What exactly does a royal wear on their wrist? They look for avant-garde design, futuristic technology, and centuries-old legacy in gizmos that help them pursue their passions: racing, flying, or sailing. Here are five exclusive and diverse watches for today’s kings and queens. By Mitrajit Bhattacharya
Five watches to ace the royal look
Big Bang Unico Ledger, HUBLOT
Created in partnership with Ledger, this Hublot watch merges crypto technology and traditional watch craftsmanship. Based on the Big Bang Unico, it has a 42mm black ceramic case and a skeletonised automatic chronograph movement. Most striking is the golden bezel cast in Electrum, a natural gold and silver alloy that was used around 580-590 BCE to mint the earliest known coins. The Latin Bitcoin motto, Vires in Numeris is stamped onto the bezel’s outer edge. Also packaged with the watch is the Ledger & Hublot Nano X, a limited-edition crypto key.
Royal Oak 50th Anniversary, AUDEMARS PIGUET
One of the world’s most iconic designs created by Gerald Genta is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an array of Royal Oak models, including 37mm self-winding hour, minute, second, and date models, as well as 38mm and 41mm self-winding chronographs. Although they retain the aesthetic of the 1972 timepiece, these watches present subtle evolutions in case, bracelet, and dial design. Besides having new calibres, most of them are equipped with the Royal Oak “50-years” oscillating weight.
Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Anniversaire 5365, BREGUET
On June 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet secured a patent in Paris for his invention called tourbillon. Exactly 220 years later, the House of Breguet is paying homage in the form of a limited-edition watch. It’s a run of just 35 timepieces—the same number as the tourbillon watches made during the inventor’s lifetime. Its highlight is the Clous de Paris work in the centre. Handmade with a diamond chisel, it interlaces engraved and crossed lines with a pitch of only 0.25 mm that give the illusion of a matte finish.
Serpenti Misteriosi, BVLGARI
At LVMH Watch Week 2022, Bulgari introduced four new Serpenti secret watches, paying tribute to the first Bulgari secret watch on its 80th anniversary. The new watches have the Piccolissimo mechanical movement, one of the smallest in the world. Pressing the serpent’s tongue opens the head to reveal the secret watch. A bidirectional crown on the case back enables manual winding and time-setting.
DEFY Extreme E ‘Desert X Prix’, ZENITH
Coinciding with the second season of the Extreme E, its official timekeeper Zenith unveiled the first in a series of five special editions of the DEFY Extreme Carbon, incorporating recycled elements from the electric off-road racing series. The exclusive series will feature a limited-edition watch for each of this season’s races, and it has begun with the Desert X Prix in the futuristic city of NEOM, in Saudi Arabia. The open dial features yellow-beige accents, which evoke the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia. Partially visible through the dial and the case back is the fastest automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre. All prices on request