The key, legendary watches of Van Cleef & Arpels

Devoted to the particular month of ardour and devotion, we revisit Legendary {Couples}, Van Cleef & Arpels’ romantic assortment of excessive jewelry secret watches impressed by legendary love tales.

You may say that Van Cleef & Arpels was constructed on love. Following the 1895 marriage of Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a valuable gems vendor, and Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a Dutch diamond-cutter and dealer, the maison was based in Paris’ Place Vendôme in 1906.

As if an indication of future, even the home’s first creation recorded in its gross sales ebook in 1906 was a diamond coronary heart. Over the a long time, many Van Cleef & Arpels items can be linked to the world’s most well-known {couples}. One such piece was an astounding ruby and diamond necklace commissioned by the

Duke of Windsor (then King Edward VIII) for Wallis Simpson earlier than his abdication.

Subsequent is a pearl and diamond marriage ceremony jewelry suite – comprising a pair of earrings, necklace and ring – ordered by Prince Rainier of Monaco for Grace Kelly. It’s stated that the prince had taken the actress to the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in New York and met with Louis Arpels, who satisfied him that pearls have been befitting of his fiancée’s magnificence. One other piece is the 1971 Barquerolles necklace, which was a present from Richard Burton to his spouse Elizabeth Taylor.

By way of the usage of age-old inventive crafts, the maison has frequently created phenomenal girls’s timepieces impressed by the theme of affection. A main instance is the Legendary {Couples} assortment of eight excessive jewelry watches, which tells the tales of seven legendary {couples} from literature, mythology and opera.

Their romance and keenness are dropped at life in creations that mix the experience of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Mains d’Or with probably the most distinctive gems to conjure a full vary of feelings within the beholder. Right here, we revisit 5 of the gathering’s most romantic items.

Aida & Radames

Two valuable timepieces inform the story of Radames, a younger Egyptian commander who falls below the spell of Ethiopian princess Aida. Every watch flaunts slender curves in mirror-polished gold evoking the imposing dunes alongside the Nile. The river is represented by the shades of blue sapphires that move gracefully across the wrist in skinny bands. On the centre is a lotus of colored gems, laborious stones and diamonds topped with a Madagascan sapphire – a surprising blue specimen of 5.59 carats, as seen on the alternative web page; and a pink magnificence weighing 5.93 carats that symbolises the lovers’ hearts beating in unison. The home’s excessive jewelry experience is accentuated by its watchmaking savoir faire to disclose a sliding dial beneath the central motif adorned with nice stone marquetry. This white and rose mannequin options one with a repeated sample of fish in lapis lazuli and white mother-of-pearl.

Philemon & Baucis

The story of Philemon and Baucis hails from Greek mythology. As a reward for his or her generosity and kindness, the gods granted their want to by no means be separated. Upon their deaths, they remodeled right into a pair of intertwined timber – one oak and one linden. Diamond-set motifs of every leaf on both facet of the bracelet inform this tender story. Flaunting a pear-shaped Zambian emerald every are two rings, which help a dome of Conventional Thriller Set emeralds. This dome raises to disclose a dial paved with diamonds. Ribbons of baguette sapphires wrap themselves across the white, yellow and rose gold timepiece like ties.

Amytis & Nabuchodonosor

An ode to the mythic Hanging Gardens of Babylon, this timepiece evokes colonnades, swimming pools of clear water and luxuriant gardens. Legend has it that this token of affection – thought of one of many seven wonders of the traditional world – was a gift from King Nebuchadnezzar to his spouse, Queen Amytis. Surrounded by buff-topped emeralds, turquoise domes are organized in a row on a construction comprising columns of rose gold, white gold and baguette-cut diamonds. On the centre, baguette-cut diamonds encompass a 6.75-carat sugarloaf-cut Burmese sapphire that reveals a diamond-paved dial when raised.

Ulysses & Penelope

Within the Greek poem Odyssey, Penelope weaves a tapestry by day and undoes it at evening as she awaits the return of her husband Ulysses. This story is evoked by nice bands of diamonds and sapphires furling round this white gold secret watch. The inspiration can be depicted on the clasp, with its tightly woven baguette-cut sapphires. A dial is hid below the loosely wrapped diamond threads, surrounded by a spiral of sapphires. Its form brings to thoughts the waves of the Aegean Sea, which Ulysses crosses on his voyage.

Aphrodite & Adonis

This piece is impressed by the story of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of affection, and her good-looking lover Adonis. At some point, the younger man is tragically gored by a wild boar whereas looking and dies in Aphrodite’s arms. Her tears fall into Adonis’ blood and bloom into an anemone. The couple’s robust bond is represented by interlaced diamond-set motifs on the white, yellow and rose gold bracelet. A gradation of blue sapphires symbolise Aphrodite’s tears, and seem like blooming right into a flower of pink and mauve sapphires. The interaction of colors and three-dimensional quantity mix in a practical depiction of unfurling petals, one in every of which opens to disclose a dial in white and gray mother-of-pearl marquetry.

This story first appeared within the Feb 2023 difficulty of Status Singapore.