Watches And Wonders 2024: Van Cleef & Arpels Puts The Extra In Extradionary Objects Collection

THM Desk
9 Apr 2024 |
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Known for their combinations of materials, exquisite craftsmanship and dialogue between jewellery watchmaking and métiers d'art, Van Cleef & Arpels shines with its Extraordinary Objects Collection. The aesthetic design introduced in 2022 with the Rêveries de Berylline automaton, followed by Floraison du Nénuphar and Éveil du Cyclamen in 2023, comes out once again this year through new and enchanting spectacles. The Maison, at Watches And Wonders 2024 is unveiling two original automatons inspired by nature in motion and feminine figures. The Apparition des Baies and Bouton d’Or automatons pay tribute to the wonders of flora and fauna. They summon up a dreamlike universe, imparting a distinctive dimension into the Poetry of Time dear to Van Cleef & Arpels.

Van Cleef & Arpels Floraison du Nénuphar

Poetry In Motion
Measuring 30 centimeters in height, these table ornaments are created in partnership with François Junod, an automaton maker in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. On demand, they present the spectacle of an unfurling bouquet, revealing a bird or a ballerina-like fairy. Lapidaries, enamelers, engravers, and gem setters apply their ancestral expertise to beautify these timepieces. Finally, a crystalline melody was specially composed for each automaton. 

Van Cleef & Arpels Making

Folded onto themselves, the lacquered rose-gold leaves of the Apparition des Baies automaton form a luxuriant dome that conceals a secret. Like a delicate blooming, the gradual opening of the bouquet reveals a white-gold, diamond and sapphire bird spreading its wings with lifelike authenticity. After taking flight, the bird finds refuge within the object, and the leaves gently fold back. A new rotating system to open and close the bouquet was developed in-house at the Van Cleef & Arpels' Workshops and then placed upon a mechanism designed by François Junod. This structure is composed of 112 overlapping and intertwined leaves for a volume effect.

Van Cleef & Arpels Making of watch

Craftsmanship At Its Finest
The base of the automaton features two dalmatian jasper structures and a bowl made of thulite, a rare pink-hued mineral. These materials, carefully selected by the Maison’s gemologists, were meticulously cut and polished to bring out their full character. The white-gold butterfly with its engraved wings, tenderly perched upon a rose-gold branch, observes the passing hours indicated on the rotating ring, embellished with golden beads and hour markers in yellow gold and diamonds. Once the animation is set in motion, a dulcet melody rings out to accompany this poetic tableau.