Home » A Brief Tour of Van Cleef and Arpels Modern History in Five Watches

A Brief Tour of Van Cleef and Arpels Modern History in Five Watches

Photo: The Hour Markers


Van Cleef & Arpels is known for the exquisitely designed and imaginative jewelry, which features exquisite flowers, whimsical animals, and swaying ballerinas. Estelle Arpels, a valuable stone owner’s daughter, and Alfred Van Cleef, a gem cutter’s son, fell in love and married, giving birth to Van Cleef & Arpels. The pair wed in 1895, and their love of beautiful stones and innovative spirit inspired them to establish the Van Cleef jewelry company.

Alfred and Charles, Estelle’s brothers, created The Maison in 1906. Afterward, Estelle’s other siblings joined. The two launched a store in Paris’ Place Vendome just opposite the Ritz Hotel. Most European aristocracies were drawn to this area and captivated by Van Cleef & Arpels’ masterpieces. This helped to popularize Maison’s classic designs throughout the world. Diamonds, sapphires, as well as carnelian, are just a few of the many valuable gemstones Van Cleef & Arpels has consistently used in their creations.


Photo: Ablogtowatch


Royalty, famous people, and the extravagantly affluent have all previously commissioned gorgeous jewels from Van Cleef & Arpels. On the other hand, Van Cleef & Arpels currently runs manufacturing workshops in Switzerland under the administration of the Richemont Group and creates intricate or lavishly jeweled products.

Here’s a brief tour of the Van Cleef & Arpel’s modern history watch collections:

  1. Poetic Complications

Poetic Complications timepieces offer a distinctive perspective on time wherein skill and technological prowess works together to bring tales to life. Their sophisticated Swiss-made mechanics provide priceless emotional experiences distinguished by Van Cleef & Arpels’ unique inventiveness.

The timepieces in the Poetic Complications collection are very different from the conventional complexities that add numerous horological as well as technical features to watches. They frequently only have a dated hours and minutes indicator, but they’re animated or decorated with cutesy things. Moreover, these Van Cleef & Arpels designs convey a history far more responsive to sensations than centered on the exact measure of time since that is their purpose. The complexity’s technical skill is carefully concealed and completely devoted to beauty and poetry.


Photo: Revolution watch


The poetry inherently results from the animated display of the moving hours as well as the charm of the dials. Both elevate the figurines and the objects in their surroundings through artistic craftsmanship, a field in which the redoubtable Maison on the Place Vendôme instills a wealth of experience.

  1. Alhambra Collection 

The 1968-born Alhambra pattern by Van Cleef & Arpels has developed into a classic representation of good fortune. This timepiece line pays tribute to it with a variety of priceless materials, hues, and dimensions that perfectly complement Alhambra jewelry designs.

The Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra series has grown over time to include themes of all sizes, including the dainty Sweet Alhambra. The casing of the new designs is trimmed with a dual braided shape and studded with diamonds on its edge, mirroring the line’s style.


Photo: Robb Report


The dials are made from priceless and unique materials: lapis lazuli and turquoise. In addition, a ring of diamonds encircles the dial within the bezel, enhancing the contrast between the yellow gold with ornamental gems. They also serve as a sparkling compliment to the aesthetic stones’ elegance.

  1. Charms Collection 

When Van Cleef & Arpels unveiled Charms, a women’s watch series that personifies Maison’s philosophy of fortune and luck, it gave fresh life to its iconic charm bracelet. These exquisite watches exhibit the flair, savoir-faire, and manufacturing prowess of Van Cleef & Arpels whilst capturing those priceless and fortunate occasions in our lives.

The Charms watches have a delicately curved casing with an elegant guilloché pattern dial. They also have Van Cleef & Arpels’ emblem subtly inscribed on the side, making them the ideal accessories for any event. A band of refined gold is commonly used to divide 2 lines of diamonds on the bezel, while some models sparkle with up to three columns of diamonds.

Photo: The Jewellery Edition


Like many Van Cleef & Arpels pieces, the Charms collection watches are exquisite once worn on the wrist. The distinctive hanging diamond charm is far more than simply a design element; it may rotate independently over the dial or remain in place to symbolize a fortunate period or treasured occasion. It also has a random pattern fastened to the edge of the casing with a ring.

  1. Cadenas Collection

The renowned Cadenas women’s collection is once again offered by Van Cleef & Arpels. In 1935, a watch was first released. The latest Cadenas Collection features a bigger casing and a more contemporary appearance. The French term for “lock,” Cadenas is a Van Cleef & Arpels trademark design that carries a profound symbolic connotation. The lock represents a joining of two parties or people. The Duchess of Windsor, who also ordered the renowned Cartier Panther bracelet, is credited with coming up with the idea for the padlock, according to Van Cleef Arpels.

The line’s innovative design includes an angled dial that allows it to view the time covertly. On the other hand, the casing’s straight lines and the clasp’s contours match beautifully together.


Photo: MasterHorologer

The padlock timepiece casing was fastened to a stylish snake chain band by Van Cleef & Arpels. The locking base and the fastening attachment were used by the Maison extraordinary to cover the piece and its displaying indications efficiently.

  1. Pierre Arpels

The timepieces that carry Pierre Arpels’ title embody Van Cleef & Arpels’ idea of masculine beauty and are based on the original design from 1949. They stand out for having a thin casing supported by two core attachments while combining refinement and restraint.


Photo: Quill & Pad


The Pierre Arpels variants’ lugs distinguish this line from the rest and give them its distinctive and opulent appearance. The strap is fastened to a bar affixed to the center of the casing, which is very unusual. Nevertheless, Louis Cartier invented and received a patent for this method of fastening the strap onto the casing back in 1934.



The most well-known creations by Van Cleef & Arpels are their lavish jewelry and timepieces, which reflect a particular Parisian aesthetic. Although the luxurious house was established at the beginning of the 20th century, it has also become an expert in a sector that gets much less attention: making quirky, enigmatic items infused with awe and enchantment.

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