THE DREAM MAKER

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Reviews -

The Po­etic Com­pli­ca­tions line by Van Cleef & Arpels weaves tales of fan­tasy with time­pieces that spell ro­mance, whimsy and drama. Here, the move­ment is engi­neered to ser­vice the de­sign, and the mai­son works with spe­cial­ists to con­struct com­pli­ca­tions that cor­re­spond with the story Van Cleef wishes to tell. Take, for ex­am­ple, the 2010 Pont des Amoureux where two lovers count down the hours and min­utes to meet at 12. It is a highly com­plex ret­ro­grade move­ment that is masked by the fan­ci­ful love story. Not enough credit is given to these highly in­tel­li­gent move­ments; we high­light the ones that caught our fancy this year.

1. LADY ARPELS RONDE DES PAPILLONS

The mai­son’s dal­liance with na­ture is cel­e­brated in this Lady Arpels Ronde des Papillons time­piece, where three but­ter­flies flit amidst the clouds in a dream­like per­for­mance. As they gam­bol in and out of the clouds, their wings point at the min­utes counter, re­veal­ing the time. It is a com­plex bal­let, as each but­ter­fly takes turns in count­ing down the min­utes. A swal­low glides slowly nearby, telling the hours with its wings us­ing a ret­ro­grade dis­play. The time­piece dis­plays the mai­son’s de­sign prow­ess, and fea­tures mother-of-pearl clouds, while the winged crea­tures are de­picted in en­graved gold and minia­ture paint­ing.

2. LADY JOUR DES FLEURS

Not just a pretty, be­jew­elled face, the Lady Jour des Fleurs show­cases hid­den depth with an in­ner disk that ro­tates to re­flect the chang­ing sea­sons. Be­neath an up­per disk fes­tooned with di­a­monds is a stun­ning cor­nu­copia of coloured gem­stones to rep­re­sent the hues of the sea­sons, in­clud­ing green tsa­vorites, or­ange spes­sar­tites, yel­low and pink sap­phires, and red spinels. It comes with a wine­coloured al­li­ga­tor strap, as well as a lav­ish, fully be­jew­elled bracelet (seen here).

3. MID­NIGHT NUIT LUMINEUSE

The starry skies hold much fas­ci­na­tion for Van Cleef & Arpels, and the mai­son de­picts the con­stel­la­tions upon the aven­turine dial of the Mid­night Nuit Lumineuse. The Uni­corn con­stel­la­tion comes to life as the stars an­chor­ing the de­lin­eation light up at the press of a clicker. It’s not magic, nor is it elec­tron­i­cally pow­ered: Van Cleef & Arpels has utilised a strip of ce­ramic that pro­duces me­chan­i­cal en­ergy that power six elec­tro­lu­mi­nes­cent diodes. The an­i­ma­tion lasts for four sec­onds.

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