Last night, I was lucky enough to get another great opportunity through the fantastic GQ Insiders program. I had the chance to attend a special preview for Tiffany’s CT60 Watch Collection — a set of limited-edition timepieces that honor Charles Tiffany, founder of the iconic brand. He’s perhaps best remembered for installing one of the first — and largest — public clocks in the city (#TiffanyNYMinute, anyone?) As if the watches themselves weren’t impressive enough, the event was held at a new GQ-sponsored space, The Gent — complete with a complementary whiskey tasting and delicious (if small) appetizers. In addition to the new watches, select offerings from other Tiffany’s collections (like the Seattle Seahawks 2013 Super Bowl ring) were also on display. (I was also fortunate enough to get another look at the watches during the Thursday morning launch at the Tiffany’s flagship, and they’re just as lovely in the light of day).
First, the CT60 Collection watches themselves: beautiful, absolutely beautiful. 23 (23!) different dial & strap combinations, powered by automatic Swiss movements. I’m not necessarily a watch snob by any means (although I do love me a great timepiece), so I’m not bothered too much by the automatic vs. quartz debate. I can, however, appreciate great design and heritage quality — and that’s exactly what these timepieces bring to the table.
Granted, the price points are hardly for everyone (or anyone, for that matter?). On the low end, one of these will set you back $4,250 — while the limited edition rose gold calendar chronograph seen in the second photo is … $19,000. Yes, for the price of a watch you could also pay for a year of college tuition (and plenty of other things). So, best to put that wallet away for now. Eye-popping prices aside, it’s always great to see what an iconic company can do in terms of design — and these really are well-designed timepieces.
The entire collection calls to mind simpler times, with understated, no-frills designs — minimal dial comlications, crisp numerals and smaller case diameters (up to 42mm). In addition to the pricey Calendar option seen above, there’s a Chronograph and a more basic Three-Hand style, too. There’s a men’s-sized 40mm option in the Three-Hand variation, and a smaller women’s 34mm option, too. Strap variations include brown & black crocodile leather bands, as well as a stainless steel band with (among others), stunning a blue or dark brown or slate grey dial.
In particular, the crocodile strap options were drool-worthy (and yet insanely pricey!). They call to mind other designs that focus on classic (but not stuffy) refinement — like Shinola’s Runwell watch. These timepieces are certainly cost-prohibitive, but the design cues they emphasize mean it’s easy to get something relatively simliar for WAY less cash — look to Shinola, for starters. Only the lucky few will be able to pick up something from this collection, but in the meantime, a guy can dream — right?
Which watch is on your wish list? How much is TOO much when it comes to a nice watch?