A renowned watch connoisseur herself, the entire content of the Queen’s collection is not publicly known, but does include unique jewellery pieces presented to her by Vacheron et Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre, several Patek Philippes and models by Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Omega. It therefore seems fitting that her 70th year on the throne is commemorated by a timepiece that is both affordable (£83) and accessible (no years-long waiting lists here).
Despite its deliberately naive execution, the Queen’s smiling, waving likeness on the dial is immediately recognisable, with many of her signatures included in the small image. As well as the colourful, collarless coat, there is the statement hat, the matching black handbag, the court shoes and gloves, plus representations of her core jewellery from her three-strand pearl necklace and earrings to her ever-present brooch. If any other clues were needed to identify the dial star, then the seated corgi and golden crown are absolute giveaways.
While the Queen’s arms remain static on this watch, in reference to her love of colour (royal biographer Robert Hardman refers to her once saying ‘I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am’), her outfit changes every 24 hours. A colour wheel below the dial rotates at midnight running through palettes of deep green, bright yellow and fiery red, which are shown through coat- and hat-shaped apertures.
The case, strap and dial background are all in matte white and, instead of the usual 60 minute markers around the edge of the dial, the watch features 70 gold dots – one for every year she has been on the throne.
For Swatch, the decision to honour the Queen was a simple one that unites two global pop culture icons - the now-ubiquitous watch that saved the Swiss watch industry from extinction in the 1980s and, according to Professor Sir David Cannadine, ex-chairman of the National Portrait Gallery, ‘the most portrayed woman in history’. The brand’s creative director Carlo Giordanetti says, “We felt that the Platinum Jubilee would be the perfect time to celebrate her unmistakable sense of colour and style.
“Our intention is to pay a tribute and make an homage to this much loved, respected and appreciated lady, through a Swatch point of view. This implies a language based on colour, lightness and a tongue-in-cheek attitude. The design is a clin d’oeil to the Queen’s iconic accessories, her much loved four legged companions and of course her amazing wardrobe.”
With several dark clouds threatening to cast a shadow over the historic celebrations to come and the fourth series of the palace-baiting The Crown due to air on Netflix later this year, this is a memento that is guaranteed to make its owners smile with affection for the 95-year-old royal who, in a matter of days, will become the longest reigning British monarch… and at a fraction of the six- or seven-figure price tags attached to some of HM’s own pieces.
Available in Swatch boutiques or at swatch.com, £83
The How Majestic is available in Swatch boutiques or at swatch.com, £83