The Royal family has a staggering net worth of around $28 billion, with the Queen once estimated to be worth $500 million. The Crown jewels alone are valued between $3 billion and $5 billion, although they’re technically priceless because they hold so much historical value. With an unlimited budget at their disposal, the Royals have a notoriously impressive watch collection, with the newly minted Prince of Wales, William, often donning an Omega Seamaster Pro on his wrist and his wife favoring her elegant Cartier Ballon Bleu, which looks stunning next to her blue sapphire engagement ring. Harry seems to gravitate more toward the Rolex catalog, while Meghan is loyal to Cartier. The newly coronated King Charles III recently turned heads with a Parmigiani Fleurier automatic Toric Chronograph on his wrist. The Royal family is a very stylish bunch, indeed. But what about the beloved late Queen? We imagine her watch collection is just as dazzling as the Crown jewels.
Queen Elizabeth II devoted her life to the people of the United Kingdom, ascending to the throne in 1952. She was Britain’s longest-serving monarch, with 70 years under her belt. The Queen was also once documented as owning at least 14 wristwatches and is, quite possibly, one of the most notable female watch collectors of all time. Her choices were often practical, deliberate, and never meant to outshine her exquisite jewelry.
Let’s pay our respects to Queen Elizabeth II by looking at her awe-inspiring watch collection.
Jaeger LeCoultre 101
27 million people across the United Kingdom watched the Queen’s coronation on television, and 11 million tuned in on their radios. It was a historic movement, during which the Queen wore a Jaeger LeCoultre 101. The petite diamond watch weighs just 1 gram and is just as elegant as fine jewelry, the perfect accessory for the rest of her ornate coronation ensemble. It also happens to house the caliber 101 movement, which was launched in 1929 and still, to this day, holds the title of the world’s smallest mechanical movement. It’s the perfect watch for a freshly crowned Queen.
The watch was originally gifted to her by the former President of France and would eventually become one of Her Royal Majesty’s go-to timepieces. It adhered to the tradition that women should never look at their watch in public. If they needed to do so, it had to be as discreet as possible. For this reason, many vintage watches produced for women were small and closely resembled jewelry. Jaeger LeCoultre’s former CEO, Jérôme Lambert, presented a modern version of the 101 in white gold and diamonds to the Queen to celebrate her diamond jubilee in 2012.
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 3609/1
The Queen often wore the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse while making official appearances. It’s an ideal watch for the Queen with its practical yet elegant aesthetic. The Golden Ellipse earns its name after the “Golden Ratio,” a formula often found in nature based on harmony, balance, and divine proportion. Looking at this model’s perfectly symmetrical oval case, we can see why Patek gave the collection the moniker “Golden.” The Queen’s example features a silky white gold mesh bracelet, a diamond bezel, and a 36-jewel automatic movement. Timeless and sophisticated, just like the Queen.
It’s obvious that Her Majesty the Queen had exceptional taste when it came to the timepieces on her wrist. She also seemed to favor Vacheron Constantin. Her collection also included a diamond-encrusted gold Cocktail model 4481. The glamorous watch was a gift presented to her by the Swiss Federal Republic in 1947 to celebrate her wedding. She reportedly gave it to Princess Diana upon marrying Prince Charles. Diana was spotted donning the gold and diamond stunner on her wrist on multiple occasions while wearing elegant, floor-length ballgowns.
The Omega Ladymatic joined the Queen’s watch collection in the early 1970s and was pictured in her official portrait in 1992. The lovely 14k yellow gold 20mm model is feminine and chic – a suitable companion while meeting with other world leaders and attending exclusive Royal engagements. Omega released the Ladymatic collection in 1955. It is among the first automatic women’s watches, an important and historic model befitting the lovely Queen.
Patek Philippe 4975/1G
A beautiful photo of Queen Elizabeth II’s Patek Philippe 4975/1G was taken at the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition in London 2015 at the Saatchi Gallery. The watch is dripping in diamonds, with brilliant-cut gems on the bezel, lugs, and crown, and baguette-cut stones serving as the hour markers. It wears on a stunning multi-strand pearl bracelet and, just like her coronation watch, mimics fine jewelry. The Queen wore the stunning Patek on multiple occasions, once with George IV’s famous state diadem.