Iconic women and the watches they wear

By Tempus | 02 Apr 2021 | Style, Design

From Kamala Harris to Megan Thee Stallion, the world's most powerful women are embracing stunning timepiece designs

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Few accessories convey power and status quite like a designer watch. A great timepiece can demonstrate everything from the extraordinary wealth of an artist to complement the perfectly manicured outfit of a politican, and as these fields finally tilt toward equality, the watches of the world's most successful or iconic women are beginning to stand out - and the world is taking notice.

Here, Tempus and Watchfinder & Co., the pre-owned watch specialist, keep the spirit of Women's History Month (1-31 March) alive by shining a light on some of the iconic women who have made history over the last few decades - and the watches they wore while doing it.

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At the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in March, Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé became the first female artists to win the Grammy for best rap performance with "Savage Remix". Megan Thee Stallion is known to have an expensive taste in watches, she wore an “iced out” Audemars Piguet Royal Oak on the US comedy show Saturday Night Live and is often seen wearing a Richard Mille RM07-01 which comes in at around £200,000.

Channel Megan with your own Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

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Often described as the greatest actress of her generation, Meryl Streep has been nominated for a record-breaking 21 Academy Awards. She was first nominated for an Oscar in 1979 for The Deer Hunter and most recently for her lead role in 2018's The Post. Meryl’s go-to watch is Rolex’s classic 26mm Datejust in steel and yellow gold. This watch is no longer produced by Rolex, despite it being the most popular style ever made by the watchmaker, but is still available via pre-owned watch specialists.

Channel Meryl with your own Rolex Datejust

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A titan of soul music for over 50 years, Aretha became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was also ranked number one in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. Aretha often wore Piaget when she was on stage; specifically a yellow gold and diamond set piece with a malachite dial. In the early 2000’s Aretha continued to build her watch collection adding a ceramic J12 from Chanel to her rotation of luxury timepieces.

Channel Aretha with your own Piaget Altiplano or Chanel J12

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Princess Diana is famous for many firsts. In 1981, she made history when she famously refused to say that she would "obey" Prince Charles during their wedding vows. In 1982 she became the first royal to give birth to a future monarch outside of the home. And in January 1997 she famously walked across a minefield in Huambo in central Angola as part of her advocacy against landmines. On that trip the Princess wore a Patek Philippe Calatrava on a yellow gold bracelet.

Channel Diana with your own Patek Philippe Calatrava

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Educated at Oxford and Harvard University, Benazir Bhutto was a Pakistani politician who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996, becoming the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority country. Bhutto was often spotted at rallies and public appearances wearing a mid-size Rolex Datejust on a presidential bracelet in 18k yellow gold.

Channel Benazir with your own Rolex mid-size Datejust

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In 1998 the Spice Girls made history when they achieved the highest annual figure of earnings for a girl band - an estimated £29.6m. After the band broke up Victoria Beckham went on to become a critically acclaimed designer who was awarded an OBE for her services to the fashion industry in 2017. Victoria is often seen sporting a modern rose gold Rolex Daytona. Although this timeless reference is technically categorised as a men’s watch, it has proved hugely popular with women as it wears slightly smaller than the rest of Rolex’s sports collection - making the perfect fit for smaller wrists too.

Channel ‘Posh’ with your own Rolex Daytona

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Halle Berry made history in 2002 when she became the first African American to win the best actress Oscar. The Monster's Ball star is known to wear a Cartier Tank Americaine - a modern iteration of the classic Tank Cintree which were first produced back in the 1920s.

Channel Halle with your own Cartier Tank Americaine

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Since turning professional in 1995, iconic tennis player Serena Williams has won more Grand Slam singles titles (23) than any other player in the Open Era. She has also racked up 16 grand slam doubles titles, spent 319 weeks at the top of the world rankings and scooped four gold medals at the Olympics. A fan and ambassador of Audemars Piguet, Serena is most often spotted off court in a Royal Oak Offshore - the modern sports version of Audemars Piguet’s famous Royal Oak.

Channel Serena with your own Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

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Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch in 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria. The Queen’s extensive watch collection has all the qualities of a true watch aficionado but it’s clear she has a particular penchant for Patek Philippe and Omega in precious metals. She is often spotted wearing a white gold, diamond set, Patek Ellipse with a blue dial to royal engagements.

The Queen was seen wearing a Patek 4975G with a diamond set dial and pearl bracelet to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, and since the early 1990 she has also been known to wear an Omega Ladymatic in yellow gold, which is a strong go-to choice for a daily wearer, even if they are a monarch.

Channel The Queen with your own Omega Deville Ladymatic

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Kamala Harris needs no introducing – this year she became the first woman, and the first African American and South Asian person to become Vice President of the United States. Kamala Harris has an affinity for the French watchmaker and Jeweler Cartier and was often seen wearing a steel and yellow gold Cartier Ballon Bleu on the campaign trail - a mainstay and beloved piece in the Cartier offering. Kamala has also been spotted wearing a Cartier Roadster in steel. The Roadster was a hugely popular watch and, to the dismay of many, ceased production in 2013.

Channel Kamala with your own Cartier Roadster