By Rebecca Doulton
Tiffany & Co. is America's most famous luxury jewellery and specialty retailer, immortalised in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's as Holly Golightly looks longingly into the store's glittering windows. Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837, this high jewellery emporium is also an American success story, founded in the booming years of railways, industrial tycoons, skyscrapers and optimism. The city of New York is a quintessential player in Tiffany & Co. and the giant nine-foot Atlas statue straddling the entrance to the brand's flagship 5th Avenue boutique is a city landmark and a symbol of its long-standing affair with Tiffany watches and clocks.
Charles Tiffany was originally a purveyor of Patek Philippe watches and counted on clients such as the American banker Henry Graves Jr., who ordered the mythical Supercomplication from Patek. In order to satisfy the demand for refined Swiss watches, Charles Tiffany opened a watch factory and retail outlet in Geneva in 1847. Highly ornate and bejewelled ladies' cocktail watches for the wives of industrial magnates and high society women soon followed.
The new CT60 collection of Tiffany watches for both men and women is inspired by a Tiffany & Co. gold watch given to US President Franklin D Roosevelt on his birthday in 1945. With its day, date, month, small seconds and chronograph functions, Roosevelt wore his watch to the historic Yalta conference.
As Charles Tiffany was prone to saying, "good design is good business", and if a watch from 1945 can still exert an influence on a 21st century collection, its design qualities are remarkable. The new CT60 Calendar men's watches in rose gold are direct descendants of the Roosevelt watch, with similar numerals and hands on the dial, the same day of the month indication on the perimeter, and a subsidiary counter at 6 o'clock with the month. Naturally, the 40mm case is larger than the original and has been revisited with a more contemporary feel. Equipped with a Swiss-made automatic movement, the CT60 Calendar watch is a limited edition of 60 pieces.
Like the gold chronograph belonging to Roosevelt, the CT60 42mm Chronograph model features very similar Arabic numerals to the original and small piston-style pushers for the elapsed time functions. Available in eight different models, with white, blue, brown and black sunray dials, this CT60 model also features a convenient date window at 6 o'clock.
Tiffany & Co.'s CT60 3-Hand model has two diameters - 40mm for men with a date window, and a smaller 34mm model for women with eight possible variations on the theme. Two of the ladies' watches - featuring the white, brown and grey sunray dials - come with a diamond-set bezel. As with all the CT60 collection of Tiffany watches - CT standing for Charles Tiffany - all the movements are the finest Swiss mechanical automatic calibres, ensuring precision timing for that magical New York minute.