On September 8th 2022, the world stopped to celebrate the majestic reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was quite famous for several things before and during her reign, from being a pioneer of women’s equal rights as a young princess to being the longest-serving monarch in British history. One other thing Queen Elizabeth II was notable for, was her love for watches. It was observed that until her demise the Queen rarely stepped foot outside the gates of Buckingham Palace without a watch on her wrist.
It can be deduced that Her Majesty the Queen was quite the watch collector, herself. However, the question remains, what kind of watches did she wear?
Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101
The most popularly spoken of is the Jaeger-LeCoultre 101 timepiece the Queen wore for her coronation in 1953.
A piece of high jewellery made with the craft and expertise of fine watchmaking, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s calibre 101 is a collection of watches launched in 1929 and is known to be the world’s smallest mechanical calibre to date.
Like other bracelets in the collection, this watch was meticulously crafted using the Griffe setting technique allowing the highest quality diamonds to sparkle and shine. The sides of the case were decorated with artistic engraving, adding an artistic flair and subtle detail to it. Its exceptionally small size, and unique shape, gave the master craftsmen and women greater creative freedom than ever before and was worn specifically by Her Majesty so that she could discreetly check the time during the ceremony.
Vacheron et Constantin model 4481
On the 20th November 1947, Queen Elizabeth II was gifted a Vacheron et Constantin model 4481 gold and diamond cocktail watch by the Swiss Federal Council to celebrate her wedding with Prince Philip. The exquisite timepiece was passed down to Princess Diana after she married Prince Charles in 1981. The timeless craftsmanship behind this watch instantly made the watchmaker a royal favourite, even Princess Margaret, the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had a particularly fabulous Vacheron et Constantin diamond-encrusted timepiece that was auctioned off in 2006 by Christie’s.
Patek Philippe ref 4975/1G
Queen Elizabeth II owned a few Patek Philippe watches, one of which is the ref 4975/1G and is known as the grandest timepiece in the Queen’s collection. Crafted with diamond and pearl, the watch is a piece of true craftsmanship. Sitting on decadent strands of pearls, the watch face is encrusted with baguette-cut diamonds, giving it a striking appearance. In 2015, Her Majesty loaned this watch to the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery. It is worn by Her Majesty only for special occasions when mixing with other high-profile figures to reiterate her powerful status as the Queen of England.
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse
Another one of the Queen’s Patek Philippe watches is the Golden Ellipse. The Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse is set in white gold with a blue dial and diamond bezel.
It is believed that the Queen owned a vintage art deco-era Omega Ladymatic watch. And why not? its timeless aesthetic and delicate craftsmanship made it a popular choice when it first debuted. First launched in 1955, the Ladymatic was among the first self-winding timepieces created especially for women. In probably one of the most vivid shots of Her majesty dating back to 1992, with her watch on full display, she is seen wearing the art deco Omega Ladymatic watch.
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars
Seen on her wrist several times, the Queen seemed to like the practical and understated appeal of her gold Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars watch. She wore it in April 2020 while addressing the UK during the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
Perfect under a sleeve or above her famous white gloves, the Queen has a penchant for watches from La Vallee de Joux. The roman numerals, coupled with the gold bracelet, are the perfect complement for her daily engagements.