Van Cleef & Arpels captures the poetry of nature, timekeeping and luxury with their new collection Van Cleef & Arpels captures the poetry of nature, timekeeping and luxury with their new collection

Van Cleef & Arpels captures the poetry of nature, timekeeping and luxury with their new collection

Tom Austin
  • Van Cleef & Arpels showcases haute horology prowess with the intricately hand-crafted Poetic Complications collection.
  • Utilising age-old enamelling and miniature painting techniques, Van Cleef & Arpels has added three new models to its beautifully decorated and gem-set range.
  • Effortlessly combining fine jewellery and watchmaking, these new watches live up to the brand’s reputation of producing some of the most stunning watches in the world.

Van Cleef & Arpels is widely known for producing some of the most revered and sought-after jewellery (and jewellery watches) in the industry. As is often the case with beautiful wristwatches, what goes on inside the case can be overlooked, focusing just on appearances; however, with Van Cleef and Arpels, beauty is not just skin deep. Most of the brand’s creations employ theatrical, mechanical complications, animating the highly detailed enamel work and intricate decorations. It’s this that sets Van Cleef and Arpels apart, and the new pieces in their Poetic Complications collection are no different.

Lady Arpels Brise d’Été

Lady Arpels Brise D’Été case

Spring has certainly sprung with the Lady Arpels Brise d’Été, paying tribute to nature and designed to evoke the freshness of a summer morning. Usually, those kinds of sentences are marketing speak for something completely removed from reality, but with the Lady Arpels Brise d’Été, you can actually see it.

The watch is driven via an automatic movement featuring a bespoke module, which, on demand, turns the watch into a moving diorama. The flowers, resplendent with their champlevé enamel petals, appear to sway in the breeze while the multi-tasking butterflies sweep around the dial and indicate the time, too. All this is completed on a diamond-set mother-of-pearl dial, resulting in a stunningly beautiful and actually legible dial.

Lady Arpels Brise D’Été

Finished in 18k white gold, the case is exquisitely finished with diamonds throughout and is well-sized at 38mm, considering the extensive complications hidden within. The watch is finished with a green alligator leather strap that is interchangeable, which is interesting because the option to customise pieces like the Lady Arpels Brise d’Été is seldom seen.

Lady Arpels Jour Nuit

Aprels Lady Jour Nuit

There are many watches out there with a simple 24-hour function, but not many like the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit. Usually, these complications are present to serve a functional purpose, to help the wearer keep track of multiple time zones for example, however in this case, rather than a tool, it’s simply there to look gorgeous.

And what a job it does of that, too. Half of the dial is covered in a sculpted mother-of-pearl, while the other half displays a rotating aventurine glass disc, intricately decorated with diamonds and white gold for the moon and night sky and yellow gold with yellow sapphires for the daytime sky. This disc gently rotates every 24 hours in harmony with the passing of the day, slowly changing the watch’s appearance as the night rolls in.

Arpels Lady Jour Nuit dial

The self-winding movement is housed in a 38mm 18-carat white gold case, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, making the watch an obvious statement piece. The rear of the case is finished with a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, displaying the diamond-encrusted oscillating weight. If the blue alligator leather strap isn’t quite to your taste, you can opt for the optional 18-carat white gold bracelet, fully set with diamonds all over.

Lady Jour Nuit

Aprels Lady Jour Nuit case

Sometimes, your diamond-set, 18-carat gold luxury jewellery watch is too big, so Van Cleef & Arpels have offered the Lady Jour Nuit (a different watch to the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit – a little confusing!) in a minuscule 33mm size instead. It features all the aspects of the larger 38mm version, in a more feminine and elegant form.

The dial features the same stunning day/night aventurine glass disc design, lovingly decorated in gold with snow-set diamonds – however, the other half of the dial on the Lady Jour Nuit is finished in a blue mother-of-pearl, carefully carved with a guilloché finish.

Aprels Lady Jour Nuit Dial

Like the larger version, the watch is finished on either an interchangeable blue alligator leather strap or a fully diamond-set 18-carat white gold bracelet. It features a sapphire exhibition caseback to display the diamond-set miniature movement.

Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complications Collection pricing and availability

The Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complications Collection is available directly from Van Cleef & Arpels via boutiques or telephone order. Price: £85,500 ( Lady Jour Nuit, strap), £112,000 (Lady Arpels Jour Nuit, strap), £172,000 (Lady Jour Nuit, bracelet), £200,000 (Lady Arpels Jour Nuit, bracelet), POA (Lady Arpels Brise d’Été).

Brand Van Cleef & Arpels
Model Lady Arpels Brise d’Été
Lady Arpels Jour Nuit
Lady Jour Nuit
Case Dimensions 38mm (Lady Arpels)
33mm (Lady)
Case Material 18k white gold
Water Resistance N/A
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal front and back
Dial Mother-of-pearl, aventurine glass, enamel, diamonds, sapphires
Lug Width Integrated
Bracelet Alligator leather strap
18k white gold, diamond-set bracelet
Movement Automatic movement with modular complications, maker unknown
Power Reserve TBC
Functions Hours, minutes, animated complication
Availability Boutique exclusive
Price £85,500 ( Lady Jour Nuit, strap)
£112,000 (Lady Arpels Jour Nuit, strap)
£172,000 (Lady Jour Nuit, bracelet)
£200,000 (Lady Arpels Jour Nuit, bracelet)
POA (Lady Arpels Brise d’Été)