We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Watches worn by Royalty

Wedding dresses, jewellery and clothing styles are the topic of conversation when it comes to discussing members of the royal family. But have you ever wondered which watches are worn by royalty? Members of the royal family have strategically chosen timepieces that not only make for a standout statement piece but have significant meaning or bear sentimental importance to them personally. Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic and expensive watches worn by royalty. You never know, you may own something very similar in your own personal watch collection.

Prince Harry and his Rolex Explorer II 42 White Dial 216570

Of course, it would be naïve to think that Prince William owns only one watch, but one stand-out model, in particular, is his Rolex Explorer II watch, which he has worn for over a decade now. The white dial reference number 216570 is a 42mm model with a white dial surrounded by a steel bezel with an engraved 24-hour scale. Its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass lens with a cyclops feature above the date window is one key feature of the Explorer II watch, not to mention its robust Oystersteel case integrated with 100-meter water resistance.

These features, along with a screw-down crown make it a perfect tool for extreme exploration, mountaineering and caving expeditions amongst many other uses. The watch is equipped with a robust and rugged Oystersteel bracelet and features a striking orange-red GMT hand for enhanced readability.

Prince Charles wears a Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph

Parmigiani Fleurier can be associated with no other than Prince Charles, especially since he has been spotted with the luxury chronograph watch adorned to his wrist on many occasions. He has also been partial to a Patek Philippe watch in the past, yet Parmigiani Fleurier is a somewhat unexpected choice. Since 2015, the 18-carat gold automatic Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph has been his preferred choice. The particular watch seen on the royal family member’s wrist is a discontinued model but is still available on the pre-owned market.

The 40mm model is crafted from 18ct rose gold and features a silver guilloche dial on a traditional brown leather strap. A 30-minute sub-counter resides at 3 o’clock, balanced by a small second counter at 9 o’clock and a 12-hour totaliser at 6 o’clock. The watch also features a date window at the unusual position of 1:30. This watch worn by royalty is powered by a superior self-winding movement. The Zenith El Primero calibre 400Z movement sits inside this luxurious golden case, providing a 50-hour power reserve.

Kate Middleton and her Cartier Ballon Bleu 36 Midsize Watch W69011Z4

It’s no wonder that the Cartier Ballon Bleu is Kate Middleton’s choice of watch. Its elegant design evokes the shape of a bubble and is inspired by a floating balloon above the wrist. The Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch has a very distinct design, with a crown incorporated into the bezel of the watch, adorned with a blue spinel. The Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch ref W69011Z4 believed to have been spotted on the wrist of Kate Middleton is a 36mm model crafted from polished stainless steel and topped with a sapphire crystal glass front.

The silver dial with a guilloche centre is executed in true Cartier style, with crisp black Roman numeral hour markers and a minute track interrupted by the shape of the crown. It is believed that this watch was a gift from her husband Prince William for their third wedding anniversary in 2014. To add a touch of sentiment, Prince Willian commissioned the sapphire gemstone feature on the tip of the crown, choosing a Sapphire that, in the past, has been worn by Princess Diana.

Meghan Markle wears the Cartier Tank Francaise Steel Yellow Gold Watch W51005Q4

Four generations of the royal family have worn the Cartier Halo tiara, but did you realise they had a soft spot for a Cartier watch too? Meghan Markle has always been a fan of the Cartier watch, even before tying the knot with Prince Harry and has been spotted with the Cartier Tank Française watch adorned to her wrist during her role as an actress in Suits. Since becoming wife to Prince Harry, she inherited Diana’s gold Cartier Tank Française watch. The Cartier Tank W51005Q4 is a steel and 18ct yellow gold two-tone watch powered by an automatic movement. The original Tank-inspired design features the lugs integrated into the shape of the case as opposed to adding them on as an afterthought. The watch features a silver dial with a date window at 6 o’clock.

Today the Cartier Tank Francaise watch in yellow gold is still a very classic-looking timepiece that conveys that all-important rectangular-shaped case with brancards that lead seamlessly into the watch’s lugs. Finished on a matching 18ct yellow gold bracelet, the gold lady’s Tank Francaise watch features the brand’s signature blued steel hands that travel inside an inner minute track, surrounded by traditional Roman numerals in a crisp black hue. The tip of the crown is adorned in a blue cabochon spinel and the watch is available both as a quartz-operated timepieces and an automatic movement.

King Felipe VI of Spain sports the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Olympic Edition

Having ascended the throne in 2014, King Felipe VI of Spain posed in an official portrait at Madrid’s Zarzuela Palace in 2010 with the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Olympic Edition on the wrist. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition watch was designed for the 2020 Olympics and features a 39.5mm stainless steel case with a specially designed white ceramic dial, red-tipped central hands inspired by Japan’s flag, and a Liquidmetal™ diving scale featuring a red-filled number “20” in liquid ceramic. This watch worn by royalty is one of 2,020 pieces developed worldwide by Omega and features a sapphire crystal caseback with the Tokyo 2020 logo transferred in blue.

As a watch enthusiast, King Felipe VI may well have picked this watch to symbolise his love for sport and his passion for an expertly manufactured movement, which can be admired through this sapphire crystal glass exhibition feature. The Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 performs with its free sprung-balance and silicon balance spring, offering a 55-hour power reserve and boasting rhodium-plated finishes with Geneva waves in arabesque.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum owned a personalised Rolex GMT-Master

Vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wore a GMT-Master watch from Rolex bearing his own name. It was auctioned in 2018, selling for around $63,000. The specially commissioned dual-time watch in stainless steel was originally presented to the ruler of Dubai in 1971 but was serviced back in 2017 by Rolex Geneva and presented in a Rolex box embossed with the crest of the UAE. The watch includes two works of art; a digital drawing applied on aluminium and a watercolour painting – both of which have been signed by the artist. In addition to this, the GMT-Master watch bears all the usual distinct characteristics of the popular line. Luminous-coated hour markers are represented in a mix of rectangular, circular and triangular markers and join cathedral-shaped hands, a lollipop-style central second hand with a luminous pip and a red-coated GMT-hand with a luminous triangular tip.

The cyclops lens positioned above the date aperture at 3 o’clock on the dial of the Rolex GMT-Master watch has always been a key feature of this popular model, as has its dua- time zone. The Oystersteel case of the Rolex GMT-Master watch began as a compact 38mm dual-time watch and then grew in size during the 1960s, gaining a crown guard and switching its Bakelite bezel to an aluminium one. When Rolex finally mastered the art of producing two-tone ceramic bezels for its GMT-Master II range, the red and blue “Pepsi” model that followed the blue and black “Batman” model acquired a huge waiting list and remains one of the most sought-after luxury watches on the market today.

The Queen loves the Omega Ladymatic

We’ve saved the best until last because this article on watches worn by royalty would mean nothing if we weren’t to mention one of the most powerful women in the world. The Queen has a love for the Omega Ladymatic and there are no prizes for guessing why. The watch symbolises everything important in a watch for royalty. A powerful design, a strong presence, expert engineering and a beautiful, elegant and timeless aesthetic. The opulent gold Omega Ladymatic watch showcased on her wrist in her 1992 official portrait is believed to join at least another 14-20 luxury watches in her collection, including names such as Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.

Without a doubt, a woman of impeccable taste, the Queen opted for the vintage 14k yellow gold Omega ‘Ladymatic’ watch with a cream-coloured dial back in 1992, which has since become discontinued but still manages to sell on the pre-owned market for around $2,500.00 USD. Today the Ladymatic keeps its undeniably feminine style. Models like the Ladymatic De Ville watch ref 425. make for a beautiful modern-day alternative. The watch boasts a captivating mother of pearl dial adorned with scintillating diamond dot hour markers, a perfectly round 18ct yellow gold case and matching bracelet, an eye-shaped date window at 3 o’clock, and is powered by the Omega Co-Axial Calibre 8521 movement.

More guides:

Subscribe to our newsletter to get insights, news and latest about luxury watches.

Find out more about Cartier in our guides and a detailed review of Cartier Tank 1612. We have also covered the best Cartier with diamonds and the Cartier Tank released in 2021.

If you are looking at Cartier watches holding value or Rolex Trackers look at our sections and buying guides.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Follow us
© 2024 All rights reserved by watchesguild