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The Manual Wind: Tiffany & Co East West Timepiece

tiffew2Once upon a time, Tiffany & Co was known for its watchmaking.  Its very own high end line of timepieces.  Fast forward, and that turned into exclusive collaborations with Rolex and Patek Philippe with the production of highly sought after pieces with Tiffany & Co right on the dial.  As of late, the museum like Patek Philippe boutique upstairs in the flagship Tiffany store in New York City is all that has been noteworthy until now.  This year, Tiffany & Co released a line of classically inspired timepieces.  Simple and elegant, these pieces made a lot of noise in the watch world.  One piece in particular caught my eye; the Tiffany & Co East West.

The unique rectangular piece is positioned to be read with your hands on the steering wheel.  This 42mmx25mm piece is worn the long waytiffew1 on the wrist yet the time is told facing the length of the watch.  With a classic dial reminiscent of a 1950s timepiece, this is a great throwback.  Also offered in a blue and black dial with matching straps, this piece has a few personalities.  There have been very few pieces with this design in recent years.  Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin both had classically designed “sideways” pieces, but neither is as in reach as this piece.

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Made of stainless steel and operated by a Swiss quartz movement, the Tiffany & Co East West is priced right for the casual collector to obtain something unique.  At a reasonable retail of $3,750, Tiffany & Co is making its break back into the watch market.  There are few brands as iconic as Tiffany and its long overdue for them to put their name back on a timepiece.

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The Manual Wind: Oris Bronze Carl Brashear Limited Edition Diver
the manual wind oris bronze carl brashear limited edition diver

Steel and gold are the two metals that first come to mind in watch discussion.  Sprinkle in some titanium, ceramic, and platinum and call it a day.  Hublot was one brand to run the gamut on exotic metals; tantalum, cermet, and tungsten to name a few.  One metal making a big splash lately (causing it to patina) is bronze.  Gerald Genta tried with the Gefica years ago but it wasn't as well received as Panerai’s bronze Luminor of late.  Now Oris is taking a stab at this fun-to-wear metal with its Divers Sixty-Five inspired Carl Brashear Limited Edition.

At 42mm in diameter, slightly larger than the the Sixty-Five, the Carl Brashear is a classic diver cast in bronze.  Blue dial with round markers make for extreme legibility.  Beneath the dial lies an automatic Oris caliber 733 movement with a 40 hour power reserve.  Rated to 100m depth, this bronze case with steel caseback will suit your diving needs just fine.

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The Manual Wind: The Vacheron Quai de L’ile Makes a Comeback in Steel
the manual wind vacheron quai de lile makes a comeback in steel l  le4500s 000a b195

Not all designs are a huge success; even when coming from a prestigious watch house.  Often times brands get away from their core DNA and create a polarizing design.  Love/hate watches are great for conversation, but not for sales.  The Vacheron Constantin Quai de L’ile is a perfect example of this.  Its first debut over five years ago did not prove wildly successful with its great modern case design matched with complication, interesting metal variations, and huge price tags.  Vacheron has decided to take another stab at the piece getting back to the basics.

Simple metal and simple dial make up the new Quai de L’ile.  This 41mm modern case design is now cast in stainless steel.  Very few Vacheron are made in steel.  The dials chosen for this new release keeps it simple as well.  Time and date complication are enough for this retro dial design.  Arabic numerals give the piece a vintage tone while an inner date ring lends a modern feel.  Below the dial lies an in house Vacheron automatic movement.  Matched with alligator and rubber straps, this piece has a lot to offer.

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The Manual Wind: Bulgari Octo Ultranero Finissimo Tourbillon
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Its disappointing to see amazing design not make it to the main stream.  The Bulgari Octo is just not there yet.  The Gerald Genta design, previously under the Gerald Genta name, now bears a big name on its dial and yet has still not made it.  Bulgari purchased this line years ago and the only thing they have done right with it is not change the classic Octo design.  I have been saying for years that this design is the next big thing.  Classic, modern, angular, and unique; the Octo has a chance to be an icon.  Although Bulgari has not had a breakout design in with this line, they are certainly trying.  Good movements and simple combinations make for nice pieces.  Its latest is another piece i would like on my wrist; The Bulgari Octo Ultranero Finissimo Tourbillon.

This ultra-thin Tourbillon holds within its black DLC titanium case a world record thin movement.  At just 1.95mm thick, this Tourbllion with a 52 hour power reserve, is the thinnest non bridge Tourbillon.  The movement is as elegant as the design; black DLC coating with rose accents.  Another piece in the Octo line that is classic yet modern.  Attached with an integrated crocodile strap and folding buckle, this sleek look is complete.

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