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Van Cleef and Arpels Hors du temps

Van Cleef and Arpels Hors du temps
24.01.2016
Van Cleef & Arpels is playing the jewellery card in a big way this year, deploying tassels and secret time with uncommon mastery. Five horological variations have been unveiled to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Poetic Complications

Van Cleef & Arpels is sublimely indifferent – to fashion, to economics and to trends. The company continues to steer its own course, seemingly unconstrained by any artistic limits save its own guiding light, the “Van Cleef spirit”. Entering the fairy-tale world of Van Cleef & Arpels at the SIHH means exiting reality and stepping into a parallel universe that could easily be anywhere, anytime – tomorrow, twenty years ago or even a hundred years back. That is how it defines luxury: absolute timelessness. 
Its 2016 designs prove it once again. Van Cleef & Arpels has chosen two creative fields: fine jewellery and Poetic Complications, which it marries with supreme virtuosity. 

Time? What time?
One of this year’s focal points is the Heures secrètes. These precious baubles, peerless works of the jeweller’s art, conceal a timepiece visible only to the wearer. It’s a classic Place Vendôme party piece, something that all of the great jewellers have attempted. And yet Van Cleef & Arpels’ creation is unparalleled. 

The Bracelet Montre Rubis Secret is a unique piece, the product of 1,500 hours’ work, more than half a year. It features 115 rubies totalling 151.25 carats, mounted on an open-worked bracelet with an interior plate of white gold sculpted with Art Deco motifs. Inside, the jeweller has fashioned a secret drawer containing a two-hand movement, which is activated by simply pressing the rubies. Van Cleef & Arpels has pulled off the astonishing feat of making it slide precisely beneath the jewel mounts, to within one-hundredth of a millimetre, without touching.

Whirling hours
Continuing the theme of secrecy, the company has also unveiled two convertible necklaces with detachable Pompon watch.  The secret, removable timepiece swings freely on the necklace inspired by designs from the 1940s and 50s, when knotwork, ribbons and tassels were in vogue. The convertible set includes a bracelet, to which the tassel may also be attached, offering a number of different combinations in wear.

Two further wristwatches echo the theme of the pendant, this time in the form of charms. The “Sweet Charms”, which already existed in 25 and 38mm, are now available in a diminutive 21mm diameter. The dial is decorated with a charm that revolves with the movement of the wrist, and is offset by a choice of two bracelets, in satin or precious metals.

Ten years of Poetic Complications
The Poetic Complications were born in 2006. The two-word name of this collection has acquired such resonance that it is almost impossible not to associate it immediately with Van Cleef & Arpels. 

Ongoing creative exploration has resulted in a variety of playful, whimsical and magical timepieces. Van Cleef & Arpels returns to the fairy-tale theme with the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit Fée Ondine. 

The complication is very subtle, almost invisible at first. The movement is entirely hidden, revealing itself in a sapphire disc concealed behind the decorated dial, which rotates once every 24 hours. Sun and Moon in perpetual motion take turns to occupy the celestial vault of the dial, behind the floral motifs that adorn its lower part. 

The same principle lies behind the remaining two Poetic Complications: the Lady Jour des Fleurs and Lady Nuit des Papillons. Here, the entire dial rotates constantly underneath the hour and minute hands. Butterflies and flowers perform a continuous minuet of meticulous gem-setting and fine watchmaking, the movement conveying the delicate dial with its precious burden in a perpetual pirouette.

Article is prepared by OLIVIER MÜLLER. Source: http://en.worldtempus.com/article/new-watches/van-cleef-arpels-hors-du-temps-2452854