“I really really really love my career. And my money. And you know, the suits, and my watches.” It may not be the most memorable Tom Wambsgans line of this current and final season of Succession, but for watch fans the admission of a love of watches surely struck a chord.
Tom is just one of the many well-heeled and impressively-wristed Succession characters to have a watch moment in the series. Who could forget in Season 3 when Greg Hirsch “sold his ass for a watch” (an overpriced Sub at that) or Kendall’s temper tantrum after opening up a box with a watch in it at his birthday party? But this season the watches on screen coupled with the zeitgeisty conversation of “quiet luxury” have felt particularly pointed.
As the show *gasp* closes in on its final episode this coming Sunday, we’ve decided to take a look at what timepieces a few of our favorite characters have worn this season and what we can glean from their choices. And in a show where allegiances are constantly shifting and American politics are but a backdrop to the whims of a trio of millionaires, a watch is as reliable an insight as any into the true hearts and minds of the Roy family and friends (if you can even call them that).
Kendall Roy: Richard Mille RM 67-01
Oh sweet, sweet Kendall and his endless striving to appear hip. Kendall of the custom necklaces and bomber jackets, sneakers, and Tom Fords. If anyone in the Roy family were to lean towards a watch favored by an intersection of top-tier athletes, rappers, and the insanely wealthy, it’s him.
This Richard Mille is an excellent reflection of current-season Kendall. Season-one Ken might have gone with a flashier more colorful RM, but instead, he’s selected a more muted option. He’s still not ready to go quietly into this good night and has chosen a brand that is easy to recognize and somewhat brash, giving him what he probably considers street cred. The watch itself is skeletonized, titanium, thin for an RM, and extremely expensive, starting at $180,000 on the secondary market. He wants to be noticed, he wants to be in charge, he wants to be different from the old guard, but he still wants to be taken seriously. Like a Richard Mille watch in and of itself, he’s hiding some serious mechanics beneath a flashy exterior.
Roman Roy: IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX
Roman has traditionally been a Rolex guy. Even at the top of the season, he was still a Rolex guy. But as the storyline progresses and Roman’s role in the company has grown, he’s spotted wearing an IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX. Modest compared to his older brother’s RM, the Mark XX retails for $6,150. The blue dial and stainless-steel case complement Roman’s more subtle wardrobe of button-ups and signal if not a maturing of his character, a movement towards seriousness.
Though he remains snarky as ever after the death of his father, he is stepping into more of a decision-making role—firing people on a whim because he can. He also joins Kendall in the wheeling and dealing (and sinking) of a potential WayStar RoyCo deal. This watch doesn’t actually scream Roman. It’s not a natural evolution from his Rolex nor is the rugged sportiness of his IWC particularly mesh with his personality. But it is a timepiece that watch aficionados know and like. It is a serious, good watch that isn’t overly flashy or coasting by on common name recognition, all of which are things Roman is attempting in his own career. How successful he’ll be remains to be seen.
Shiv Roy: Zenith Defy Midnight
Shiv has been largely a Cartier girl, which makes perfect sense. She has a subdued yet luxurious taste and was never trying to join the boys club by hiding her femininity or changing her personal style. She isn’t necessarily fashion-forward, but she also isn’t particularly interested in looking old money or conservative.
This season she is a bit lost at sea. Her marriage is crumbling, her brothers are shutting her out of the business, and the man she has aligned herself with, Lukas Mattsson, hasn’t been entirely truthful about the background of his company. But at the same time, she is still sleeping with Tom, flirting with Mattsson, and trying to convince her brothers to do the “right” thing. Her Zenith Defy with a mother-of-pearl dial reflects a move away from her more sure-footed sense of self and a move towards the mind games and secret dealings of her brothers and fathers. Less famous than other watches in the Zenith catalog, the Defy Midnight is a bit of an underdog. The Zenith wasn’t seen in every scene, so it feels like she is trying both it and her new paths to power on for size.
Tom Wambsgans: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Tom loves nice things. And as one of the characters that didn’t grow up with extreme wealth, we can see how his relationship with objects and power plays out differently. Jessie Armstrong and the team of writers break it down better than I ever could, but as he wasn’t steeped in this lifestyle his choices are all the more intentional.
While not as aesthetically flashy as Kendall’s RM, Tom’s AP Royal Oak Chrono signals money spent (about $70,000 on the secondary market, although this 20th Anniversary limited edition pictured above is $114,950 at Watchbox) to just about everyone. It is a beautiful watch and while Tom is newly rich his style has never been nouveau riche. It’s a step up in price from the Cartier Tank he’s been spotted in before, and interestingly, both Tom and Shiv both moved away from their Cartiers. He’s a big-time TV executive now, no longer a married man (a disgusting brother, if you will), and fighting for his place in the WayStar RoyCo food chain. He more than anyone needs his watch to speak for him, and with this AP he is certainly saying a lot.