The Most Expensive Watches Worn By Royalty
Common accessories among the rich and famous, these are the timepieces that have graced the wrists of the world's monarchies
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph
Heir apparent to the British throne, Prince Charles is often seen wearing the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph, which he discreetly tucks underneath his cuff. Most recently he was spotted with the Swiss watchmaker’s timepiece at this year’s Royal Ascot.
The centrepiece of England’s summer social season, Royal Ascot is an annual high-society horse racing event that has long been attended by the British royal family. His Royal Highness looked dashing in a well-tailored grey suit, which he wore with a finely pinstriped shirt in lilac, patterned pocket square and top hat.
The yellow gold watch itself is 39mm in diameter and features striking blue hour and second hands. The result is classic and appropriately majestic.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Olympic Edition
King Felipe VI of Spain ascended the throne in 2014 upon the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I who is, himself, an avid watch collector that's been spotted wearing Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet.
Posing here for an official portrait at Madrid’s Zarzuela Palace in 2010, the royal is pictured with the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Olympic Edition. It boasts a black lacquered dial and painted Arabic numerals, as well as an engraving on its case back of the iconic Olympic circles. This stainless-steel timepiece houses Omega's co-axial movement.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition was recently unveiled ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which are now just one year away. The all-white ceramic bezel features a red '20,' marking the year of the next Olympics, and comes with a white alligator strap, a NATO strap and a stainless-steel bracelet for the ultimate in wearability.
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A specially-commissioned Rolex GMT-Master featuring the name of High Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, was sold at a Christie's Dubai auction in 2018 for an estimated value of Dh440,000-580,000 (around HK$940,000-1.2 million).
The dual-time automatic wristwatch in stainless-steel was serviced by Rolex Geneva in 2017, who ensured its quality, and was presented in a Rolex box embossed with the crest of the UAE.
The watch was commissioned by the ruler of Dubai after his appointment in December 1971 as the UAE’s first minister of defence, and includes two unique works of art: a watercolour painting and a digital drawing applied on aluminium, both of which are signed by the artist.
Cartier Ballon Bleu
If you're thinking of getting your own Cartier Ballon Bleu, you will be in good company. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton owns a 33mm version in stainless steel, complete with a modern metal bracelet.
The House of Windsor and the House of Cartier go way back. In 1849, King Edward VII called Cartier the, “king of jewellers and the jeweller to kings.”
First introduced in 2007, the Ballon Bleu is timeless thanks to its Roman numerals and guilloche dial, and its unique placement of the blue sapphire cabochon crown is extremely futuristic. Duchess Kate's style continues to exceed our fashion expectations and her taste in watches doesn’t disappoint.
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Backes & Strauss Royal Kent
Prince Michael of Kent announced his partnership with British watchmakers Backes & Strauss last year, and has now helped design a limited edition collection of watches for the brand, aptly named the Royal Kent collection.
The prince himself has been photographed wearing a diamond-drenched piece from the men's collection, which features the watchmaker's iconic oval-shaped design that was first seen in the Regent collection.
Elements from his coat of arms have been set against a striking navy-blue dial, while the line's women's edition comes in mother-of-pearl and features Prince Michael's wife's coat of arms.