The Poetry of Time™ Exhibition by Van Cleef & Arpels

A poetic universe where extraordinary stories are told on dreamlike dials

Set in a dreamlike décor, the Poetry of Time Exhibition depicted The Maison’s dreamlike vision of the passage of time. Through a romantic garden gate, the guests entered the enchanting universe of Van Cleef & Arpels to discover more than 60 timepieces portraying extraordinary stories told on dreamlike dials.
These exceptional pieces displayed all the watchmaking savoir-faire associated with Van Cleef & Arpels, from the Poetic Complications™ collection that combine technical and aesthetic prowess to the craft skills which transform each timepiece into a captivating spectacle.

image002On this occasion, the Maison shed light on craftsmanship, giving timepieces lovers and connoisseurs the opportunity to attend live demonstrations on enamel, one of the many crafts used to embellish the watchmaker’s art. An enameler from Van Cleef & Arpels was present to explain how the various techniques ensure that each creation is a unique piece. Workshops on plique-à-jour, grisaille, cabochonné and paillonné métiers d’art were dedicated to share with art aficionados the savoir-faire seen on dials unveiled at the exhibition.
From the Extraordinary Dials™ collection, the Lady Arpels Papillon Extraordinaires features the plique-à-jour enamel applied to highlight the harmonious hues and airiness of the butterfly allowing light to pass through the enamel as if through stained glass, creating remarkable effects of transparency. The Lady Arpels Papillon Orange Solaire’s features the paillonné enamel, a technique that consists in inserting a thin leaf of metal between two layers of transparent enamel to achieve effects of brilliance and reflection.

image004Among the Poetic Complications collection, Van Cleef & Arpels employed the grisaille enamel technique on the Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux timepiece from 2010. It produces a spectacular and mysterious effect of depth, subtle contrasts and dramatic effects of light and shade. The Midnight Tourbillon Jardin Extrême Orient’s features the cabochonné technique that requires leaving the enamel unpolished to create a relief effect, adding volume to the dial.

At the center stage of the Poetry of Time Exhibition platform, Van Cleef & Arpels presented the Poetic Complication Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée timepiece. Half-dancer, half-butterfly, she perpetuates the tradition of ballerinas and fairies to which the Maison is so attached. While an inner corolla of champlevé enamel clothes the dancer, the outer veils – like a pair of openwork wings – come to life to display the time in a retrograde movement. This elegant tableau stands out against a guilloché background, whose radiating motif adds to the dial’s vitality. Several layers of translucent Grand Feu enamel are then applied to lend depth and brilliance to the ensemble.

image013The Maison also showcased some of its watchmaking icons such as the Alhambra Talisman fully paved timepiece, celebrating the heritage and good-luck Alhambra® motif of Van Cleef & Arpels, the feminine and playful Charms Cornaline watch adorned with an inseparable charm, and the elegant Pierre Arpels round timepiece with pure lines.

By bringing together Van Cleef & Arpels’ stylistic inventiveness, the expertise of master craftsmen and watchmakers, the Maison brings a new dimension to High Watchmaking. This is how the Poetry of Time came into being, a world made of dreams and enchantment, in which each timepiece, like a work of art, tells a tale.