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Feature: Dials In The Dugout - What Football Managers Wear

Most elite footballers have a thing for luxury watches, so it stands to reason their bosses do too. But is their seniority and the accumulated wisdom of a few extra decades reflected in their choice of timepiece? Do the world’s top football managers – most of whom are suave continental types – eschew the bling and on-trend watches of their twenty-something charges and opt for something a little more understated and classy?

You’d like to think so. But then again you have managers like Jose Mourinho for whom modesty seems a dirty word (he famously referred to himself as ‘The Special One’). Plus there are the stereotypical English managers whose tastes seem as dated as their tactics.

Jose Mourinho with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

Jose Mourinho with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

You just know they’ve got a two-tone Datejust Oysterquartz lying in a bottom draw somewhere, along with a bottle of rancid Old Spice aftershave and the ‘lucky’ Y-fronts they were wearing when they won the FA Cup in 1989.

We checked out the wrists of the men on the sidelines and found some pleasant surprises, patriotic choices (sort of) and some groan-inducing cliches.

German bosses love IWC

Liverpool’s German manager Juergen Klopp could have been a great ambassador for his country’s watch industry, choosing one of the prestigious Glashutte brands. Instead, he went for the next best thing, IWC.

Based in Schaffhausen near the Swiss-German border, IWC has a history stretching back to 1868 and its functional, understated watches suit Klopp’s unpretentious personality. Klopp has been seen wearing both an Aquatimer Ceratanium and an Ingenieur Dual Time, proving he really is a bonafide IWC aficionado.

German coaches have a fondness for Schaffhausen brand IWC

German coaches have a fondness for Schaffhausen brand IWC

As for Joachim Loew, the dapper coach of the German national team, you’d also think he’d opt for something from A.Lange & Sohne, or may be a minimalist Nomos to go with the crisp white shirts he wears in the dugout. But Loew has been seen wearing several IWCs, including a Big Pilot’s Limited Edition DFB and a Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph.

Pitch-side Patek

Flying the flag for English managers is Sean Dyche of Burnley, who has shown exquisite (and expensive) taste by wearing a no-nonsense Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref 5990/1A-001).

A shrewd operator, Dyche has kept Burnley in the Premier League for several seasons despite having a budget that’s peanuts compared to most teams. He’s clearly not that frugal when it comes to his choice of watches though.

A Patek Philippe Nautilus, as worn by Burnley manager Sean Dyche

A Patek Philippe Nautilus, as worn by Burnley manager Sean Dyche

In contrast, and conforming to stereotype, is Sam Allardyce, an English manager of the old school who specialises in saving teams from relegation (until his last, unsuccessful, tenure at West Bromwich Albion). Aptly, ‘Big Sam’, as he’s known, is often seen wearing a Hublot Big Bang, possibly a freebie, but more in line with what the younger players wear.

And speaking of Hublot, we can’t omit Jose Mourinho from this list. Now at Roma after several years playing managerial musical chairs, he’s a roving brand ambassador of the pioneering Swiss watchmaker, sporting numerous different models at pitch-side and at leisure.

At The Euros

The Euros is about to get underway and we should be in for a football feast. But if you thoroughly despise football and find it about as interesting as a parliamentary debate about North Sea fishing quotas, you could indulge in a bit of watch-spotting.

There are several international managers who have previously shown admirable taste in timepieces. Belgium’s cosmopolitan head honcho Roberto Martinez, for instance, has been seen wearing a Cartier Roadster, Panerai Luminor and the obligatory Hublot Big Bang.

Spain, another team expected to do well in this year’s tournament, are headed by Luis Enrique, who has been seen in previous tournaments wearing an IWC Aquatimer (maybe it was recommended to him by Klopp or Loew). Meanwhile Robert Mancini, Italy’s coach, wears a Richard Mille RM 11-04 model that bears his name and is especially adapted for the timing of football matches.

Elsewhere, expect to see a glut of Hublots, with the brand’s watches about as ubiquitous among footballers as neck tattoos and flamboyant hairstyles. Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov and England’s Gareth Southgate can usually be seen wearing one of the countless Big Bang models, and no doubt half of their coaching staff will be Hublot’d to the max.

A JLC Master Compressor, similar to that often worn by French coach Didier Deschamps

A JLC Master Compressor, similar to that often worn by French coach Didier Deschamps

So, finally, credit to France’s coach, Didier Deschamps who has been spotted wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph. A bit of a leftfield choice for a football coach, but perhaps a sign that Didier dances to the beat of his own drum.