Hot on the heels of its brazen collaboration with Supreme last month comes another Tiffany & Co. tribute drenched in the American jeweller’s signature robin-egg blue. This time, its partner in crime is the Swiss luxury watchmaker, Patek Philippe. And the object du jour? A limited edition Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 made exclusively for Tiffany & Co.
Apart from dial colour, one of the first things to note about this timepiece, Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-018, is that it comes in stainless steel. A material that’s common everywhere except at Patek Philippe, where it is a rarity. Steel Nautiluses have, in fact, been an obsession in watch collecting circles, with waitlists reputedly stretching on as long as eight to 10 years.
The Swiss watchmaker announced the model’s discontinuation in April 2021, releasing a pair of olive green dial references to ease the message. Yet demand for this timepiece has never been higher. Word on the street is that Patek Philippe carefully screens each potential buyer in order to ensure the watches don’t end up in the hands of profiteers who will release them on the grey market for triple or quadruple the price.
As such, one can only imagine the commotion that follows this Tiffany-dialled Nautilus. Tiffany-signed Patek Philippes are already known to create a major stir whenever they show up at auctions. This Tiffany Blue number also feeds right into the hype of so-called “Tiffany dial” watches such as the extremely popular Rolex Oyster Perpetual series.
More importantly, at least to the two collaborators, it commemorates the 170-year-long partnership between Tiffany & Co. and Patek Philippe. Indeed, the American jeweller had been the first Patek Philippe retailer in the US, staying true to the partnership even after it went into the hands of the Stern family in 1932. Says Patek Philippe brand president, Thierry Stern, in an interview with the New York Times, “We’ve been working so long with Tiffany. It’s our oldest retailer in the US. I grew up with Tiffany and I’m not even talking about business; it was a part of my family.”
Retailing at US$52,635 (compared to US$34,890 for the olive green model), the watch’s sapphire case back bears a special imprint marking the 170th anniversary and the names of the two companies. It also includes the time period 1851 – 2021 with a tongue-in-cheek reference to Tiffany & Co.’s parent company. Look closely at the last digit and you’ll see the four letters of the LVMH group hiding in plain sight.
Because just as Tiffany & Co. stayed partners with Patek Philippe even when it changed hands in 1932, so did Patek Philippe continue supporting Tiffany & Co. in 2020 when it was acquired by the LVMH group.
Patek Philippe will, however, limit the Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-018 to a production run of just 170 pieces, making this timepiece not just exclusive, but ultra-exclusive. And it will retail only at Tiffany boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco. With VTL to the US now wide open, guess where you’ll be making a stop at on your next trip to the US?