Since it was founded in 1906, at Place Vendôme (Paris) by Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels, Van Cleef & Arpels has been weaving a tale of fantasy with its enchanting creations. At this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the Maison took us on a journey into its fairytale world of haute Horlogerie and unveiled enchanting additions to its Poetic Complications, gem-encrusted high-jewelry timepieces and ephemeral secret watches. What’s not to love about diamonds, colored sapphires and gems punctuating the Poetic Complications collection, butterflies swirling on the watch dial, colorful leaves fluttering in the wind, and the sun and moon dancing in joy around fairy Ondine?
Evoking the cycle of seasons in the Lady Jour des Fleurs, time flows in harmony with the delicate foliage and berries, as spring green changes to autumnal red, while dainty butteries shimmer and shine in the silken moonlight as the Lady Nuit des Papillons gracefully captures the beauty of light.
Fairy Ondine contemplates by a pond with water lilies and the sun and moon for company. Picked out with fine precision in champlevé enamels and delicate stone-setting, pink sapphires, tsavorite garnets and yellowy-orange spessartite garnets illuminate the petals, pistils and leaves adorning the dial of the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit Fée Ondine timepiece. Ariel ballet forms the inspiration for the Lady Arpels Ronde des Papillons watch as three colorfully lacquered butterflies dance around the mother-of-pearl clouds, while the white gold engraved swallow gently glides in the sky, depicting the passing hours.
The Maison’s savoir-faire, ingenuity, exemplary craftsmanship and technical mastery come together in the Rubis Secret watch bracelet, a perfect harmony of color. This complex bracelet, informed by Art-Deco motifs and sprinkled with a generous handful of diamonds and rubies, conceals a secret watch that slides open to reveal the dial.