Rolex and Tiffany – together? Does it sound unusual? But the fact is Rolex Tiffany dial is just another minute and unique variant in the vintage Rolex world, like Paul Newman dials or tropical dials.
These usual Rolex dials come with engraving of the “Tiffany & Co.” brand name. Co-branding may seem something unusual today, considering that this Swiss giant maintains an extremely stringent control level on its products. But it was a pretty common phenomenon during the 1960s and continued for more than three decades.
However, like the famous Paul Newman dials, the Rolex Tiffany dials can significantly affect the watch’s value. So what makes these dial variants so desirable and costly?
Let’s dig into the details and also find out which vintage Rolex watches have Tiffany dials.
The Co-Branding History of Rolex and Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. is a leading jewellery retailer that also used to sell watches from several Swiss watchmakers. The list includes Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. Moreover, Tiffany & Co. established the first shop to sell Patek Philippe timepieces in the United States. Their lasting collaboration is noticeable in some Patek Philippe watches that flaunt Tiffany & Co. name on the dial.
In the 1950s, Rolex collaborated with Tiffany and entered into a co-branding deal. Eventually, Rolex produced watches with Tiffany & Co. name printed on the dial. Expert artisans hand-crafted the initial Tiffany Rolex dials at Tiffany’s leading shop in New York City.
Over time, other Tiffany retail stores in different locations started to sell Rolex Tiffany dial watches.
The Controversy on Rolex Tiffany Dials
Rolex took over much of the Tiffany dial branding with time. The watchmaker printed its watches’ dials with Tiffany logos at its Geneva factory in Switzerland. However, owners of Tiffany Rolex watches could send their timepiece for servicing or repairing to either company for many years.
But Rolex decided to cease producing co-branded models in the 1990s. Eventually, the watchmaker did not render any warranty on the dial stampings done at a Tiffany & Co. store. In turn, the jewellery retailer also stopped selling Rolex timepieces. Likewise, the two companies ended their deal.
However, besides Tiffany, many other significant retailers co-branded with Rolex. Some notable co-branding results include Rolex Cartier Dials, Rolex Bucherer Dials and Rolex VC&A Dials.
Some Rolex Tiffany Dial Watches
There are many models with double-signed Rolex and Tiffany dials. Some of them include –
Rolex Air-King Tiffany Dial
The Air-King Tiffany Dial watches include Reference 5501 and Reference 5500. They were produced in the 1950s when Rolex partnered with Tiffany. Another Air-King Tiffany Dial model is the Reference 14010 debuted in the late 1980s.
Rolex Datejust Tiffany Dial
One of the flagship Rolex models, the Datejust also were available with Tiffany dials. You will be surprised to know that many vintage Datejust watches feature Tiffany dials, including Reference 1601 and Reference 16030.
Rolex Day-Date Tiffany Dial
Tiffany also sold Rolex’s most prestigious watch – the Day-Date President. If you peep into the first two Day-Date generations, you will find several Tiffany models, including Ref. 1803 and 18038.
Rolex Explorer II Tiffany Dial
The Rolex Explorer II Reference 1655 is also known as “Steve McQueen”. Interestingly, you can spot this first Explorer II iteration carved with a Tiffany & Co. name. However, another highly collectable Rolex Tiffany Dial watch is Reference 16570. This watch was in the production process when Rolex’s partnership with Tiffany & Co. was going to end.
Rolex Daytona Tiffany Dial
Tiffany also sold the sporty, racing chronograph – the Daytona. However, only a few Daytona Tiffany dial models exist. If you come across an early Daytona 6239 with Tiffany & Co stamp, you have got a fortune.
Rolex Submariner Tiffany Dial
The Submariner is one of the most iconic Rolex watches of all time. And Tiffany sold the Submariner that featured the signature Tiffany dial carving. However, the Rolex Submariner Tiffany Dial examples include the Date Reference 1680, the No-Date Reference 5513 and Reference 5512.
Rolex GMT-Master II Tiffany Dial
Rolex released the GMT-Master II in 1982 when Tiffany and Rolex collaboration was coming to an end. However, the Rolex GMT-Master II Tiffany Dial collections include Reference 16710 and Reference 16760.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Tiffany Dial
Rolex turned up with Oyster Perpetual as an entry-level lineup. Interestingly, the watch industry saw a leap in Oyster Perpetual’s price after attaining the Tiffany & Co. stamp on the dial.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Tiffany Dial
The Rolex Sea-Dweller made its debut in 1967, and some of the early Sea-Dweller iterations with Tiffany dials include Reference 1665. Later, the Sea-Dweller 16660 model was also designed with Tiffany & Co. stamp.