Tag Archives: Tiffany

Coral harvests in troubled waters

A heartwarming trend in the luxury industry is the keen interest and priority of practising environmentally sustainable and ethical sourcing methods. This keen sense of environmental awareness fuels changes especially in the jewelry industry—from increased use of traceable gemstones to the rising popularity of recycled and ethically-mined gold metals.

Facing a shortage of deepwater corals, ethical issues are raised of its use in jewellery.

Scarcity creates ethical issues, resulting in some jewellers turning to existing stocks of coral rather than newly harvested supplies. Some ateliers are taking a further step, such as Tiffany & Co, with plans to cease the use of coral completely. Mikimoto however takes a centre stance in this dilemma, rendering its exquisite Coral designs in precious metal with diamonds to reduce the emphasis on coral.

Mikimoto’s ‘Praise to Nature’ necklace in 18ct white gold, white South Sea cultured pearls, opals and spinels.

Lang Assael, President of House of Assael, says that the warming of the planet’s oceans is adversely affecting sponge and reef coral, which grow closer to the surface. Being mindful of the impact, Assel calls for the need for regulations to limit coral harvesting.

“Over-harvesting can result in decline or extinction of a species that has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to find its perfect conditions to thrive.”

Beyond mines and rocks, we have obtained precious treasures from nature’s expansive water bodies for centuries. The vibrant types of precious harvests we have obtained from these waters is almost endless: Pearls, secreted by shell creatures for protection, the glorious coral that ranges from fossil coral to rich red corallium rubrum, and the iridescent rainbow beauty of ammolite from the fossilised shells of ammonites. Amber, a relatively less expensive material that is usually found as the fossilised resin of ancient trees, can be found in the ocean. Similarly, Jet, an organic gemstone from ancient trees, can also found in coastal cliffs as a compressed layer of the decayed wood.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Tourbillon watch that features a beautiful Mother-of-Pearl dial.

One of the most popular sea gems in the luxury industry will be the Mother-of-pearl, commonly sought after for its humble sheen in various pieces from interior design to haute couture. Usually harvested in natural translucent shade of white or grey, it is also highly prized for watch dials in haute horlogerie.

Although coral has been generally been much under the radar in comparison to its fellow counterparts of diamonds and gold, the repercussions of its harvesting process should certainly not be neglected as the luxury industry works towards more responsible and ethical sourcing habits.

Reduce Plastic Waste with Tiffany’s Rose Gold Straw

Plastic waste has been greatly scrutinised by the public since photos and videos depicting plastic waste floating in the ocean have started circulating. With countless animals and fish are harmed by plastic waste, and several recent studies that have found plastic within much of the seafood we eat, the level of public awareness and attention has certainly raised to new levels.

One particular form of waste – plastic straws – has been hot in the news lately, with many advocating the use of reusable metal straws.

While authorities in countries like Taiwan have pushed for a total ban on plastic straws because of the danger they pose to the environment, most other countries have still yet to implement such laws or. To join in the mass movement against plastic waste, why not also add a bit of bling to your smoothies, iced coffee or simply your water drinking experience!

Tiffany & Co’s Crazy Straws from its Everyday Objects collection features a classic, bendable straw, features the signature Tiffany blue accent in enamel. The sterling silver straws come in three colors: silver ($335), and gold or rose gold vermeil ($470).

There are a range of other designs offered by Tiffany as well, with intricate details such as tiny silver creatures like ladybugs, and dragonflies, and even one with a beautiful monkey straw with a silver vine wrapped around it (SGD $570).

While we are at it, Tiffany and Co’s everyday collection also feature more reusable items to encourage you to make more eco-friendly choices. Consider these Tiffany cups that are inspired by the paper cups used at the stores, available in the signature Tiffany hue for the bone china cups, and also sterling silver if you’re up for some colour coordination with your Tiffany straw.

However, do refrain from pouring your hot cup of joe into the latter – as it doesn’t take heat well. Another worthy piece might be the coffee can, made of sterling silver, that will add an absolute luxe factor to your morning routines.

Take your pick for a fancy new addition to your daily life.

In related news, Tiffany is also top for mining ethicacy.

Tiffany scores top marks for ethical mining

Sustainable and ethical are hot keywords in the luxury industry. In the most recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) study, Tiffany and Co. emerges at the top for their significant efforts and contributions to address human rights risks in the gold and diamond supply chain.

The single supply mine where Tiffany sources gold from has also regulations in place to conduct regular human rights assessments. The Board of Directors also adopts a Conflict Minerals Policy, which articulates principles for responsible gold mining to its vendors. 

Tiffany is one of the five companies to establish a code of conduct in their contracts that aligns with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, along with other brands such as Bvlgari, Signet Jewelers, Pandora and Chopard. The contract details expectations regarding human rights, labor practices, environmental protection, and ethical business conduct, all of which comply with the Kimberley Process and World Diamond Council System of Warranties.

To realise the code of conduct, suppliers are required to conduct periodic self-assessments of human rights risks. Regular audits are conducted and systems have been created in place to respond to risks in their supply chain to ensure standards are met. Diamonds are only sourced from countries that are full participants in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

Tiffany and Co. has helped launch Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) and Development Diamond Initiative (DDI) that help formalize and promote responsible artisanal mining in both the diamond and gold sectors. In addition to showing financial support to develop responsible artisanal mines, Tiffany and Co. are also exploring the possibility of sourcing from certified mines that will be feasible.

Sustainability reports are published annually, including information on actions to achieve responsible mining, ethical sourcing, and approach to supplier audits. In 2014, Tiffany & Co. pledged that it sources 100 percent of its diamonds from known mines or suppliers with multiple known mines. Recently, Tiffany has also publicly revealed that its source of newly mined gold to from Bingham Canyon, a mine owned by Rio Tinto.

Raw precious metals in Tiffany’s trade can also be directly traced to a mine or recycler. 27 percent of its gold comes from this single mine and the remaining 73 percent comes from recycled sources sourced from a single supplier. Names of other suppliers have been shared with HRW on a confidential basis.

Apart from such efforts in the supply industry, Tiffany has also taken steps to reduce their environment footprints by using sustainably sourced paper and wood-fiber materials are used for their packaging. On the packaging front, Tiffany reports that the paper suppliers for its signature blue boxes and bags were Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

Other brands in the report include Cartier, Chopard and Signet. For the complete list and more details, view the full HRW report.

New York’s Fifth Avenue: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

From dazzling jewellery store and luxury retailer to Tiffany’s café, people take notice of Tiffany for its intricate and mesmerising colour palette, dominated by the iconic “Tiffany blue.”

This week, America’s house of design and fashion has just opened a new Tiffany’s café at the jeweller’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, and the café will operate during regular store hours.

Based on Truman Capote’s novel “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” starring Audrey Hepburn about 50 years ago, the gastronomy trademark skyrocketed to fame, and today, it still carries a strong influence in the New York dining scene.

There’s no mistaking the café’s brand identity!

The first ever dining concept, The Blue Box Café was taken from the 1961 film segment where actress Audrey Hepburn was snacking on a pastry near the storefront on Fifth Avenue, and at the same time, looking through the shop window like certain attention is worth giving.

With the official opening of New York’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, the café will attract shoppers on Fifth Avenue. Visitors can now order breakfast at Tiffany’s or sit down comfortably and enjoy a fancy meal instead of having breakfast on-the-go.

The café will serve up breakfast using Tiffany china and silverware and American classics made with regionally sourced ingredients while the menu will change seasonally to cater to the diverse palates.

Created by Paris-based design duo Ronon and Erwan Bouroullec, The Blue Box Café sits on the fourth level, on the same floor as the accessories collection which opened earlier this month.

Along with breakfast and lunch menus, the café will also serve high tea. Prices start at $29.

Square Rules: Tiffany Square Watch

The Limited Edition Tiffany Square Watch has a particularly attractive dial finished in white satine (brushed) finishing and accented with gold poudre numerals, lumed cathedral hands and a certain depth thanks to its recessed small seconds subdial

The Limited Edition Tiffany Square Watch has a particularly attractive dial finished in white satine (brushed) finishing and accented with gold poudre numerals, lumed cathedral hands and a certain depth thanks to its recessed small seconds subdial

Though there’s a recent trend for certain brands, heretofore non-watchmakers, to acquire existing watchmaking concerns and then position themselves as bonafide watchmaking brands, this isn’t the case with Tiffany and Co. In fact, in 1861, Tiffany watches were already being made out of a small watchmaking factory at 10 Grand Quai Tiffany, Geneva. Less than 15 years and the erstwhile US maison had expanded their watchmaking knowhow by expanding their Swiss facility with state-of-the-art machinery (for that period) on Place Cornavin, all the while, they were showcasing their vaunted watchmaking prowess with an innovative clockmaking showroom in their flagship at Union Square, New York

Square Rules: Tiffany Square Watch

After close to 150 years, Tiffany & Co finally recently returned to dedicated watchmaking with the establishment of a Swiss watch factory in Switzerland with their CT-60 chronograph collection in 2015. Yesterday, 29 August 2017, Tiffany & Co. announced a new Tiffany Square Watch, marking a return to in-house caliber manufacturing with a rare square manual winding movement—designed and engineered in Switzerland.

Created to honor Tiffany’s 180th anniversary, and thus released in an exclusive limited edition of 180 pieces, the Tiffany Square Watch is a classically elegant, timelessly appoint timepiece with its white satine soleil finishing on its dial, topped off with gold poudre numerals. The 27 x 35.8mm 18K yellow gold case enhances its classicism as a remarkable thin, refined timepiece with exquisite proportions. The caseback reveals a Tiffany Manufacture TCO.1874M hand-wound mechanical movement decorated with the usual high horology finishings like Cotes de Geneve and Perlage techniques. Cathedral hands further enhance nostalgia for 1920s watchmaking. The Tiffany Square Watch is not only a unique design from Tiffany & Co. but also, in terms of pricing, SG$21,500 for a MANUFACTURE movement that is actually shaped to its case.

The comparative rarity of a square movement in a square watch

“The point is, 70% of the market is round watches. The shaped segment is very limited and further segmented between square, rectangular, baignoire, tonneau.. you need to be round because that’s what the market is.” – Georges Kern

According to Independent watchmaker Max Busser, the issue is one of horological integrity, “we don’t put round movements in shaped cases because we are not designers. We are mechanical artists. This is what separates marketers from creators; if you want to please the market, you probably won’t take creative risks. The bigger the company, the more inclined you will be to please the market.”

Sister publication World of Watches has the full expose on Square, or in industry parlance, shaped watches here. Do check it out.

This latest introduction represents a legacy of the highest quality materials and a 170-year old tradition of horological expertise.

The 180 pieces limited edition Tiffany Square watch will be available at select stores worldwide. Singapore retail price of The Tiffany Square watch is expected at S$21,500.


Shape Your Time: Exploring Square and Form Watches of 2017



Square watches, or in industry parlance: form or shaped watches are a fairly sizeable segment (given that Cartier produces AND sells so many of them, but more on that later). That is to say, even though there’s a preponderance of round watches in the industry, the belief that square or shaped watches only have a niche appeal is fundamentally unsound. However, significant conversations with retailers and brands alike all indicate that the round watch, if anything, will dominate even more than it already does. For our part, we find this very disappointing indeed.

The much-reported preference of markets (apparently everywhere) for round watches seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy that no brand has seriously challenged. Well, one brand is challenging it but because that brand is Apple, watchmaking firms have only expressed tepid interest. More often than not, the companies have expressed aggressive disinterest.

Shape Your Time: 2017 Resurgence of Form Watches

This will mean that square watches will indeed be scarce, as we will illustrate here, and that fact represents an opportunity for the most consummate of collectors. The important thing is of course to see if there is enough demand to create the right sort of imbalance. Of course, we will be steering clear of making predictions as to investment value and such. Our purpose here is only to highlight an opportunity.

Designing Time

Before getting into that, let us look at the design situation at the turn of the last century, when the taste for wristwatches was still nascent. Louis Cartier was a jeweler with a penchant for what former Cartier CEO Franco Cologni called square surfaces. It was at the turn of the previous century that Cartier entered into its famous partnership with Parisian watchmaker Edmond Jaeger, who himself was tied up with the LeCoultre watchmaking company in Switzerland. This partnership prefigured the commercial launch of the Santos watch in 1911, a move that heralded the arrival of all sorts of new shapes in watchmaking.

The Panthere de Cartier is the major form watch release for 2017 that carries the codes of the Tank and the Santos, as seen below and right.

The Panthere de Cartier is the major form watch release for 2017 that carries the codes of the Tank and the Santos, as seen below and right.

At this time, before watchmakers and the public had any idea of what the ideal wristwatch would be, it was truly a free-for-all in terms of design. According to Cologni, in his book Cartier The Tank Watch, Louis Cartier was moved first and foremost by form, believing it to be more important than function. Arguably, this is the beginning of an idea that has an inherent weakness for the development and future of wristwatches– that function should follow form.

In contemporary times, the late Apple impresario Steve Jobs redefined this with his products, recognizing that “design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” As far as watchmaking goes, the idea that design is how the object itself functions speaks to why so many watches today are round. Our daily time is indeed circular because that is what happens when you track the hours and minutes with hands. This powerful idea then shapes a powerful commercial argument.

Audemars Piguet is one of the few with a strong oval watch collection that also comes with a shaped movement

Audemars Piguet is one of the few with a strong oval watch collection that also comes with a shaped movement

The Audemars Piguet Millenary Quadriennium brought to life from the sketch before

The Audemars Piguet Millenary Quadriennium brought to life from the sketch before

Fragmented Collections

When asked about the new IWC Da Vinci being round despite the 2007 version being a refreshingly complex tonneau-tortue shape, here is what then-IWC CEO Georges Kern said: “The point is, 70 percent of the market is round watches. And the shaped segment is very limited and further segmented: square, rectangular, baignoire, tonneau… At the size IWC is today, with our reach, you need to be round because that’s what the market is.”

Kern was heading up watchmaking, marketing and digital for the Richemont Group overall so what he says carries weight far beyond IWC.

By virtue of its contrast bezel, the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 PAM684 is a form watch hiding in round clothes.

By virtue of its contrast bezel, the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 PAM684 is a form watch hiding in round clothes.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the Apple Watch Series 2 stuck with the rectangular shape and is water resistant to 50 metres.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the Apple Watch Series 2 stuck with the rectangular shape and is water resistant to 50 metres.

Franck Muller enjoyed a peak in the 90s and the early 2000s giving tonneau shaped watches a boost in popularity, pictured here, the Vanguard Fullback

Franck Muller enjoyed a peak in the 90s and the early 2000s giving tonneau shaped watches a boost in popularity, pictured here, the Vanguard Fullback

In fact, Kern’s estimation is generous considering that most informed sources consider round watches to be closer to 80 percent of the market. Before proceeding though, the market itself requires some definition because it does not only include the high-end market, meaning watches above US$1,000. In a 2015 article on the then-upcoming Apple Watch Series 2, no less than Forbes predicted that Apple would abandon its signature look in favour of the more conventional round shape. This prediction was based on the input of industry insiders and the like, and no doubt also took Jobs’ own philosophy into account. Of course, Apple confounded these expectations, illustrating again the hazards of journalists predicting outcomes. Considering that the Apple Watch 2 is both a status symbol and below US$1,000 (it is available for as little as $398 from the Apple Store), its very existence threatens the narrative that the market is overwhelmingly interested in round watches.

Exploring Form and Shaped Watches

Despite being, in the official lingo “timeless”, watches certainly mirror the era they are made and released in. This is what makes vintage watches from some periods – particularly the Art Deco age – so distinctive. Given the importance of heritage to the core of Swiss watchmaking – fine and otherwise – the brands have done a good job of retaining certain aesthetic touches across the ages. We have already gone into why Jaeger-LeCoultre shares the rectangular watch crown with Cartier. Both these firms maintain and champion in the 21st century a look that was already classic in the 1950s. But form watches – which are otherwise known as shaped watches – are not just rectangular of course

Patent drawing of the original Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Patent drawing of the original Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

The 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duo owns the form space in classical styling

The 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duo owns the form space in classical styling

In official parlance, any watch that isn’t round is called a “form watch.” So that means everything from cushion-shaped Panerai watches to every collection from Cartier other than the Drive de Cartier, Cle de Cartier and Calibre de Cartier; we would argue that the popular Ballon Bleu is actually a form watch because it has a tactile appeal arising from its pebble shape. To look at the number of models in the form watch segment itself, we can only reference other magazines. Armbanduhren, a specialty German watch catalog, lists more than 1,000 models of watches (and has done since we began paying attention, in 2011). Of these more than 900 are round, meaning that form watches are roughly 10 percent of the annual offering.

If we take these numbers to base an extrapolation on, then we have roughly 10 percent of the watch models in any given year vying for potentially 30 percent of the market. Of course, we have no way of knowing just how many pieces are made and sold directly but it seems a good bet that only Cartier will be selling form watches in significant numbers.

Drive de Cartier pushes the cushion-shaped aesthetic, here in extra flat form.

Drive de Cartier pushes the cushion-shaped aesthetic, here in extra flat form.

This brings us to sales, briefly. Forbes ranks Rolex as the top-selling brand of high-end Swiss watches and Omega as the third. Guess what brand occupies the second rung? Yes, the standard-bearer of form watches itself, the Panthere of fine watchmaking, Cartier sells the most watches annually, other than Rolex.

Square and Rectangle Watches

The Tank is probably the most famous form watch in the world, rivaled only by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. If one throws in the very popular and aforementioned Santos, also from Cartier, as well as the Twenty4, Nautilus and Aquanaut from Patek Philippe, and the Cintrex Curvex from Franck Muller, these are probably the most widely known form watches on the planet. Leaving all these aside and returning to just Cartier, this powerful brand has sought to increase its market share by unleashing an array of round watches but of these, the Ballon Bleu is so rounded that it resembles a sort of magical pebble that tells the time. The shape of this watch is, arguably, what made it an unqualified success. Nevertheless, Cartier clearly feels like its best shot at gaining market share lies with round watches, lending no small amount of credence to Kern’s statement.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G

The Bulgari Octo Tourbillon Sapphire shows off its form with a sapphire case middle

The Bulgari Octo Tourbillon Sapphire shows off its form with a sapphire case middle


In the early days of wristwatches (pocket watches were almost universally round and so are contemporary executions, Tom Ford’s attempt to transform the Apple Watch notwithstanding), firms experimented with wildly differing shapes, only a few of which remain well known today. In the era of properly water resistant watches though, most wristwatches are round and that is just because it is much simpler to achieve ISO water resistance standards when the case of the watch is round. Once again, function keeps interfering with the notion of the form watch

The reason for this water resistance bit could very well fill another article but, to cover it briefly and intuitively, just think of how easily a rubber gasket would work with a round watch as opposed to a rectangular one. It is for this reason that even brands with a yen for specific shapes (or even just one shape in particular) opt for the round shape when necessary.

Bell & Ross makes a point about exceptional water resistance (300 metres) with the BR 03-92 Diver

Bell & Ross makes a point about exceptional water resistance (300 metres) with the BR 03-92 Diver

Function versus Form

An excellent, if obvious, case in point here is the Richard Mille diver watch while the equally obvious counterpoint is Bell & Ross. In fact, Bell & Ross raised the roof at BaselWorld this year by releasing a diver’s watch that maintained the brand’s signature square look. It is important to note that in this case, no pun intended, the display of time is round allowing Bell & Ross to package both form and function into the mix; obviously, the brand had to work hard to achieve exceptional water resistance in this unusual shape and that should only increase its appeal.

This example aside, function is arguably the strongest reason explaining why the watchmaking trade has doubled down on the round shape in recent years, The aforementioned standard bearers of form watches such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier are both betting big on round while Omega – once a stellar producer of shaped watches – now only features the odd bullhead and Ploprof for variation. Omega is the third largest maker of high-end mechanical timepieces in Switzerland and it has no other shape in its regular collections but round.

Richard Mille RM50-03

Richard Mille RM50-03

As for the number one spot, Rolex reintroduced the world to the rectangular Prince in 2005 in what was then considered to be yet another of the brand’s calculated surprise moves. It followed up by proposing the Cellini as a brand new tuxedo-friendly family in its collection. Unfortunately, Rolex unceremoniously ditched the rectangular Prince, with the model not even worthy of a mention on its website. If you have never heard of the Rolex Prince, it is as if it never existed…

What is particularly unfortunate here is that this is Rolex, a brand unafraid to go its own way. Perhaps no other major brand would take a chance on something major that would require some getting used to, such as the Sky-Dweller and the Yacht-Master II. If the rectangular Prince can’t make it here then the majors are truly closed for business on the form watch side. On the other hand, there are still pristine examples of the Prince available and this quirky little dressy number may yet have its day.


Chameleons: A Case in Between

All this points to the obvious truth that few brands care enough about the form segment to flood the market with options, making what’s available all the more precious. This is what Officine Panerai so smartly trades on, even resolving professional tool watch issues without compromising on the shape of the watches. Brands such as this are few and far between, and bring this story to a special class of offerings.

Audemars Piguet leads the way in disguising round watches as form watches... or is it vice versa?

Audemars Piguet leads the way in disguising round watches as form watches… or is it vice versa?

Another great chameleon in this arena is Audemars Piguet, the maker of the highly idiosyncratic Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore watches. The shape here feels distinctive yet it maintains a sort of amorphous state, being perhaps close enough to being round that the unsuspecting eye accepts it as such. Of course, it might also be a round watch masquerading as an octagonal one. Indeed, case, bezel and crystal all come together in masterful fashion to surprise both eye and hand. In short, it is a rather beautiful ambiguity that Audemars Piguet shares here with Panerai.

Other brands too have their place here, including one collection from Patek Philippe with a shared progenitor as the Royal Oak – the Nautilus, and by extension the Aquanaut. Speaking of the great Gerald Genta, it would be remiss to ignore the current Bulgari Octo collection. Bulgari’s determination to convince the world of the virtues of its Octo shape is remarkable, making this brand one of the leading lights of the form watch segment.

Engine of Demand

Taken together, the brands that champion form watches because that is what they must do to survive and, further to that, thrive, perform an invaluable service to watchmaking as a whole – and to collectors by extension. They serve to drive the engine of demand, which is a far more difficult beast to understand than supply.

To put it another way, if while pushing their own goals and growth targets, these corporations also happen to create a little demand for gems of the past such as the A. Lange & Sohne Cabaret or the Rolex Prince, so much the better for collectors, especially those who are already moving in this direction. For those on the sidelines, the success of a particular model can lead to the brand reviving the model in its current collection or increasing its offering, thus building even more cachet and demand. There is actually a proper example of this, which brings us back to Audemars Piguet and Cartier.

The original release of the so-called Series A of the Royal Oak numbered only 1,000 watches yet the ensuing popularity of the model translated to innumerable iterations over the years. This collection – and the Royal Oak Offshore – probably contributes the lion’s share of the brand’s reported figure of 40,000 plus watches sold annually. Finishing our tale at Cartier, where we started, the success of the Tank watch might arguably be correlated to the success of Cartier as a force in high-end watchmaking. While the Royal Oak has just the Royal Oak Offshore as an offshoot, the Tank has quite a number of descendants. The popularity of the Tank with collectors inspired Cartier to create extensive options here, with no less than six different families of Tank watches available, with multiple references in each family. Not bad at all for a watch that started with just six models for sale in Paris in 1919.

Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30 Degree Asymmetrical

Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30 Degree Asymmetrical

Minor Leagues: Where Independent watchmakers stand on Shaped Watches

Where the big brands have circled the wagons, so to speak, it is quite a different story at smaller outfits such as Azimuth, Bell & Ross, MB&F, SevenFriday, Urwerk and others. Certainly some, especially classical names such as Philippe Dufour and Laurent Ferrier, trade on a certain inner beauty but even here, some are not afraid to bust out of the circle. This is most obvious in the watches of Greubel Forsey, where the cases literally bulge in odd ways when the function calls for it. Obviously, when one makes very small numbers of watches it is possible to take certain risks. Here’s how Max Busser of MB&F puts it:

“It’s a question of horological integrity; I’ve said from the beginning that MB&F is not going to put round movements in funky shaped cases because we’re not designers. We’re mechanical artists. This is what separates marketers from creators; If you want to please the market you probably won’t take creative risks. The bigger the company, the more you will be inclined to please the market.”

Busser’s point here extends to watches at many different prices points, as evidenced by Kickstarter notables such as Momentum Labs, Helgray and Xeric. Obviously, Kickstarter projects are defined by the marketplace so the vast majority of projects there are round watches but there are significant alternatives, which one can discover by looking at the offering from those three names.


Form Watch Movements

Proportionally, it is rewarding when watchmakers equip a rectangular watch with a movement with exactly the right shape. In first half of the 20th century, it was quite normal to expect form watches to come with movements in the corresponding shape. The idea was to have the mechanical movement function as a sort of kinetic sculpture, one where function followed form. Today, form movements are the exception rather than the rule, even within the increasingly limited area of form watches. Given that form watches as a whole are like an endangered horological species, this story concerns itself with the shape of the watch as a whole rather than the shape of the movement.

The Tank Louis Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 944 are both examples of kinetic sculptures

The Tank Louis Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 944 are both examples of kinetic sculptures

Nevertheless, an entire class of collectors follows this segment and connoisseurs of mechanical watches are always pleased when watchmakers make an effort to match the shape of the movement with the shape of the watch so in this section we will look at the history of such efforts and suggest why they have fallen out of favor, although the simple answer as to why your cushion-shaped watch comes with a round movement is not hard to fathom: it makes sense from a cost and reliability perspective.

With apologies to Louis Cartier and to play devil’s advocate, what value does it really speak to that function should follow form? It is by no means a recent development that we consider function more important than form. To reference the main part of this story, this speaks to why the Apple Watch is rectangular.

Jobs’ design ideology finds its spiritual cousin in the watchmaking philosophy of Jaeger-LeCoultre, at least when it comes to the Reverso. Other than the Squadra, the Art Deco icon has always been equipped with a form movement and its case shape was dictated by function. The Reverso has the shape that it does to facilitate its defining reversible function. Function though is where form movements run into trouble, for one obvious reason: automatic winding, or rather the lack thereof.

The newly launched Tiffany Square Watch comes with its bonafide form, square shaped movement. A rarity even amongst specialist watchmakers.

The newly launched Tiffany Square Watch comes with its bonafide form, square shaped movement. A rarity even amongst specialist watchmakers.

Since at least the 1960s, the watch buying public has sought out automatic models. Once again, you can look to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso models over the years to see how this played. For the most part, the Reverso has been equipped with manual-winding calibers, all form ones of course. For self-winding models, in the Reverso Squadra and elsewhere, the Grand Maison uses round movements. Cartier sidestepped the issue though because Edmond Jaeger designed and equipped the early Cartier form watches with round LeCoultre movements.

Check out the latest Tiffany Square Watch which joined body (and movement), the pantheon of shaped watches.


Miu Miu Seoul Cheongdam

Miu Miu Cheongdam-dong Boutique Opens

It is about time Cheongdam-dong got its very own Miu Miu boutique. After all, the busy street in Gangnam is known as the shopping district for the affluent. More than 400 of the city’s most fashionable were in attendance for the opening of the Italian label’s store, including lots of celebrities you’d be familiar with. Well, if you know your Korean pop culture then names such as Tiffany of Girls’ Generation, model Lee Soo-Hyuk and CNBLUE bassist Lee Jung-Shin  will not be unfamiliar.

The store is typically Miu Miu – outside, the iconic perforated metal curtain envelops its entrance, a juxtaposition to its soft, feminine interior. Don’t expect the usual gold damask to greet you in the store, it has been replaced by a sky-blue version that is unique to the Cheongdam-dong boutique. Its ground floor houses the latest range of bags, accessories and shoes, and is separated from the first floor with a black marble staircase. The store’s upper floor is dedicated to the label’s ready-to-wear collection.

View the celebrities in attendance and find out more about the store at L’Officiel.com now.

Tiffany & Co. Opens at ION Singapore

Joining the likes of Louis Vuttion, Tiffany & Co. is hard to miss as you walk by ION Orchard. With a Tiffany Blue façade and prominent place along the main road of Singapore’s premier shopping district, the new store delivers trademark elements from its fifth avenue flagship.

Can’t wait to step into the store to discover that Tiffany magic? Head to L’Officiel Singapore to find out more.

Tiffany & Co AW15 campaign

 is heralding the arrival of Autumn 2015 with three sparkling new diamond jewelry collections.

Tiffany Victoria“, “Tiffany Bow” and “Tiffany Infinity” have been designed by the legendary jewelers to celebrate the “cherished connections between friends and loved ones.”

Family and friends feature heavily in the collections’ new campaign, with sisters Dree and Langley Fox Hemingway, longtime model friends Crista Cober and Imaan Hammam and supermodel Doutzen Kroes and her son Phyllon all taking a starring role. The black and white ads, shot by fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti, show the new jewels layered gracefully and paired with lacy, feminine fashion choices. The creative also shot a short film around the theme of “the joys of being together”.

sisters Dree and Langley Fox Hemingway

“Tiffany jewelry has long symbolized relationships that bring happiness and meaning to life,” said Caroline Naggiar, Tiffany’s chief marketing officer.

“It’s part of our great legacy, and we are proud to feature real life families in this campaign, adding a genuine emotional component to the designs’ style and beauty.”

Supermodel Doutzen Kroes and her son Phyllon

The house’s design director Francesca Amfitheatrof has added round and pear-shaped diamonds to the Tiffany Victoria collection to represent the delicacy of petals. Her Tiffany Bow was inspired by a slender thread you might tie around your finger to remember something or someone, and her Tiffany Infinity collection, inspired by the energy and vitality of an ancient symbol, has been contoured in a contemporary way.

St Regis Tiffany Suite bedroom

St Regis New York Opens Tiffany Suite

St Regis Tiffany Suite bedroom

The St. Regis New York has unveiled a one-of-a-kind Tiffany Suite on its 14th floor – a marriage of the classic Tiffany look with the glamour of the St. Regis.

The Tiffany Suite consists of an entryway foyer, one bedroom, two full baths, a large dining room and a living room complete with a fireplace and large windows overlooking Fifth Avenue up towards Central Park.

The 1,700-square-foot suite features neutrals such as whites, beiges, charcoal gray and silver accented with the signature Tiffany blue.
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Tiffany X'mas Tree

Tiffany light their Christmas Tree in Hong Kong

Tiffany X'mas Tree

Tiffany & Co. have teamed up with Hong Kong charity Mother’s Choice to create Circle of Giving, A Legacy of Light, a series of events to raise money for those in need.

Tiffany & Co. will commence the Circle of Giving, A Legacy of Light with a special Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, 23 November, at 1881 Heritage, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The 10-metre tree will dazzle in the moonlight as visitors enjoy a performance of angelic choral voices.
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Tiffany eyes aggressive expansion in China

US jeweller Tiffany & Co is aiming to make a major push into China as it seeks to tap a growing appetite for luxury goods among the country’s new wealthy.

“China will rapidly become the place where we will have the greatest number of new stores,” Tiffany chairman Michael J. Kowalski said on Tuesday.

The firm, showcased in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, plans to open 25 to 30 outlets across the country over the next three years.

During its current fiscal year, which ends in January, the company will inaugurate 14 stores around the world, four of them in China, it added.
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Maria Sharapova to Dazzle in Tiffany at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova will wear Tiffany’s Elsa Peretti earrings at The Championships set for June 21 – July 4 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

The earrings selected for Wimbledon are a sterling silver design from Elsa Peretti’s celebrated Diamonds by the Yard collection.

Introduced in 1974, the collection is characterized as “a classic of modern jewelry design, its fine shimmering chains and bezel-set stones lauded as the look that changed forever the role of diamonds in fashion.”
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Tiffany & Co. Launches iPhone App

The Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder app for iPhones allows brides and grooms to use their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to find the perfect diamond ring.

For the men, the Tiffany iPhone app will show rings in their actual size, so they’re more likely to compare the on-screen rings with their partners.

The “ring sizer” aims to simplify ring sizing by stealing one of her rings, placing it on the screen and waiting for the correct ring size to pop up!
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Worlds Most Expensive Mint Julep Cup

Woodford Reserve, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, has created the world’s most exclusive mint julep in collaboration with Tiffany & Co.

Only 73 of the sterling silver cups will be available at $1,000 apiece; purchasers will be served a julep in the cup at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, May 1st.

Owners of the luxury Mint Julep Cup will be served a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby featuring a unique set of ingredients.
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