Lady Arpels, A Celebration of Craftsmanship and Fine Art

Van Cleef & Arpels pays homage to the expertise of its workshops at Watches and Wonders 2024

by Reema Farooqui

Every year at Watches and Wonders, Van Cleef & Arpels dazzles with their horology masterpieces and this year is no different. For this year’s edition of the event, the Maison will be debuting a dazzling selection of new haute horlogerie Lady Arpels timepieces.

The Theme – Métiers d’Art

The Maison has chosen to celebrate the savoir faire that defines its creations. Métiers d’Art at Watches and Wonders 2024. As a theme it represents the medley of traditional skills and innovative ideas that have guided Van Cleef & Arpels since it was first established.

Explaining this choice of theme for 2024, Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of van Cleef & Arpels explains, “Craftsmanship has lain at the heart of our every initiative for more than a century at Van Cleef & Arpels. It defines our jewelry and High Jewelry creations, where we perfect traditional techniques while also incorporating innovations. Likewise, in the field of watchmaking, we apply jewelry savoir-faire adapted to fit the scale and particular function of watches − such as stone setting and metalwork − while also developing new approaches.”

Poetic Compilations Collection

The Poetic Compilations pieces are a marvel of precious materials and excellent craftsmanship. Each watch tells its own story. Rotating discs reveal celestial secrets, fluttering butterflies enliven a blooming garden and the graceful silhouette of a fairy collects jewelled flowers, or slumbers on a bed of blossoms – each watch is a miniature piece of art.

But at the heart of these pieces is time. The watch movements used in these timepieces have been developed at Van Cleef & Arpels’ Watchmaking Workshops in Geneva. This includes the 24-hour movement that gradually changes the scene on the dial from day to night.

It also includes the self-winding “on-demand” movements that allow users to change the dial like an automaton with the push of a button, according to the wearer’s desires.

But these timepieces are not only a celebration of the technical and artistic prowess of the Maison’s skilled jewellery craftsmen and watch makers. They are evocative in that they also offer invaluable moments of contemplation, a quality rooted in the Maison’s spirit and ethos.

Commenting on the interaction between the Maison’s inhouse métiers d’art and its watchmaking experts, Rainer Bernard, Head of Watchmaking Research & Development at Van Cleef and Arpels notes, “It is a complex relationship through which two worlds, each highly demanding in its own way, join together. The métiers d’art tell a story on the dial, while the technical mechanism – always invisible – brings the watch to life, showing the time as if by magic.”

Lady Arpels Jour Nuit and Lady Jour Nuit

This year, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Lady Jour Nuit gets two new editions, 33 and 38mm in diameter. Each model features a diamond-paved moon and diamond stars that pursue a golden sun, which is either set with yellow sapphires or crafted with guilloché yellow gold.

The shimmering Murano aventurine glass adds depth to the dial, while also recreating the magic of a starry night. A 24-hour rotating disc that moves imperceptibly, helps keep time.

Lady Arpels Brise d’Été

Van Cleef & Arpels watch
Lady Arpels Brise d’Été watch 38-mm case in white gold, diamonds Dial in mother-of-pearl, tsavorite and spessartite garnets, mother-of-pearl, miniature painting, plique-à-jour, champlevé and vallonné enamel Self-winding mechanical movement featuring an automaton module with on-demand animation Self-interchangeable alligator leather bracelet.

The Lady Arpels Brise d’Été watch is a celebration of the crisp freshness of a summer morning. Yellow and white-gold butterflies, rendered in plique-à-jour enamel tell the time. But that’s not all. Crafted in vallonné enamel, flowers light up the matte mother-of-pearl dial in shades of azure while their spessartite garnet pistils add an intense pop of colour. The backdrop is made lush with blades of grass in tsavorite garnets and plique-à-jour enamel, completing a vision of harmonious nature.

Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté

The Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté centers on a graceful silhouette picking flowers in the early morning. White gold, plique-à-jour enamel and diamonds bring the scene to life. Façonné enamelling, a technique developed by Van Cleef & Arpels, produces three-dimensional depth, creating the illusion of a boundless flowerbed.

The exquisitely hand sculpted feminine figure, crafted in white gold, spreads its gossamer plique-à-jour enamel wings. In the background, the early morning sky is lit up by tones of turquoise, and the sun shines in a burst of spessartite garnets, yellow sapphires and diamonds.

Two years of development and 180 hours of work were required to assemble this dial, a testimony to Van Cleef & Arpels’ ingenuity

Lady Arpels Nuit Enchantée

Nuit Enchantee watch

“Upon a moon-kissed flowerbed, the fairy momentarily rests her graceful silhouette inside a cave of dazzling crystals. The rough sapphires with their pink and purple nuances, as if cut from the cave walls, impart a sense of shelter and serenity. Cradled by the moon and stars illuminating the sky thanks to the glimmering grisaille enamel technique, the white-gold fairy sparkles,” the brand lyrically describes the Lady Arpels Nuit Enchantée watch.

The finishing touch is a rock crystal set with rose gold hour markers and hands that tell the time.  It cannot be argued, the Lady Arpels Nuit Enchantée is a timepiece of exceptional beauty and grace.

In this timepiece, once again, façonné enamel gives depth to the tableau, while cleverly thought-out details like a sliver of a starry night sky, the pearlescent plique-à-jour enamel wings of the fairy or the especially cut sapphires that mimic the rugged interior of a cave, enchant and intrigue.

Watches and Wonders 2024

Debuting at Watches and Wonders 2024, these timepieces marry Van Cleef & Arpels’ métiers d’art with the Maison’s jewelry and watchmaking expertise to give full form to an enchanting universe.

You may also like