The firm of Tiffany & Company manufactured this ladies' watch and pin set, crafted in gold, silver and brilliant cut diamonds. The pin is in the form of a slithering serpent, the round time piece dangling from its mouth. The first iteration of Tiffany & Company was founded in New York City in 1837 and specialized in stationary and fancy goods. By the 1870s, about the time this watch and pin set was made, Tiffany & Co. had become a favorite shopping destination of the gilded age elite, boasting branches in London and Paris. In 1869 rich diamond fields were discovered in South Africa, providing Americans with a new and more abundant source for the sparkling gems, which had previously come from India or Brazil. The greater availability of diamonds is certainly visible in the design of this Tiffany & Co. set—the snake is completely covered with diamonds, and a border of silver-set diamonds surrounds the white face of the watch.
Inscription: [on pin and watch]: 61
Marking: [on inside hinged dust cover at back]: 18k / 80749 / 69 [on movement]: no. 80749 [on safety catch of pin]: PAT. JAN 10 [illegible] [on dial and movement]: TIFFANY & CO / NEW YORK