striking Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in steel and yellow gold which has become a vintage classic.