4 Notable Timepieces Worn by The British Royal Family

by Phume Mdluli

There are over thirty anarchies in the world today and the most famous in the United Kingdom. From the death of Princess Diana to Royal marriages to the many Queens hats, the international media is obsessed with the United Kingdom’s Royal Family. With their every move and decision closely followed, all small details magnified for the public crowd to view, the British royalties are forces of influence and power not only in the hierarchy, area of politics, and world issues but as well as fashion. Most specifically in wristwatches. But if what you have in mind is only Princess Diana, you will be amazed at the other rare and more humble timepieces the royal family members own. Each wristwatch that is worn by these royalties is creating a trend and ultimately becoming iconic. We listed below the most notable and rare wristwatches the British Royal family owns and look at what their wristwatch choices say about them.

First on our list is Prince Harry, the son of Charles the Prince of Wales, and Diana the Princess of Wales. Harry, who is sixth in line for the throne, is always seen sporting brands like Breitling, particularly the aerospace. However, the watch that has frequented his wrist the most is the Rolex Explorer II 216570. The 216570 features a super case combining it with a 42-millimeter diameter and an upgraded caliber within the 3187, a GMT caliber from Rolex that still resides within the Explorer II. You will get the versatility of this piece by seeing the different scenarios Prince Harry wore the watch. He wore this timepiece on his wrist during his time serving the British Army and even during more casual events, specifically when he watched the 2012 London Olympics. The watch’s versatility suits Harry, with its white dial but under-the-radar look.  

  • Prince William 

One common factor with watch collectors is the connection to watches and the emotional attachment to them. Especially the sentimental value of a timepiece that is an heirloom. This experience that many share is also relevant to the British Royalty. The watch on Prince William’s wrist is certainly not bad but when thinking of a watch for King many other likely watches would go ahead of Omega Seamaster. What makes this watch stand out among the other Cartier’s that he has been wearing is the person who gave it to him. The timepiece was a gift to Prince William from his late mother, Princess Diana when he was younger. Prince Willaim wears the watch during many public appearances, from a trip to Brooklyn watching the Cavaliers play and also during his wedding day in 2011.

  • Princess Diana

From Prince William, we look at the person who gifted him his Omega Seamaster, Princess Diana. Diana, the mother of William and Harry, played a vital role in British royalty, and yet she had an image that spanned beyond as she undoubtedly became a fashion icon. However, the one watch that has become synonymous with her timeless approach to style is her Cartier Tank. The Cartier Tank was a watch that rose to prominence quickly with its release in 1917. The timepiece embodies elegance despite being inspired by World War one tanks. But much of what makes this watch iconic was the many notable figures who wore them like Annie Warhol Jackie Kennedy, and of course, Princess Diana. 

Diana appeared to be a huge proponent of the design and owned two Cartier Tanks. The one she owns is a  Louis Cartier with a yellow gold case and black alligator strap. But it was her yellow gold Tank Française, seen on her wrist during most of her public appearances.  Her taste may have rubbed off on other women within the royal family like Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge, and Megan Markle the Duchess of Sussex. Like Diana, the two have predominantly been sporting Cartier watches as well. Megan Markle is spotted wearing a Cartier Tank Française, while Kate Middleton, wears a relatively newer addition to the Cartier catalog with a bottom blue watch which was introduced in 2007 aimed at a unisex audience. 

  • Queen Elizabeth II

We finally come to the Queen herself and she doesn’t mess around when it comes to her watches. In her time as Queen, she has made public appearances wearing a series of different Patek Philippe, most of them being exotic custom ellipses, a line of watches first introduced in 1958. Her Patek Philippe 4975 with adjoining diamonds alongside the outside of the bezel and a pearl bracelet that screams royalty. However, probably the most significant watch in terms of its historical relevance is her Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 101. This watch finds historical importance when it was worn by the Queen during her coronation in 1953. 

Developed in 1929, the caliber 101 became a precursor for what was to come with the construction of many ultra-thin calibers over the years following and the creation of the Reverso in 1931. This caliber was and still is the smallest mechanical watch movement ever produced making up ninety-eight parts, weighing an astounding one gram. During the Queen’s coronation, the watch was on full display, housing the legendary caliber featured on an extravagant diamond set bracelet. The watch was lost in 2012, however, the CEO Jaeger-LeCoultre Jerome Lambert gifted the Queen a replacement that strongly resembles the original and housing that same 101 calibers within.  

In Conclusion

Being Royal is already an effortless way to stand out. Even if they are wearing timepieces that are more relatable, it brings a different effect on society. What is considered royal and regal style can be a simple timepiece like that of Cartier. But despite the exclusivity and elegance from being royal blood, wrist watches show that those born in royalty relate to many experiences we commonly have with our watches. Want to feel like royalty in an instant? You can buy the same timepieces when you check out WatchShopping online! It is the best website to visit when you are ready to invest in luxury wristwatches, such as Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Patek Philippe, and more!

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