Profiles in Time: Pablo Picasso’s Watches

Pablo Picasso is one of the most prolific and influential artists of the twentieth century. Known as one of the fathers of Cubism, Picasso revolutionized both painting and sculpture. For a majority of his 91 years on earth, he devoted himself to his artistry.

Picasso’s parents knew he was destined for greatness at a young age. His mother saw a spark in his deep black eyes. And his father began teaching him to draw and paint as a young child. By the time he was a teenager, his skills had surpassed his father’s. During the remainder of his teen years, Picasso was accepted to two esteemed art schools in Spain, but the classroom environment proved to be too restricting for him. Finally, in 1899, he joined a radical group of artists called Els Quatre Gats (The Four Cats) and began his lifelong career of experimentation and innovation.

For the next 70 years, Picasso dedicated his life to his craft. From Cubism to Surrealism, his breadth of work is unlike any other artist of his time. It only makes sense that a man of such proficiency and significance would have an appreciation for the art of watchmaking.

Picasso may not have been a collector, but he certainly had an affection for fine timepieces. The three watches known to have made up his collection were a late 1940’s Jaeger-LeCoultre triple date moonphase, a 1950’s Patek Philippe moonphase, and a 1960’s Rolex GMT-Master. These are arguably three of the most beautifully designed watches from three of the most inventive watchmakers in the world.

Pablo Picasso pictured in a Rolex GMT-Master watch

Pablo Picasso pictured in a Rolex GMT-Master watch

This small handful of timepieces are among a number important wristwatches that have seemingly gone missing. Although they are documented in prominent portraits of Picasso, it is unknown what has become of these exquisite watches following Picasso’s death in 1973.


Image Credits: Header; Herbert List/Magnum Photos. 1; Rolex Magazine.

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