November 12, 2007
by Ariel Adams
The Streamerica is one of my favorite watch designs. It is no longer being sold, and was available for a few years through Tiffany & Co. as part of their Streamerica series of jewelry. The Streamerica is an interesting looking watch. Curious in its design, it seems to have been inspired by American industrialism. The riveted look of the watch and band are a tribute to early trains, planes, ships built in the United States. The look of the watch is meant to appear to have been bolted together. The rounded edges evoke a streamlined aerodynamic look suggesting speed movement. This is intended to be a travelers watch, or at least for someone who is on the move. Anyone however can appreciate its tough yet sophisticated shapes out of a engineer’s technical manual.
Even though the watch is so reminiscent of Americana, European born Jorg Hysek was commissioned to design the piece. Hysek is a legend in his own right having designed many famous watches including the Kirium series for Tag Heuer, and the Breguet Marine. Now Hysek has his own brand of watches and pens under his namesake. Check out the current Jorg Hysek line.
The Streamerica watches came in a few iterations. White and black faces, and two functional versions. One is the basic piece being offered in this auction. The other was a world timer with changing time zones with the names of various cities. All versions of chronometers, meaning they have been certified specially for their accuracy.
Streamerica watches are rare and sell quickly. This is no mystery given their very unique yet handsome design. To me, it brings back images of a different America. One that felt larger, more productive, and certainly one that designed more attractive products. In an era of form over function, it is nice to know that some things recall that functional looks can be endearing, and endlessly thought provoking.
Check out the Tiffany & Co. Streamerica watch auction page here.