There is no getting around it: people will judge you by your watch. From the status brands and coveted cult classics to the rare mechanical masterpieces and exquisitely crafted diamond designs, we’ve identified the signature timepieces that enhance your image and the inspirations behind it: the celebrities and style icons who best wore them.
Discover the watch that suits your style profile, but buyers watch out: they will want more than one.
The diamond diva
A dazzling diamond watch says you’re ready to party. Tennis superstar Serena Williams packs glamor with an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak automatic watch with over 1,000 diamonds. Rihanna gets her diamond fix with a chic Bulgari Serpenti Incantati. Princess Diana’s elegant Vacheron Constantin diamond wristwatch was a wedding present from her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, who received the custom-made watch from the Swiss Federal Republic as a wedding present in 1947. It continues to inspire new models like the ladylike Heures Creatives Romantique.
The status seeker
Some women find a watch they love and wear so much that it becomes their signature. Liz Taylor, a dedicated Bulgari customer, often wore the house’s Serpenti watch, which wraps around the wrist like a seductive snake. Elusive actress Greta Garbo wore Verdura’s curb-link wristwatch on her last film debut, and then was rarely seen without one with layers of gold-link bracelets stacked on her wrist. The elegant Catherine Deneuve favored the curved model Cartier Bagnoire, which has made a comeback. And in the modern era, Kate Middleton almost always wears her classic Cartier Ballon Bleu and pairs it with everything from jeans to chic suits.
The gold standard
Rich yet sporty, a large gold bracelet always attracts attention. Grace Kelly preferred a classic Rolex Lady Datejust that looks just as modern today as it did when she made her debut in 1926. Jennifer Aniston shines in a Rolex Day-Date, which she wears casually with jeans and t-shirts, while the well-known watch lover Ellen DeGeneres wears it a luxurious Patek Philippe Nautilus with a bright brown face.
The sporty set
If, like former first lady Michelle Obama, you’re always on the go, you need a workhorse watch that is suitable for any occasion. Obama traveled the world in a Cartier stainless steel Francaise tank and even wore it in her official White House portrait. Maria Shriver wears a sporty Hublot Classic Fusion Best Buddies made of titanium and diamond.
The fashion department
White isn’t just for summer. If you want to make a stylistic statement, go for an all-white watch. Kiera Knightly’s Chanel J12 made of ceramic and steel is elegant and sporty at the same time. The Richard Mille Ladies Automatic by Margot Robbie combines technical skill with high style.
What did style icons Jackie Onassis and Princess Diana have in common? Both loved their Cartier tank models. Onassis combined her timelessly chic outfits with a tank Louis Cartier and Princess Diana turned to her Cartier Tank Solo for everyday life.
The image maker
The right watch makes the man. Andy Warhol loved the streamlined design of the Louis Cartier tank. The watch collector Jay-Z has a timeless classic medium from Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso in rotation for when the occasion demands unobtrusive elegance. Visionary designer Karl Lagerfeld commissioned an all-black Audemars Piguet in the 1970s to match his signature black clothing from head to toe, and inspired versions similar to the latest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin.
The power player
Every business mogul or high-profile musician needs a watch that fits their drive, and many are competing for the hard-to-find rare timepieces. Daniel Boulud wears the Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT Carbon Blue ceramic. John Legend wears a slim Bulgari Octo. Singer and watch collector John Mayer shows his love for masterful movements with the Audbars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Chronograph.
Whether you’re the type of guy who speeds on the racetrack or across the ocean, you need a watch that can keep up. Style icon Gianni Agnelli, who boldly wore his watch over his shirt cuffs, brought his high-performance Omega Ploprof Seamaster from the sea to the boardroom. Steve McQueen wore his 1967 Rolex Submariner everywhere and Paul Newman’s acclaimed Rolex Daytona has been a racing favorite for more than 50 years.
The man about the city
Do you want to be noticed? You need a watch that is guaranteed to turn heads. When he’s not on the polo field, Nacho Figueras wears a big, bold Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. Pharrell Williams wears Richard Milles’ RM 52-05 statement tourbillon.
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