Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Jeweller with a long history

Van Cleef & Arpels treats watch-making like gem carving; beauty gets top priority. Last year, the brand used special craftsmanship, such as enamel protraction and gem setting, on several tourbillon timepieces, infusing the traditional complicated function with a poetic element that impressed a lot of people.

Van Cleef & Arpels originated from a legendary marriage. In 1896, two jeweller families from Holland were united by the marriage of their children, Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. Ten years later, the two families co-founded Van Cleef & Arpels, the first jewellers to take up residence in the Place Vendome. Since then, the brand has opened boutiques all over the world.

As a jewellery brand that is favoured by royalty and celebrities, Van Cleef & Arpels uses its exclusive "Mystery Setting" in the development of its timepieces. This unique gem setting technique allows the gems to sit closely without visible metal claws, resulting in a perfect finish. Although the technique is time-consuming, the "Mystery Setting" has become the secret behind the brand's perfect performance.

In the professional watch-making area, Van Cleef & Arpels takes advantage of its natural gem-setting mastery, which when combined with the watch-making, results in jewellery that shows time.

With its Tourbillon collection, Van Cleef & Arpels pays tribute to the most prestigious of watchmaking complications by combining it with dials that are unique in terms of quality of materials and complexity of the techniques used by the master dial makers. The whole collection emphasizes the design of dial through different elements. The most eye-catching are Midnight Hanging Garden and Midnight Caresse d'Eole.

Midnight Hanging Garden is inspired by a 1925 minaudire (small vanity case). The antique Garden of Babylon are illustrated on the dial by a millefiori floral design, enhanced by exceptional multi-coloured enamel and diamond set floral motif. In the Midnight Caresse d'Eole, a Caresse d'Eole fairy is adorned in diamonds and unfolds her wings to accompany the tourbillon movement amidst deep and translucent colours.

The two watches have a platinum case with the 42mm dial meter, and tourbillon movement developed on the base of a Piaget movement.

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