A Double-Signed Example
This Tavannes & Co. purse watch bears the “Dunhill” signature as well as the name of the watch, “La Captive”, just under the 12 o’clock numeral, indicating that it would have been retailed at Dunhill stores. The “Tavannes” signature can be found above the 6 o’clock numeral.
This is a feature that makes the piece highly attractive, as these kinds of partnerships are seldom seen in any other sector of the luxury world. Given that retailers such as Dunhill were usually the biggest names in their respective regions, makers such as Tavannes & Co., and even brands such as Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet would stamp or apply the retailers’ mark on their dials. What started as a practical consideration, helping manufacturers extend their global reach, has now developed into a detail highly sought-after by collectors.
Designed to be small enough to slip into a purse or pocket, this Tavannes & Co. watch is concealed within an attractive silver case, that is decorated with a simple linear pattern on the sides, and a wave-like guilloché on the front of shutters, as well as on the back of the watch.
The dial is hidden behind two shutters that are controlled by two pushers on either side of the base. When opened, the watch can either be quickly glanced at for the time, or propped up on the base, allowing it to be placed on a flat surface to be used as a miniature desk watch.
The dial has developed a slight patina over time (most likely a result of exposure to the original lume in the hands), further adding to its vintage appeal. The Arabic numerals are a clear product of the geometric stylings of the 1940s, while the hour and minute hands are rendered in blued cathedral-style. The watch can be wound when it is put in an upright position.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Tavannes & Co Dunhill Bag Watch will be subject to 20% VAT.