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The Poetry of Time
Van Cleef & Arpels have been long time favourites of Hot Brands, Cool Places, and The Poetry of Time is a celebration of all that we love about this iconic brand. The romance, the imagination and the exquisite designs of their jewellery and timepieces.
The Poetry of Time is an absolutely mesmerising book, beautifully photographed, breathtaking designs, it is something to treasure
for generations, and we are delighted to award it our Hot Brands, Cool Places Book of the Month.
‘Van Cleef & Arpels, like the alchemists of old instils a soul into its creations’
The Poetry of Time
Whether one sees it as an abstract concept or defines it as a strictly scientific principle, Time is part of life. Of all our lives.
We run after it, we try to hold on to it, to catch up with it or to run ahead of it... however hard we try, Time alone sets the pace.
For Van Cleef & Arpels, Time is synonymous with poetry.
Capturing its fleeting essence without ever restricting it, the Maison creates dreamlike timepieces with a bold creativity that never ceases to surprise.
Symbols of the alliance between the best of watchmaking and jewellery savoir?faire, they embody a heartbeat, a breath held back, an emotion, a memory or an instant of happiness, enriched with new and precious moments.
The history of Van Cleef & Arpels began in 1896, when Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a precious stone merchant, married Alfred Van Cleef, himself from a long line of craftsmen specialized in stone?cutting. Since the first boutique opened in 1906 at 22 place Vendôme in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels has ceaselessly developed its craftsmanship, creating refined jewellery collections that embody pure elegance, and which pay homage to both beauty and femininity. Designed as a voyage of discovery, this book includes the precious and expert craftsmanship behind some of the Maison’s iconic watches, the secret of Poetic Complications and the splendour of Extraordinary Dials. Since its creation, Van Cleef & Arpels has always played a vital part in the renewal and promotion of the artistic profession.
Technical mastery, a taste for innovation and bold creativity: all these talents are revealed in the Poetry of Time.
Since its foundation in 1906, the creative boldness and dynamic nature of Van Cleef & Arpels has led to the conception of incredible “gems that tell the time”. The timepieces of the 1920s were first worn on a chatelaine (ornamental chain), as a pendant or clipped onto an item of clothing at the waist, before being later transformed into wristwatches. Combining the infinitely precise with the infinitely precious in an inimitable style characterised by grace, simplicity and refinement, these watchmaking creations mark the history of Van Cleef & Arpels. The micro-watches accompanying the Minaudières (evening bags) of the 1930s, the astonishing Cadenas first conceived in 1935 and continually recreated, and the P.A. 49, created by Pierre Arpels for a few close friends before becoming a classic, all bear witness to this.
The Poetry of Time – Poetic Complications
Born of the imagination of Van Cleef & Arpels, Poetic Complications
unveil a new way to perceive Fine Watchmaking : the discreet precision of the complication movements is combined with the creative virtuosity of the Maison’s workshops. Van Cleef & Arpels thus bestows an intimate dimension to these precious timepieces, that of Time which moves to the pace of happiness and emotions.
Times change, yet the spirit of Van Cleef & Arpels remains intact. Inspired by beauty and dreams, it conjures up an intense vision of nature and a world filled with real and imaginary creatures. As well as indicating the hours and minutes, these precious watches offer an additional interpretation of the passage of time, which ticks to the rhythm of the seasons. This is specifically embodied in the Les Jardins quantième de saisons timepieces, which are inspired by the marvels of Nature and the varying ornamental styles of the French, Italian, English and Oriental gardens.
Promenades As the hours pass, the characters in the Une Journée à Paris watch glide around the Eiffel Tower and Place Vendôme while, under an Autumn sky in the most beautiful city in the world, surrounded by centuries of history, two lovers set off to meet each other. On a dial of contre-jour enamelling, Le Pont des Amoureux timepiece sets the scene for two lovers who mark the time as their romantic stroll brings them closer and closer, until they finally meet. Moving on a retrograde movement, each character advances towards the other until at midnight they come together at last, celebrating their eternal love.
‘We are here to facilitate the expression of love; it is never easy to say “I love you”. They wouldn’t make so many films on the subject if that were the case! A watch such as Midnight in Paris, with its beautiful shower of stars, is open to the universe, to mystery. The onlooker breathes more deeply when contemplating it, feeling connected to the cosmos. This watch says that things should not be done by halves, that it is necessary to savour every second of life.’ Stanislas de Quercize
Midnight in Paris model has been transformed into Midnight in Moscow and Midnight in Monte Carlo, with the skies adapted to the climatic geography of the cities. The Midnight in Dubai timepiece is a completely new complication that reproduces the stars in the Dubai night sky, while demonstrating the Maison’s extraordinary creativity and craftsmanship. It is equipped with a unique and extremely complex movement which links the notion of time to the Cosmos. Poetry is also expressed in the magic that permeates the Van Cleef & Arpels universe: the precious Féérie timepiece is a dazzling homage to this mysterious and fascinating other world.
Stop Press: Art Dubai – The Poetry of Time Exhibition
Van Cleef & Arpels has been invited to participate in Art Dubai, the renowned International Art Fair, from 17 to 20 March 2010. During the Fair Van Cleef & Arpels will mount an exclusive exhibition celebrating nearly one hundred years of watchmaking creation dedicated to the Poetry of Time.
Visit the dedicated website http://www.thepoetryoftime.com/. On the website you will also be able to see two exclusive interviews with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Dominique Baron.
*Includes extracts from an interview with Dominique Frétard
Van Cleef & Arpels The Poetry of Time- Michael Serres, Franco Cologni, Jean-Claude Sabrier and Sharon Kerman, Photographs Guy Lucas de Pesloüan. Published Editions Cercle d’Art.