The Royal family has a notoriously impressive watch collection. The beloved late Queen Elizabeth II famously donned the rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101 on her wrist at her coronation in 1953. She also often wore Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier timepieces. Prince William is frequently photographed wearing an Omega Seamaster 300M, while the lovely Kate Middleton adores her Cartier Ballon Bleu. Even the late Princess Diana had an enviable watch collection, including the Cartier Tank Française and the Patek Philippe Calatrava.
So what watch does King Charles III wear? There was buzz in the watch-collecting community about which watch he would sport on his wrist during his coronation. Was he going to pair the lavish Imperial State Crown with his trusty yellow gold Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph? Unfortunately, no photos have surfaced from the ceremony showing the freshly-minted king wearing a watch.
It was a hot topic leading up to the coronation that redirected the spotlight onto the King of England’s impressive watch collection. Let’s look at some of his most notable timepieces.
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph
A rose gold example of the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph. Image courtesy of Christie's.
We’ll start with the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph, King Charles III’s constant companion since he purchased the watch in 2015. The relatively new Swiss brand is celebrated for its exceptional craftsmanship and understated elegance – perfect for one of the world’s most prominent leaders.
The model King Charles III wears is a gold Toric Chronograph with a 39mm case and a modified Zenith El Primero movement. It has an eye-catching double bezel, a stunning silver dial decorated with Roman numeral hour markers, and a trio of chronograph registers. The King’s Parmigiani Toric Chronograph was discontinued long ago, bolstering its value alongside its association with the King of England.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Date
The Patek Philippe 3445. Image courtesy of Amsterdam Vintage Watches.
Although reliable sources haven’t confirmed it, many keen-eyed watch enthusiasts believe the Patek Philippe Calatrava King Charles III has worn since the 1970s is a date model, ref. 3445. Charles has a penchant for elegant gold watches with round cases and classically elegant dials. The Calatrava that appears on his wrist from time to time features a smooth bezel with a sleek, recessed crown, simple hour markers and hands, and the caliber 27-460 M – one of Patek Philippe’s earliest automatic movements.
An example of the vintage yellow gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Image courtesy of David Mellor Jewellers.
Press photos through the years also reveal the King owned a remarkable gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, most popularly known for its art deco lines and innovative reversible case. This design was initially developed to protect the watch face during polo matches. While Charles was indeed an avid polo player himself, photographs usually show him wearing the Reverso during trips and other Royal obligations.
An example of the vintage Cartier Santos from the 1980s. Image courtesy of Danny's Vintage Watches.
It’s no secret that the Royal Family adores Cartier. The Queen wore the Cartier Tank Cintrée, Princess Diana had a lovely gold Tank Louis in her collection - among many other Cartier watches - and Kate and Meghan also own timepieces from the iconic French Maison. King Charles III prefers the steel and gold Santos, distinguished by a striking square-shaped case, traditional Cartier Roman numeral dial, and a classy leather strap. It’s a versatile watch fit for a king.