Van Cleef & Ar­pels

Revolution (Hong Kong) - - SIHH 2017 - TEXT BY MELISSA LIM

We dive into the ro­man­ti­cism of flow­ers and en­chant­ing but­ter­flies with the Lady Ar­pels Papil­lon Au­to­mate. As the name sug­gests, this piece is fit­ted with an au­tom­a­ton that pow­ers the but­ter­fly’s wings to flut­ter (two to five times in a row) to match the move­ment of the wearer; that is, the more ac­tive the wearer is, the more times the wings will flut­ter. This ac­tion can also be ini­ti­ated on de­mand via a push but­ton that flut­ters the wings five times. The flo­ral mo­tifs are brought to life by pavé diamond, enamel and mother-of-pearl, while the but­ter­fly’s wings are a com­bi­na­tion of two shades of plique-à-jour enamel; the sym­bio­sis of the two cre­ates a spec­tac­u­lar 3D ef­fect. As with many of Van Cleef & Ar­pels’ ro­man­tic time­pieces, time­keep­ing takes a back seat, in this case, hours and min­utes are but fleet­ing in the back­drop, along with a sil­ver moon, to­wards the right side of the dial. The hours of work put into this piece are ev­i­dent in the multi-lay­ered dial and range of tech­niques.

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