We are delighted to meet ex-football manager, ‘King of the Jungle’ and watch enthusiast Harry Redknapp with our CEO, Brian Duffy to discuss his career highlights, his love of watches, and iconic timepieces that make ideal gifts from Watches of Switzerland.
Harry Redknapp’s career
Harry Redknapp is a man who needs no introduction. In his long career in football, the 72-year-old has managed the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Southampton, Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth, the latter of which he led to a memorable victory in the 2008 FA Cup. Ten years later in 2018, he was catapulted to new heights of fame when he was crowned ‘King of the Jungle’ on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
For Redknapp, football is, in his words, ‘his life’. Scouted at the age of 11, he played for Tottenham Hotspur’s youth team until he was 15, training every Tuesday and Thursday night after school and for six weeks during school holidays. He subsequently moved to his local team West Ham United, where he played alongside footballing great Bobby Moore.
Harrys’ love for watches
It was during Harry’s early playing days that he developed his taste for luxury watches. He was presented with an engraved OMEGA timepiece when the England youth team in which he played won the 1964 UEFA Under-18 Championship, defeating Spain 4–0 in the final. It was his first watch, and a special memento of his international career. But, on a trip to the seaside with Frank Lampard Snr (his brother-in-law), he left it tucked inside his trainer while he went for a dip in the ocean – and sadly, when he returned, the tide had washed away the trainer, and his treasured timepiece along with it. ‘It was my pride and joy’, he remembers.
In 2005, Harry began his second spell as manager of Portsmouth (he’d previously managed the team from 2001 to 2004). In 2008, he guided the club to its first FA Cup Final in 69 years, where they defeated Cardiff City 1-0 – the last time an English football trophy was won by an English manager. For that triumph, Harry received an engraved Rolex, which he wears with pride. ‘That would be the timepiece I would save in a fire,’ he muses.
Top timepieces for Harry
Based on Harry’s taste in watches, we have selected our top picks of some of the finest timepieces for him…
Given his love of Rolex, the steel Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is the Holy Grail watch, beloved of Paul Newman, and features a 40mm case and the brand’s signature Oyster bracelet — a robust design with broad, flat three-piece links for pure comfort on the wrist. Its chronograph pushers screw in like the winding crown when not in use to ensure maximum reliability and guaranteed water-resistance to 100 metres (£9,550 / $12,400).
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Harry still mourns the loss of his engraved OMEGA. We recommend the iconic OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional that was inspired by the original models worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the 1969 Moon landing. This model features a black dial protected by hesalite crystal rather than sapphire, and beneath it ticks a manual wound chronograph movement with an approximate 48-hour power reserve (£4,000 / $5,350).
OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
Harry regularly comes into contact with a host of other horological brands, many of which have close ties to football. Hublot was founded in 1980 and the Swiss brand is a relative newcomer compared to its centuries-old contemporaries, yet it is popular among footballers thanks to its distinctively bold designs and innovative fusing of materials. It also sponsors a number of football clubs around the world, including Juventus and Chelsea FC, as well as José Mourinho. This classic-looking Hublot Classic Fusion features the brand’s signature porthole-shaped case, made from lightweight titanium, and an elegant leather strap (£5,900 / $7,200).
Hublot Classic Fusion
Keeping it in line with football, TAG Heuer is the first ever official timekeeper and official watch of the Premier League. This steel 41mm TAG Heuer Aquaracer looks just as good with a wetsuit as it does with a tailored suit, and boasts water-resistance to 300 metres (£1,395 / $1,650). For a dressier look, there’s the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5, which showcases the watch industry’s enduring love affair with blue dials (£2,250 / $2,700).
TAG Heuer Aquaracer and Carrera
IWC Schaffhausen is another luxury watch brand with a footballing partnership, serving as Official Timing Partner of Tottenham Hotspur — where Harry started his footballing career 60 years ago. IWC has been creating exclusive special-edition Pilot’s Watch models in tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s wonderful story The Little Prince since 2013. This IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph ‘Le Petit Prince’ has a handsome blue dial and brown leather strap, while its case back features an engraving of the Little Prince himself with his cape and sword (£4,890 / $5,250).
Speaking of blue dials, the Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46 is a bold 46mm stainless-steel watch with a blue dial and striking red accents (£6,960 / $9,250). It features Breitling’s famous circular aviation slide rule, which it invented in 1952 to enable pilots to make essential calculations while flying. The watch’s transparent case back reveals Breitling’s automatic, chronometer-certified Calibre 01, which boasts an approximate 70-hour power reserve.
As the festive season is now upon us, Harry has been thinking about what to buy as a gift for his beloved wife Sandra, whom he often spoke of while in the jungle for I’m A Celebrity…. We suggest the Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier: this delicate 28mm model’s spherical balloon-shape case and floating sapphire cabochon are timeless, especially paired with the guilloché silvered opaline dial and the brand’s blued-steel sword-shaped hands (£4,150 / $4,600).
Cartier Ballon Bleu
For Harry himself, Cartier also appeals to stylish gentlemen with its enduring Santos de Cartier, which Louis Cartier first designed for his friend, the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904. The original purpose-built wristwatch featured a dainty square case inspired by the Eiffel Tower, with exposed bezel screws reminiscent of the wings of a plane. This medium 35.1mm x 41.9mm model is cast entirely in stainless steel (£5,600 / $6,250).
Santos de Cartier