Yes, yes, as everyone knows only too well, a royal baby has been born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for which congratulations. But if the poor little mite had even the merest inkling of what media madness awaits him, he would have wisely forestalled his entrance to this world for even longer.
It seems the world simply cannot get enough of the royal baby story. Britain used to be noted for its quiet reserve. Today, Britons will emotionally flock to the opening of an envelope, or in this case, an announcement on an easel.
Reporters are apparently so desperate for an angle they are even camped out in Kate Middleton’s former Buckinghamshire village on the off chance they might try to sneak the baby there for some peace and quiet.
Meanwhile there are thousands still standing outside Buckingham Palace hopeful that the Royal couple might suddenly appear, babe in arms, to wave to the adoring crowd.
You can rest assured factories in China have already churned out millions of Royal baby boy quartz watches at £20 a pop to quickly air freight to London ready for sale in every London souvenir shop by latest Thursday.
And for our part, what can we do other than speculate upon which watch the Royal Baby should have put aside for him for the day when he is old enough to appreciate such things. Here are our suggestions for the young man that overnight just jumped the queue to become third in line to the throne.
Julien Coudray 1518 Manufactura 1528 “L’Aigle Royal” Solid Platinum
This unique piece is made in platinum by hand by the expert watchmakers and craftsmen at Julien Coudray 1518. With an in-house mechanical movement made from solid platinum (the manufacturing process of which is protected by several patents), this hand-wound, hand-engraved and hand-decorated, enamelled 18ct gold service indicator, has a power reserve of more than 55 hours, and comes with 34 jewels. The case is made from solid platinum 39mm/9.85mm, sapphire crystal and case-back with anti-reflection coating, and with a solid 18ct Pd125 white gold collar. As Julien Coudray are currently exhibiting at Harrods in London they might decide the only decent thing to do is hand this priceless watch over as a gift for the Royal baby.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
This is Prince William’s choice of watch and it may well be that he decides to pass it on to his son in the fullness of time. Will there still be watches when the yet to be named royal baby has a wrist large enough to accommodate this 43mm timepiece? Judging by the level of investment and the huge interest still shown in mechanical watches, the chances are good to excellent. Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean is one of the most virile watches on the market. The chunky steel case, bracelet and uni-directional rotating bezel have been designed with an active lifestyle in mind, and you can be sure that the new Prince will be encouraged to lead a life of action, what with polo and the inevitable stint in the armed forces. Not only that, the Omega co-axial escapement was developed by the late George Daniels, one of Britain’s greatest ever watchmakers.
Seiko Sportura Kinetic Perpetual 100th Anniversary
If the Prince were given this watch today, he would not have to worry about changing the date on it until he is 86. The watch is pre-set to show the correct date until February 2100. In the Sportura Anniversary model, the perpetual energy of motion is combined with a perpetual calendar. As with every Kinetic calibre, the movement is powered as the wearer wears the watch. Seiko Kinetic is a motion powered watch that delivers one-second-a-day precision. It is one of Seiko’s ‘clean energy’ technologies, as it never requires a battery change. The Kinetic watch is at least ten times more accurate than any mechanical watch.
Patek Philippe Rose Gold Nautilus Ref 5980
What an 18th birthday gift this watch would make. Originally designed by Gerald Genta literally overnight, this watch simply could not be improved upon. It runs on a mechanical self-winding calibre CH 28 520 C movement with a 45 hour power reserve. The 60 minute and 12 hour monocounter are at 6 o’clock. The boys at Patek Philippe would be only too happy to engrave the case back to mark the occasion.
Of course, one of the most fitting and one the most collectable of all watches is the Rolex Prince. Invest in a Rolex Prince and you have a possession that will only ever rise further in value as most lie in collections and few decent examples ever come to the market. This particular model from 1936 features a solid 18ct gold stepped Art Deco case, a clean ‘doctors’ dial and chronometer grade Rolex Ultra Prima movement. The watch comes on a Hirsch crocodile strap, with a Rolex gold-plated buckle. The case measures just 20mm in width, so small that by today’s standards the Royal nipper could be comfortably wearing this watch by his tenth birthday.