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FrontRunners: Timely Introduction

Jill Newman

Charles Lewis Tiffany had an eye for watches. In 1851, he became the first retailer to bring Patek Philippe timepieces to America; then he developed an early stopwatch dubbed the Tiffany Timer in 1866. Soon after, he opened his own watchmaking facility in Geneva, where the company created beautiful jewel-encrusted and classically designed timepieces. Still, Tiffany & Co. (800.526.0649, www.tiffany.com) went on to become a premier jeweler and silversmith, not a notable watchmaker.

This fall, drawing on its early days as a watch innovator for inspiration, Tiffany’s is launching a new mechanical timepiece collection christened the Tiffany Mark. The designs are modeled after the company’s original 19th-century pocket watches and feature the same five-layered case construction and classic, clean style with elongated Roman numerals.

In its first foray into modern-day complicated watches, Tiffany’s partnered with a few of Switzerland’s esteemed watchmakers. Girard-Perregaux, for instance, is making Tiffany’s tourbillon movement, which is available in platinum for $50,000 and in 18-karat gold for $39,500. The collection of hand-assembled, Swiss-engineered timepieces, which are being introduced in Tiffany’s stores worldwide this fall, offers a choice of seven different movements, including a hand-wound mechanical, a full calendar, and a chronograph. And Tiffany’s is already working on the new models for next year, including a sports performance design and multifunction mechanical timepieces for women.

“This is a new chapter in Tiffany’s history,” says Jon M. King, group vice president for product category management.  “Based on our strong history in watches, it’s a logical evolution for Tiffany’s to develop new, innovative timepieces.”

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