Here’s the thing about Van Cleef & Arpels — regardless of whether or not you actually want to wear their watches, they will always manage to blow you away.
Known for some of the most fascinating, out-of-the-box, and aesthetically intricate timepieces out there, their timepieces are characterised by an unabashed femininity. While the dreamy motifs — think faeries, flowers, and glittering gems — and straight-up extravagance may not be for everyone, there is something so magical about what Van Cleef & Arpels represents that any true watch enthusiast can’t help but love. Which is why we couldn’t help but get excited when they unveiled the Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux — a reiteration of Van Cleef’s original Pont des Amoureux, a popular collection in their fascinating range of Poetic Complications. Created with painstaking attention to detail and a blasé view of trends, these new offerings are elegant, eye-catching, and so, so beautiful. From the different dials, to the complications that lie in store, here’s what we love most about this new line of watches.
The Story, told Through Six Enamel Dial Scenes.
Like the first model, the Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux is all about celebrating love. The story begins as night falls on the rooftops of Paris. Two lovers — the male hour-hand, and the female minute-hand — can’t stop thinking of each other as time passes. Wishing to meet, they rush through the city, and meet with a kiss when the watch strikes midnight. The next day, as Paris begins to awake, the pair find themselves missing each other once more, and rendezvous to kiss at midday against the backdrop of a Parisian bridge.
Expanding on the romantic tale, the Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux comes in six different variations. In the white-gold model, the lovers kiss under a moonlit night, while the rose gold version sees the pair kiss during Paris in the daytime. There are also versions for all four seasons — spring and fall in rose gold, while summer and winter come in white gold, bringing the poetic love story to life.
The Exquisite Craftsmanship
With a team of enamelers in their manufacture dedicated to creating true masterpieces, it’s really no surprise to see that Van Cleef & Arpels doesn’t skimp on any aspect of this new line of watches. Having taken four years to fully develop, each individual dial takes up to 40 hours to create, the final result taking you through different, scrupulously recreated scenes from various locations in Paris. To bring these scenes to life, Van Cleef & Arpels has used what they call the grisaille enamel technique. The original watch sees it in its traditional version, while in the daytime version, coloured grisaille enamel is used — a first for the maison.
They even created a whole new movement, based on the Valfleurier Q020, for the ladies watch. What we love most, however, are the details — like how the lovers clothes change with the seasons, and how when you flip the watch over, you can see a faint silhouette of the pair meeting for a kiss. There is also the option of gem-studded bracelets, for those who want to go that extra mile in standing out. These have been created with 877 parts, and 734 stones.
The Kiss-on-Demand Function
In the Pont des Amoureux, the hour and minute hand have to meet — either at noon, or midnight — in order for our pair to lean in and kiss. In this new ladies version, however, the watches come with an animation-on-demand module. At the simple push of a button, the couple come together and the decisive kiss can be recreated — meaning the poetic moment can be relived again and again, whenever you feel like it.
Overall, like all Van Cleef & Arpels timepieces, the Lady Pont des Amoureux is filled with fascinating complications and an approach to ladies watches that is completely unafraid. While it does cater to a very specific and niche target group, this is a collection of watches that anyone can appreciate and marvel at, and makes an ideal statement piece for those looking to get a complicated ladies timepiece with some pretty neat tricks in store.
To find out more, visit vancleefarpels.com.