tiffany genève opening

Tiffany renovates its ties with its Genevan history in 2015

The American label, which promotes Swiss excellence from New York to the whole world, has opened a store close to where its first historical Swiss establishment was located. Tiffany’s blue made Geneva light up during the superb soiree organized for the opening.

By Joel Grandjean
Editor in Chief

Is it blue, turquoise or some unknown color? There is a certain je ne sais quoi of Atlantic blue in Tiffany & Co’s signature color. It looks like the color of a mint mixed with royal blue. In any case, it is now part of the Pantone line that characterizes the urban side of Geneva, which is where the love story between the brand and Calvin’s city started.

Tiffany’s gala on Lake Geneva, June 18, 2015, in celebration of its store opening at 21 rue du Rhône

Old-time Geneva

Geneva’s luxury cradle used to be the Quai des Bergues. That is, until visionary Antoine Norbert de Patek decided to cross over to the other side and settle near the Jardin anglais. His decision to buy the then Tiffany & Co’s building – now considered Patek Philippe’s historical cradle – was made following the rumours that a renowned hotel, today’s hotel Métropole, was going to open there.

This is how the history of Rue du Rhône and Rues Basses started and how the most luxurious brands settled on the Left Bank.

Tiffany was already using the building even before that time. Proof of that is found upon entering the sacrosanct space of the Patek store – the exclusive Salon that overlooks the lake – as some of the old decor and accessories have been left as they were at the time. Today, Tiffany is back in Geneva, only a few streets away from the legendary Rue du Rhône and with a commitment to bring friends and prestigious clients to its premises.

Tiffany's story in Geneva Tiffany's story in Geneva

Amazing new watches: a CEO and his fetish diamond

Such an attachment and such a highly historical place called for celebration. Tiffany organized a superb soiree and invited every prominent figure, expat, refugee star, media, opinion leader and known freeloader in Geneva. The Tiffany blue ribbon that matched the scarfs of the maison’s hostesses was cut on the day of the inauguration, which was also the occasion for two extraordinary appearances. Firstly, Frédéric Cumenal, CEO of Tiffany & Co, is a francophone who lives in the United States. He confessed his surprise by the fact that his French is still fluent. And it was indeed, to the point that he ended up improvising some of his inaugural speech without looking at his precious notes.

Tiffany CEO Frédéric Cumenal Tiffany CEO Frédéric Cumenal

Secondly, the famous Tiffany Diamond. The hypnotic 128-carat yellow diamond was discovered in a South African mine in 1887. In normal circumstances, this jewel – which was up for sale for one day only – never leaves New York and its Fifth Avenue store. The history and exceptional shine of this diamond on their own represent a part of the brand’s values. Indeed, it was under Charles Lewis Tiffany, the brand’s founder, that the desire to polish diamonds to attain the most perfect shine took precedence over the simple exploitation of a natural wonder. It is precisely that value, the incessant quest for perfection, which is ingrained in Tiffany’s diamond cutters. They even went as far as cutting 159 carats out of the original 287 carats the stone weighted in the rough to reduce Tiffany’s diamond to its current size.

Tiffany & Co Genève Tiffany & Co Genève

Exclusively in Geneva: the limited-edition CT60 Annual Calendar

While Geneva’s celebrities were fooling around in a mega Blue Box – again this mysterious Tiffany blue that symbolizes the brand – which was made into a temporary VIP lounge overlooking the lake, I was surprised to find that no one really took notice of another form of celebration focusing on watchmaking. It was a true illustration of micromechanics, which illustrated the renovated special link between Tiffany & Co and Geneva.

Tiffany & Co CT60 Annual Calendar Tiffany & Co CT60 Annual Calendar

The Annual Calendar is a self-winding mechanical watch. There are only 10 pieces and they are only available in this store. It was exclusively dedicated to Geneva and is engraved with an inscription that evokes the old 1874 Manufacture in Cornavin.

The 18K white gold watch belongs to the CT60 collection and is equipped with an annual calendar, a very useful complication. Needless to say, this watchmaking complication links the ultra-complexity of perpetual calendars, which is a headache for expert watchmakers and collectors, and the ‘simple’ three-hand watch with one or more date and day indicators. It does however use quite a lot of chronometric science as it is driven by a mechanism that can only be wound once a year or at the end of February. On even months, the watch automatically jumps from the 30th to the 1st without displaying the 31st.

Tiffany & Co. CT60 Tiffany & Co. CT60

Concerning its aesthetics, the watch is an example of classic good taste. The silver opaline dial has a streamlined look with sober appliques and an alligator strap. A hand tipped with a red arrow indicates the days located on the inside of the bezel. The month indicator in the form of a traditional small second is at 6 o’clock. All in all, a “Genevaly” desirable success.

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