Tiffany & Co. is usually known for hosting elegant, if sometimes stodgy, events to herald a new product. But to introduce its spiffy new CT60 watch collection in Houston, the venerable jeweler took over the hip Camerata wine bar in Montrose for a much looser and livelier party.
Camereta owner Paul Petronella welcomed the young crowd while sommelier David Keck served up some resplendent red and white wines, as well as champagne, with lite bites from next door neighbor Paulie's.
Rather than have the new watches under lock and key behind glass, the various styles were displayed on half-columns for guests to pick up and and try on as DJ Sun spun tunes. Petronella, Keck and Sun each sported a watch from the collection — for the evening only.
Guests were encouraged to tweet about the event with the hashtag #TiffanyNYMinute, a sly reference to the phrase established by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, who inspired the new collection. (The name CT60 is made up of Tiffany's initials and the "60" is a reference to a "New York Minute.") Despite its current reputation for fine jewelry, Tiffany has a long watch-making history. It imported the first stopwatch in 1869, held the patent for a luminous paint for dial numerals in 1903 and pioneered early uses of the chronograph.
Despite its current reputation for fine jewelry, Tiffany has a long watch-making history.
Made by craftsmen in Switzerland, the new watches have a vintage look, as the collection pays tribute to a Tiffany & Co. watch given to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. A limited edition 18-karat rose gold calendar watch modeled after the Roosevelt timepiece has quickly sold out at $19,000 each. Only 60 such watches were made, each numbered on the case back.
The collection includes chronograph and 3-hand timepiece styles, with leather straps or metal bracelets. We particularly liked a rose-gold three-hander with a brown dial and brown leather wristband, and a stainless-steel chronograph with a midnight blue dial.
Officials also unveiled the Tiffany East West collection with an Art Deco-tinged rectangular shape crisply defined in stainless steel and a black, white or blue dial.
The Tiffany CT60 collection ranges from $4,250 to $15,000 for a chronograph in solid rose gold; the Tiffany East West watches are $3,500, available at Tiffany stores or online.
On hand were Tiffany group director Kimberly Wilson (she oversees the Galleria and Woodlands stores), Sammy Ford IV, Gin Braverman, who designed the Camerata interiors, Caroline and Jared LeBlanc, Michael Mandola, Kate Allen Stukenberg, and Stetson Ariola, Paul Kwak, Brad Gilde, Randy Ho and Winnie You, Caroline Hussey and Shawn Schmidt, The Urbane Savant blogger Josh Robertson, and Kate Bracksieck and Chris Robart .