A brand I was excited to see at SIHH was Van Cleef & Arpels. I am familiar with a couple of the pieces but to be honest, it was great to sit down with the team, and get an in-depth overview of their watches, ranging from the Midnight Tourbillon to the Charms Mini-Watch.
We first started out with the most affordable, the Charms Mini Watch. The watch has different variations, but they are all 25mm, with diamonds on the face, and a satin strap. The Charms timepiece is adorned with rotating Alhambra charms, which turns around the dial joyfully in celebration of happiness. That is the theme in all the watches, and what makes Van Cleef & Arpels famous.
The next watch, which has a new format is the Alhambra Talisman. The watch face was filled with diamonds, with a row of diamonds encircling the case. The strap is satin, with a white gold pin buckle and is 48mm.
The Extraordinary Dials collection has five new pieces in their collection. The theme is butterfly motifs created with stone marquetry, gold sculpture and enamel on mother-of-pearl dials. Each new scene on these dials are brought to life by in house skilled craftsmen. The watches have changing seasons, each version is different – evoking the colour of day or night, of spring or winter. The watch dials and bezels feature diamond-adornment, while the watch is 38mm, a great looking piece for a lady. The series is limited to 22 of each.
The next line was the Charms Extrordinaire watches collection. This was an evolution of the collection, which was born in 2008 with its lucky charm spinning around the dial. This year at SIHH, Van Cleef & Arpels launched a new collection with four limited editions—the lily of the valley, the lotus flower, the dandelion, and the swallow.
The next piece was the highlight of 2013 for Van Cleef & Arpels. It was the Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantee watch. It has a half-dancer, half-butterfly. The double retrograde movement with time on demand lends to this watch a poetic vision of time. For this new Poetic complication Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée watch, Van Cleef & Arpels has drawn inspiration from a quote by the well-known Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova which echoes the imagery of the Maison: ‘‘I’ve been dreaming that I was a ballerina and that I was spending my whole life dancing as lightly as a butterfly…’’
Then they bring out a Midnight in Paris Poetic Complication. What makes this watch special is whereever they are in the world, the watch is made to look at the exact position of the stars in the sky of Paris. The person wearing this watch will not only possess a gateway to the universe, but also a little of the magic of the City of Light. Stars glitter against a midnight blue, aventurine dial.
When I asked for something really extreme, they brought out a tourbillon with diamonds everywhere. The watch is called The Midnight Tourbillon. “Wow” is all I can say, as the diamonds on this piece are amazing. If money and diamonds were not a concern, this would be one of the best watches to buy on the market that I have ever seen.
Then they brought out pieces from their men’s line called Pierre Arpels. These were the 42mm pieces, as they come in pink gold with diamonds and white gold with and without diamonds in a same 42mm size.
I also really loved the watches from the line called Extraordinary Dials.
Then there were a couple of really unique pieces, one of which is the One Tourbillon and the other non-tourbillon.
I am glad I was able to meet with the Van Cleef & Arpels team, as I was very impressed with the collection, and learned a lot more about there brand with an inside look at SIHH.