Van Cleef & Arpels
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.