The Poetry of Time
Ever faithful to a poetic view of life, Van Cleef & Arpels has introduced a distinctive dimension to the field of watchmaking: that of dreams and emotion. The wonders of the watchmaker’s craft – accomplished in the workshops of Switzerland – are used to bring a story to life on the dial. To express these values and the themes that are so unique to Van Cleef & Arpels, the Maison has employed master watchmakers and traditional craft skills. Lapidaries, enamelers, engravers and stone-setters have used their ancestral savoir-faire to embellish complication watches and exceptional dials. Van Cleef & Arpels draws from its enchanted world to depict a moment of grace, luck or beauty with each creation, offering a dreamlike perspective on the passage of time.
To celebrate its centenary in 2006, Van Cleef & Arpels imagined a watch in which the hours would slip by in step with the seasons. The Poetic Complications collection – a new way of viewing time – was born. Each new model combines creative inventiveness with a sense of wonder. Retrograde, 24-hour, Quantième de saison, 5-minute Repeater or Planétarium movements enable time to be measured by a stroll through Paris, a starry night sky, the path of planets, a flutter of butterflies or a lovers’ meeting. Beyond their technical prowess, these intricate mechanisms offer precious moments of emotion, marked by the imagination of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Lady Arpels™ Papillon Automate watch
40mm white gold case, diamonds in serti-neige style setting, diamond-set bezel, diamond-set crown.
Dial: round and pear-shaped diamonds, blue, mauve and violet sapphires, mother-of-pearl, champlevé, paillonné, plique-à-jour and curved plique-à-jour enamel, miniature painting.
Case back: natural scene in bas-relief, sapphire glass and visible decorated weight.
Self-winding mechanical movement with a random automaton and on demand animation module, developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels.
Blue alligator bracelet, white gold pin buckle set with diamonds.
As the hours and minutes flow discretely by on the right, the butterfly beats its wings randomly – one to four times in a row, depending on the power reserve.
The frequency of the movements is also irregular, since they take place every two to four minutes when the watch is not being worn and more often when it is on the wrist. The butterfly’s liveliness echoes that of its wearer, with alternating periods of calm and activity. The spectacle on the dial can also be triggered at the push of a button: the butterfly then beats its wings on demand.