What watch does the modern emperor wear? Whatever he or she wants, of course. And in the case of Britain’s new king, Charles III, he wore many dresses. But his choice of public appearances after the death of Queen Elizabeth II was indeed notable.
Patek Philippe, Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre watches have graced his regal wrist, but a watch that truly represents deep horological knowledge and appreciation is his most recent go-to: the Parmigiani Toric Chronograph. A young brand founded in 1996, Parmigiani doesn’t have the name of the historic watchmakers mentioned above, but it is known to watch enthusiasts for its in-house movements, vertical integration, exquisite finishing and other prestigious work. Brands.
The watch dates back to Parmigiani’s early years, probably around the early 2000s, and features an in-house Zenith El Primero movement decorated by Parmigiani – and a distinctive date window at 1:30. You can still find Toric Collection watches from the brand, featuring similar design cues such as the case shape, folded bezel and guilloche dials, but the chronograph is not currently part of the lineup. Hodinky Reports He may have bought the watch in the Swiss town of Klosters.
Personally, when I think of watches worn by royalty, I imagine a lot of outward flamboyance. Jacob & Co. Or Bovet. But, of course, being a sovereign and a watch lover is more complicated than wearing the equivalent of a crown on the wrist. That said, heads of state, modern monarchs, want to be relatable to their subjects. And, even though Charles’ choices were expensive, they were still the kind of watches that even non-royals could afford – today Parmigiani’s collection is priced firmly in the five figures.
Having served in the British military, he wore what appeared to be a chronograph issued by Hamilton, CWC, Pressista and Newmark. Choosing British watchmaking brands can also seem politically savvy, and he’s got more time to do so and a growing number to choose from.
At the very least, the choice of Parmigiani toric chronograph has attracted watch enthusiasts and given Parmigiani new visibility. Can we expect the brand to bring back this model? It’s too early to tell. But one thing is promising: more great watch-spotting in the reign of Charles III.