Secret watches – a much-loved tradition at Van Cleef & Arpels – here encounter the world of couture that the Maison has interpreted since the 1920s. Two new, highly flexible creations reinterpret the fluidity of a ribbon, gracefully circling the wrist. Crowned with a glittering bow – which opens to show the dial – they hide or reveal the time in keeping with their wearer’s mood.
While one, in white gold, is adorned with round diamonds from its dial to the bracelet, the other – in pink gold – is embellished with a harmonious gradation of pink sapphires and diamonds.
The Maison’s jewelry savoir-faire can also be seen in the bracelet’s articulation, which maintains the continuity between the links when worn on the wrist. A high standard of comfort is thus combined with aesthetic appeal, creating dazzling plays of light.
Van Cleef & Arpels is one of my favourite “oh god that’s costly” luxury brands. Underneath the Richemont Group, the Paris-based manufacturer of luxury, emotion-based beauties produces gorgeous items for mostly women. These creations are usually extremely good at causing a sharp awareness of melancholy in the gift-giving center of the male brain. In fact, Van Cleef & Arpels once shared with me that through an internal study of its current clients, an interesting bit of feedback was that their merchandise had the ability of humbling even quite powerful people.While Van Cleef & Arpels is largely focused on products for ladies, they do possess some men’s watches. They’ve really had more in the past, but as of a few years ago they did indicate to me that more men’s watches are part of their future. As promised, Van Cleef & Arpels relaunched the Pierre Arpels series last year (hands-on here), and this season they have added to the collection with a fascinating new bracelet.While there’s a 38mm wide size version of the new Pierre Arpels watch, our focus here is entirely on the 42mm wide size model that we feel is really the men’s version. You will also notice from our hands on article last year about the Pierre Arpels watch (linked to above) which it is possible to get these watches with a bezel lined with diamonds. While many guys in the USA and Europe are not too interested in diamonds on their watch, many guys in Asia and the Middle East feel quite the contrary. While I would hardly want diamonds on a piece I wore daily, I can see the charm in dressing up a luxury watch with further precious elements. Though I will admit that liner a watch bezel with round-cut diamonds is a specially feminine thing to do.