Now Reading
Van Cleef & Arpels: Lady Arpels Collection Proves Brand’s Artisanal Strength

Van Cleef & Arpels: Lady Arpels Collection Proves Brand’s Artisanal Strength

11. June 2024

Earlier this year, Van Cleef & Arpels introduced several new timepieces that uphold the maison’s long-standing skills in the field of highly technical yet stunningly crafted jewellery watches. We decided to take a closer look at some of the brand’s imaginative new Lady Arpels models, including the Lady Arpels Casse-NoisetteLady Arpels Jour Enchanté, and the Lady Arpels Nuit Enchanté. Combining tradition and innovation, the timepieces’ extraordinary dials collectively showcase Van Cleef’s supreme level of craftsmanship, from the art of jewellery and enamelling to horological savoir-faire.

Lady Arpels Casse-Noisette: An ornate aesthetic masterpiece

The Lady Arpels Casse-Noisette draws inspiration from The Nutcracker, the celebrated ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa. Every bit a high jewellery piece, rose-cut diamonds constitute the ballerina and her prince’s faces. Numerous other precious stones make an appearance across the opulent dial, including coloured sapphires, blue tourmalines, onyx, sugilite, and lapis lazuli.

An array of artisan skills

Notably, no less than 70 different colours, finishes, and enamelling techniques are present on this one dial. One particular aesthetic to admire alongside the miniature painting are the candies in relief, which make use of Van Cleef & Arpels’ special sealed enamel process. This technique requires great expertise. It involves an extremely precise fusion process, starting with a cold oven and followed by a defined temperature curve for about twelve hours, with several tiered rises and falls.

Facts and figures

The sizeable 41 mm white-gold case of the Lady Arpels Casse-Noisette goes a step further with the addition of sumptuously round diamonds on the bezel. Meanwhile, on the caseback, Van Cleef & Arpels’ artisans carefully hand-engrave the white-gold case with a winter scene, conjuring up a frosty landscape of fir trees and snowflakes. Inside ticks the manual-winding movement Q474, with a 40 hour power reserve. As mentioned, the ornate timepiece is a limited edition of only three pieces.

Lady Arpels Nuit Enchanté: A dreamy feast for the eyes

By contrast, the Lady Arpels Nuit Enchantée watch by Van Cleef & Arpels captures a fairy in repose within a moonlit crystal cave. The fairy, sculpted from white gold, rests amidst a flowerbed of sapphires in pink and purple hues, evoking the cave walls. The watch sets the scene against a glimmering grisaille enamel sky, adorned with the moon and stars. Her wings, crafted in pearlescent glitter plique-à-jour enamel, symbolise the beauty and power of nature. On the lower part of the dial, yellow sapphire-set flowers appear in façonné enamel. The back of the case continues the ethereal narrative, depicting the serene fairy enchanted by the night sky through several intricate engraving and polishing techniques.

Carefully curated

Once again, this model epitomises Van Cleef & Arpels’ tradition of craftsmanship. Prior to assembly, the maison’s craftsmen carefully select and cut gemstones to meet the highest standards of shape and color, in order to preserve the natural ruggedness of the cave-inspired sapphires.

A special subdial

Artistry aside, the watch houses a manual-winding mechanical movement that offers only hour and minutes. The wearer can read the time via a rock crystal subdial with rose-gold hour markers at 3 o’clock. The timepiece comes on an interchangeable purple alligator leather strap.

Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté: Exquisite craftsmanship and design

This brings us to its daytime sibling, the Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté. This limited métiers d’art timepiece, restricted to just eight pieces, once again showcases the maison’s fervent dedication to artistry and precision.

Glowing suns and turquoise skies

The Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté watch features a 41 mm case made from rhodium-plated 18-carat white gold. Like its sibling, the matching white-gold bezel sparkles with round diamonds.

The dial is also a work of art. It is crafted from distinctive turquoise marquetry and decorated with an 18-carat yellow gold sun set with round diamonds in a lifted setting. Radiating from the centre, it has been carefully design to create added depth and brilliance. In addition, Van Cleef’s artisans accent the sun using round yellow sapphires, spessartite garnets, and round diamonds. Once again, this shining subdial at 3 o’clock also provides hours and minutes.

Enchanting details

A rhodium-plated 18-carat white gold fairy, adorned with a rose-cut diamond and plique-à-jour enamel wings, hovers above the scene. Van Cleef’s artisans craft the leaves, made from rhodium-plated 18-carat white gold, using expertly applied plique-à-jour enamel and setting techniques. Yellow sapphires and façonné enamel flowers further enhance this enchanting watch’s dial.

Each stone used in the watch is unique. Subtle variations in colour and features add to the exclusivity of each piece. The watch includes 308 diamonds totaling 5.69 carats, 94 sapphires totalling 1.0 carat, 56 spessartites totalling 0.32 carat, and 13 turquoise stones.

Technical excellence: The movement

Just like the Lady Arpels Casse-Noisette, this watch uses the mechanical manual-winding movement (Q474), offering a 38-hour power reserve. The timepiece is water-resistant up to 30 meters, ensuring both beauty as well as a good dose of functionality.

Finally, the watch comes with a shiny blue jean interchangeable alligator strap and a rhodium-plated 18-carat white-gold pin buckle set with round diamonds. A second complimentary interchangeable strap is also on offer upon making the purchase. Last but not least, these watches come in a handsome 150mm x 200mm x 118mm sycamore wooden cabinet. Prices are available upon request.