Signature Perfection: Tiffany & Co. Watches
To have the name Tiffany & Co. on a dial means so much to watch collectors today across the spectrum of modern day watch collecting. Whether vintage or modern, Patek Philippe or Rolex, the signature of this important American retailer on a dial automatically transcends the watch to a new level. As auction results have proven in recent years, buyers of rare timepieces are willing to go the extra mile to own of of these coveted timepieces, a dial with signature of perfection.
For Tiffany & Co., its story is intertwined with timepieces. Within 10 years of its founding in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902), Tiffany was selling timepieces from its first locations in New York City. By 1851, Tiffany & Co. already established a formal relationship with Patek Philippe and was on its way to become one of the most important purveyors of the finest specimens of horological trade. During the 1870s, Tiffany & Co. expanded its desire to dominate the watch market by entering into the business of producing fine Swiss watches with their own factory at Place Cornavin in Geneva. Their foray into the world of Swiss watchmaking only lasted a few years but lessons learned were not forgotten and their watch retail business only became stronger. Common among many specimen examples of 19th century watches are cases that were designed and made by Tiffany & Co. in the United States. As jewelers, silversmiths, and with a watchmaking background, extroadinary designs were conceived by the house and thousands of watches were sold in the 19th century that became heirlooms from one generation to the next, many still prized possessions hidden away from the public view for decades. By the 20th century, Tiffany & Co. continued to be a retailer of timepieces from numerous suppliers as diverse as Touchon, Ekegren, Waltham, Movado, Omega, Longines, Audemars Piguet, Pulsar, Rolex, and of course Patek Philippe, a relationship that has lasted over 160 years.
Christie's is honored to present this curated assembly of Tiffany & Co. timepieces from the late 19th century through the late 20th century. Each of these watches has a story, a background steeped in history, design, and sometimes mystery. Yet they all have in common the signature of signatures: Tiffany & Co.