SIHH 2013 PuristSPro Report: Van Cleef & Arpels

Feb 05, 2013,20:23 PM

SIHH 2013 PuristSPro Report: Van Cleef & Arpels (M. Teillol-Foo, Fr-X Overstake & PuristSPro Team)

Last Year's (2012) Star of the Show: Poetic Wishes (His & Her)

Lady Arpels Poetic Wish 39 mm Automaton 5-minute Repeater

Midnight Poetic Wish 43 mm Automaton 5-minute Repeater

2013 Brand Themes: A World of Movement, Lightness and Grace

Van Cleef & Arpels maintains a simple philosophy - do what they do best in three collections and usually in 22-piece limited editions:

Poetic Complication
Charms Extraordinaires
Extraordinary Dials

2013 Star of the Show. Poetic Complication -- Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée

Six years after launching the Poetic Complication Féérie watch, Van Cleef & Arpels reprises their obsession with the female form in 2013 with the Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée watch. Half-dancer, half-butterfly, she continues the tradition of ballerinas and fairies that are staple motifs 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…” -- Anna Pavlova

In the 1940s, Van Cleef & Arpels developed a reputation for ballerina clips, that were avidly collected. Louis Arpels (one of Estelle Arpels’ brothers) – who resided in New York then – was a passionate admirer of dance. he shared this passion with his nephew Claude.

The Maison created a troupe of ballerinas inspired by legendary personalities such as La Camargo (18th century dancer), or the Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova. Their poses were captured and adorned with costumes and headdresses of precious stones, while single rose-cut diamonds represent their faces.

The association between Van Cleef & Arpels and Dance continued through a relationship between Claude Arpels and the famous choreographer George Balanchine. Their shared love for gems evolved into a collaboration that resulted in a new Balanchine ballet entitled Jewels. Inspired by emeralds, rubies and diamonds, it was first performed in New York in April 1967.

The fairies and ballerinas created since the 1940s have now been joined by enchanting nymphs, nereids and lady butterflies, like the Notte Azzurra clip from the collection Bals de Légende (2011).

With this double retrograde movement with time on demand, the Maison recants its poetic vision of time. The retrograde display hands – instead of turning about an axis – trace an arc before returning to their initial position to begin another cycle.

The added complication is when the user presses a button at the 8 o’clock position, the ballerina’s tutu comes to life. The veil indicating the hours rises first, followed by the second veil which positions itself against the minute scale.

The tutu veils remain in place, enabling the time to be read, then return simultaneously to their initial positions. One of the feats of this complication lies in its fluid movement: the ballerina appears to move her wings with grace and poise.

Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée timepiece was inspired by the mechanism of a piece from Van Cleef & Arpels watchmaking heritage: the Magicien Chinois pocket watch from 1927. At the push of a button, the Chinese figure indicates the hours and minutes by raising its arms. The retrograde display has today become emblematic of the Van Cleef & Arpels’ Poetic Complications collection.

Chinese Magician pocket watch, 1927

Other Novelties 2013:

Charms Extraordinaires
Four auspicious symbols – the lily-of-the-valley, the lotus flower, the dandelion and the swallow – are depicted.

Charms Extraordinaire Muguet

Charms Extraordinaire Féérie Dandelion

Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles

Charms Extraordinaire Lotus

Papillon Extraordinary Dials

Lady Arpels Papillon Bleu Nuit

Lady Arpels Papillon Orange Solaire

Lady Arpels Papillon Rouge Gourmand

Lady Arpels Papillon Extraordinaire

Lady Arpels Papillon Noir Argent

Cerfs-Volants Extraordinary Dials
New interpretation of the butterfly in the shape of the kite motif. A symbol of protection, slicing through the air with the same graceful flutter, it complements the Maison’s other faithful renditions of movement. These new dials are embellished by a festive ballet of kites, their bright colors evoking so many joyful moods.

Lady Arpels Cerf-Volant Carmin

Lady Arpels Cerf-Volant Indigo

Lady Arpels Cerf-Volant Fuchsia

Lady Arpels Cerf-Volant Cyan


SIHH 2013 PuristSPro Report

A. Lange & Söhne -

Audemars Piguet -

Baume & Mercier -

Cartier -

Greubel Forsey -


Jaeger-LeCoultre -

Montblanc -

Panerai -

Parmigiani -

Piaget -

Ralph Lauren -

Richard Mille -

Roger Dubuis -

Vacheron Constantin -

Van Cleef & Arpels -





This message has been edited by AnthonyTsai on 2013-02-06 08:27:29 This message has been edited by AndrewD on 2013-02-10 11:03:11

More posts: Greubel ForseyLotusRalph Lauren

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Still poetic ...

 By: AndrewD : February 6th, 2013-02:00
Lovely presentation guys. When I look for ladies watches I think Breguet with the Queen of Naples collection and Girard Perregaux with the Cats Eye collection (all the way up to the tourbillon) but these watches, while perhaps being on the more dressy and... 

Enchanting collection!

 By: heartbreaker : February 7th, 2013-13:58
If I was a watch dealer, VC&A would certainly be one of my first choices. Indeed, I appreciate a lot their proposals, even if they're primarily addressed to women. In particular, I'd say that watching their timepieces turns makes me in a good mood, al... 


 By: sidneyc : February 9th, 2013-15:41
... Makes some of the most beautiful yet unique women's watches I believe. They're not just diamond encrusted versions of certain watches but designed from the ground up to add that extra bit of romance on the ladies wrists! Not many other houses have thi...