The artists and artisans at Van Cleef & Arpels use their combined skills to create works that evoke awe and wonder, whether they’re depicting a landscape, a character, or a scene. At Watches And Wonders 2023, colorful enamel and intricate miniature painting breathe new life into the Lady Féerie watch. Van Cleef & Arpels surrounds its watchmakers with expertise honed through generations of tradition, shared fervor, and extensive practice. These masters put the high-mindedness of their knowledge to work for the Maison’s Poetry of Time, turning difficulties into breakthroughs.
Van Cleef & Arpels has been paying homage to the allure of fairies through magically enchanting designs since the 1940s. The Maison is now selling an updated Lady Féerie watch in a range of pink tones. Adding to the Féerie line, this Poetic Complications timepiece features a 33mm case of delicate proportions and combines watchmaking expertise with traditional crafts. In the gentle light of twilight, a fairy uses its magic wand to mark the passing of the hours.
She sits on a cloud of white mother-of-pearl and sparkles like a guardian muse in a dress of diamonds, pink sapphires, and a miniature painting on gold. Translucent pink plique-à-jour enamel and opaque pink enamel were used to create the powdery gradient that covers her wings. These methods, all used in the same Maison design, produce a play of light and transparency in the wings, which are framed with diamonds that were set minutely after the enameling was completed.
In a mother-of-pearl window, the setting sun welcomes the passing of the hours while a female figure with a diamond face points out the minutes with a magic wand. The watch’s underside reveals an engraved night sky with a full moon and stars on the watch’s oscillating weight. The enameled outlines of the clouds on the sapphire glass give the design a subtle shimmer.
Watchmaking, jewelry making, and other uncommon crafts give life to this lyrical setting. The Lady Féerie Or Rose has retrograde minutes and jumping hours in addition to a self-winding movement. This sophisticated movement in a 33mm Lady case required extremely precise design and assembly. The latter can hold a three-dimensional fairy thanks to a curved sapphire glass that serves as a pedestal.
In addition to maximizing light entry, it also helps to smooth out the watch’s profile. The dial displays the expertise of the Geneva-based Van Cleef & Arpels Watchmaking Workshops. The evening sky is painted with no less than four colors on an engraved mother-of-pearl background, ranging from pearly white to deep plum, with delicate gold and an intense fuchsia. To get this gentle gradient, Maison’s artisans tried and failed more than ten times. The plique-à-jour enamel used to decorate the fairy’s wings is a one-of-a-kind pink created by the Van Cleef & Arpels enamel workshop to complement the watch’s face. These exquisite pieces are a testament to Van Cleef & Arpels’ boundless imagination and collective brilliance.