By Carole Goyal
So what was the watch that King Charles III wore as he carried out his royal duties and ministered to the mourning crowds following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II? Well, the new monarch sported a Toric Parmigiani Fleurier automatic chronograph. Parmigiani Fleurier is nowhere as famous or as legendary as many of the other famous watch brands that adorn royalty in other regions, as well as sports, film and music celebrities. But a Parmigiani is a Parmigiani – it’s a “buy once, buy well” masterpiece.
Parmigiani Fleurier was launched as recently as 1996. Which really makes it a Johnny-newcomer to the elite world of watches. But Charles apparently looked for the mark. As he told British Vogue in the fall of 2020. “I’m lucky because I can find wonderful people who are brilliant creators of the things I enjoy, and because of that, I try to make them last longer.” The founder of Parmigiani Fleurier, Michel Parmigiani, fits the description one hundred percent of “wonderful people who are brilliant makers”. Michel was a master restorer and even worked at the Patek Philippe museum before launching his own brand.
As the famous GQ magazine wrote in its latest edition, “Michel launched his brand with the Toric model. Like many prestigious watches, the goods are in the details. Pay particular attention to the moon counterweight on the seconds hand, the sleek numerals in the date window, and that uniquely textured bezel. The bezels are “knurled” by hand, a process of creating grooves that you are most likely to see in the world on the grippy handles of dumbbells.”
Charles is said to have purchased Parmigiani in the late 90s or possibly early 2000s from the resort town of Klosters in Switzerland. It is the Windsors’ favorite winter resort. By the way, Charles also wore the same watch in 2018 for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
For those curious, Prince William is said to exclusively wear an Omega Seamaster, while Harry prefers the Rolex Explorer II and Breitling Aerospace. Queen Elizabeth was said to be more adventurous: her wristwatch collection included at least one Audemars Piguet and several Jaeger-LeCoultres and Patek Philippes – particularly the Patek Philippe Ellipse. Lady Diana, of course, was known to love her Cartier Tank.
Now let’s move on to the clothing choices of the new monarch.
King Charles III tweeds come from Campbell’s of Beauly and Johnston’s of Elgin. The kilts he wears are made exclusively by Kinloch Anderson. The New King also frequents Anderson & Sheppard on Old Burlington Street in Mayfair and Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row.
The King’s shoes are from Benson & Clegg of London and Tricker’s of Northampton. But her favorites would be Crockett & Jones, well known for their beautiful shoes. The cobblers’ gift of two pairs of ‘Tetbury’ boots to Prince William and Prince Harry made headlines a few years ago.
For outdoor enthusiasts Charles, its waterproof and protective garments are sourced only from Barbour, based in South Shields, and in business since 1894. Classic waxed outfitters jackets have a corduroy collar and an iconic dark green cotton construction that is their unique signature. .
The Lock & Co. Hatters have had a clientele that includes Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde since 1676. The New King is also one of their famous clients for his tweed hats and flat caps.
Turnbull & Asser make all the shirts for King Charles III. Renowned for crafting the royal client’s shirts from 34 individual pieces of fine fabric and iridescent mother-of-pearl buttons, each shirt is an exquisite masterpiece. The new monarch’s knitwear comes from Beatles favorite – Savile Row-based John Smedley. Lined gloves and accessories are the exclusive prerogative of Dents.
Bespoke and antique jewelry, as well as monarchy signet rings are sourced from Bentley & Skinner, Mappin & Webb and Asprey.
When Outkast’s Andre 3000 came to London to pick up GQ’s International Man of the Year in 2004, he simply said, “Prince Charles is my No. 1 British style icon.” Two decades later, that compliment still rings true. Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s creative director, echoes almost the same thoughts. “The Prince of Wales has an impeccable personal style,” he says. “It’s a style that marries the true traditions of menswear with the laid-back attitude of his generation: his ability to connect with people through his natural charm, laid-back manner and elegance, resonates with a global audience across generations.”
Let’s toast to that! Long live the king!