With lucky symbols and talismans inspiring its newest high jewelry collection, Van Cleef & Arpels continues this motif in its recently revealed series of timepieces, Charms Extraordinaires. Introducing new auspicious symbols – the lily of the valley, the lotus flower, the dandelion, and the swallow, these whimsical watches embody the essential spirit of the Maison.
The original idea behind using charms stems from the great ladies of the 20th century, who avidly collected and commissioned a wide variety of charms that ultimately made them feel more lucky. Each delicately enameled dial parlays a unique story relating to its miniature charm, creating a doubly powerful symbol of good luck.
More on its other incredible timepieces introduced at SIHH 2013 from Art Info:
“For its Extraordinary Dials collection, Van Cleef & Arpels used the butterfly – a universal symbol of metamorphosis – to evoke the cycles of nature and the seasons: from day to night and from spring to winter.
The Lady Arpels Papillon Extraordinaire combines different techniques to create depth and relief: hard stone marquetry for the sections in lapis lazuli, sculpture on gold, and mother-of-pearl for the background and the outline of the butterfly, plique-à-jour enameling for the color of the wings and diamond setting. The Lady Arpels Papillon Rouge Gourmand has a dial covered in white mother-of-pearl and incorporates various enameling techniques (plique-à-jour, inpolished cabochonné enamel and champlevé enameling technique, while the other butterfly timepieces combine paillonné and plique-à-jour enamel techniques.
The jeweller and watchmaker also abstracted the butterfly in the shape of a kite motif, with the Lady Arpels Cerf-Volant watches, which come in different colors, while also introducing a new combined savoir-fair: using the technique of miniature painting on sculpted mother-of-pearl.
The highlight of Van Cleef’s SIHH presentation would have to be the Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée Poetic Complication, a watch with a double retrograde mechanical movement that shows the time on demand.
Its design was inspired by the mechanism of a piece from the company’s watchmaking heritage: the Magicien chinois pocket watch from 1927. At the push of a button, the figure indicates the hours and minutes by raising its arms. Here, the golden ballerina is sculpted in relief and set with diamonds, and her tutu serves to indicate the time at the push of a button.”
To learn more about the creation of these incredible timepieces, watch this video on Vimeo.