A visit to the newly-expanded Van Cleef & Arpels boutique at The Peninsula Hong Kong promises to leave you falling in love with the illustrious high-jewellery brand’s incredible collections. It was here that we met Nicolas Luchsinger, international director of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Heritage Collection.
After obtaining a graduate gemologist degree, Luchsinger spent 10 years working at auction house Christie’s in New York before joining the famed French label. With a background in art, jewellery and antiques, Luchsinger was the perfect man to take on Van Cleef & Arpels’ relatively unknown Heritage line, and we were lucky enough to hear a little about why it’s important and what you might want to invest in now.
Can you explain what Heritage pieces are?
We buy back pieces which were already sold once. Then we refurbish them in our workshop, we check them in our archives and we re-offer them to our clients.
What is the difference between the Heritage and Museum collection pieces?
Museum collection pieces are not for sale. They are pieces kept for the maison’s collections and we use them in our stores and for major exhibitions.
Is there a trend with Heritage pieces at the moment?
Yes. At Van Cleef & Arpels, the pieces from the ’70s are very much in fashion now and we sell them very well.
Is there anything, in particular, you look for when deciding to invest in a Heritage piece?
I buy what I can sell and what is sellable today. Animal brooches – we sell them very well. There are also a lot of important diamond brooches but you know, that’s something which is more difficult to wear today because it’s a bit formal, so that’s something, perhaps, that I will not buy because I doubt I will be able to sell it.
Why do you think customers are still so fascinated with the Zip necklace?
It’s a piece of history. There’s a history with this piece and the Duchess of Windsor and it’s transformable. It’s amazing. You have two pieces in one. It’s also a very recognisable piece. When you buy a Van Cleef & Arpels Zip, it’s reassuring and it’s something which is very comfortable to wear. All our Zips are unique so you have a unique piece of jewellery.