Fashion / Style File

Famous Men and Their Watches

What the All-Time Greats Wear — and Why

BY // 12.22.16

Elvis Presley, Winston Churchill, and Serge Gainsbourg were giants who ruled their domains. Known for their personal styles, magnetism (both men and women found them captivating), and mystique, these geniuses changed the world, affected millions, and inspire still today.

Their backgrounds and influences may have been diverse, but they shared a love of watches — a passion bordering on obsession, wonderfully evident in images of the trio. Here’s what I imagine our conversations would be, and which timepieces they would wear today, ever elegant and perfect.

I gave away so many watches, man. I lost count. Loved wearing them, got a kick out of giving them away. I didn’t need all the ones I had anyway, like the cars. Cadillacs and Rolexes, I made a lot of people happy with those things. When I was a kid in the Army, I always wore my Omega. Still had that one at the end. There’s never enough time, is there?

It might not surprise you, but time wasn’t all that important to me. I had my people to tell me when I needed to be somewhere, and I was usually on time that surprises you, no? I did wear watches, of course, never went outside without one. Just look at all those photographs! My cigarette and my Speed master: I made them famous. Jane has a dresser drawer in her bedroom full of my watches, and I am happy to see that she winds them regularly. Merci, beautiful.

Holiday Gifting

  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Asher Gallery
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Wayne Smith
  • Wayne Smith
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Cotton Club
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats
  • Cotton Club
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta

They tried to make me stay on time, always. But what’s the harm in 10 additional minutes of sleep? Setting all the clocks in my rooms ahead was a clever trick, but my Turnip never lied. The seventh Duke of Marlborough — my grandfather — purchased it in 1890, and it was passed down to me. I have nothing against wristwatches and even owned a few, but I preferred my Breguet pocket watch. My great-grandson Randolph owns it now; timepieces such as this one must remain in the family.


Scroll through the photo gallery above this story for 14 watches that these three giants of time would appreciate.

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