High Jewelry watches are works of art in their own right and a beguiling way to keep track of the time. Van Cleef & Arpels, renowned jewelers, are focusing all their efforts this year on realizing their concept of the Poetry of Time.
The mountings in the Cheval collection at Watches And Wonders 2023 are malleable and glittering, bringing out the best in diamonds and colored gems. The Ludo Secret watches are a nod to Maison’s love of mystery and are designed to feel like a pleasant surprise. Elegant and ingenious, these timepieces allow their wearer to tell the time in private by cleverly concealing the dial.
The Ludo Secret Collection
Two new additions to the High Jewelry watch collection, both named Ludo Secret, pay homage to the classic beauty of the Ludo bracelet, a brand icon for Van Cleef & Arpels. The style was developed in 1934 and given the moniker of one of Maison’s founders, Louis Arpels. Since their release, the Ludo pieces have seen widespread success thanks to their belt-like design, an essential item for any confident woman in the 1930s.
Van Cleef & Arpels has introduced a new watch size and two new material configurations to highlight this legendary collection. In the finest High Jewelry tradition, pink sapphires and diamonds are expertly set in rose gold.
The gemologists at the Maison pooled their knowledge to put together these sets, which feature diamonds of comparable brilliance paired with pink sapphires of complementary intensity. The brick-patterned, flexible meshwork of the watch bands is reminiscent of a belt, just as in the original design. The mesh links are meticulously assembled by hand, one at a time, like a finely woven fabric, to provide the highest possible degree of articulation and flexibility.
Like the secret watches beloved by Van Cleef & Arpels, the dial of these new timepieces is concealed until the wearer presses the two diamond or pink sapphire motifs at once.
The Maison is also presenting a one-of-a-kind new creation that was inspired by the Ludo Hexagone Macaron covert watch from 1941. The dial is concealed by a motif set with Mystery Set emeralds, which is both visually striking and technically challenging. Due to their fragility, emeralds necessitate extra care when being cut and set into a motif. This piece is gently rounded, and it works well with the diamond-studded curves of the two concentric arcs that act as the case’s borders. The bracelet features emeralds set in star settings amongst a meshwork of yellow-gold hexagons.
The Mystery Set is a hallmark of Maison’s repertoire, and it is illuminated by the Ludo Secret watch. This method, which calls for an extraordinary amount of skill and attention to detail, entails using golden rails to support precious gems that have been color-matched and expertly cut. The stones cover the setting completely once they are set, giving it a velvety sheen. Due to the high level of technical expertise needed to execute the Mystery Set, the secret is only known to a select group of lapidaries and master jewelers.
À Cheval High Jewellery Collection
In the latest works of the À Cheval High Jewellery Collection, precious stones are displayed in all their glory. The collection introduces two new watches, each featuring the brand’s signature look in a different colorway. The blue sapphires on the first piece are graduated along the bracelet and sit atop a diamond-paved dial. The second one features pink sapphires in a range of tones, from soft to vibrant.
In keeping with the ethos of the Cheval High Jewelry collection, platinum plays coy to draw attention to the gemstones, which are seemingly held in place by some sort of enchantment. The gems are set in staggered rows to achieve this opulent arrangement, which gives rise to plays of volume and sparkle.
Van Cleef & Arpels has been famous for their impeccable taste in gemstones ever since the brand was established. Diamonds must be graded D to F for color and IF to VVS for clarity to meet these standards, which combine to give the jewelry a rare intensity. Each bracelet features a custom gradient of gemstone colors and sizes hand-picked by Maison’s gemologists, who have an eye and a taste all their own. They pay such meticulous attention to detail that the resulting ensembles are alive with harmony.