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Van Cleef & Arpels - Alhambra, more modern than ever

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra, more modern than ever

Small, precious and elegant. The new Sweet Alhambra watches are colourful good luck charms.

In 2018, the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was in 1968 that the now-famous four-leaf clover design, garnished with beads of gold, took pride of place on a pendant necklace in hammered yellow gold. Although it had already been used in Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery collections since 1920 associated with other favoured motifs of the house, the clover in this instance heralded the arrival of a completely new collection. Thirty years later, this collection was opened up to watches with the first Alhambra timepiece.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the jewellery collection, Van Cleef & Arpels last year unveiled to two limited-edition Vintage pendants and bracelets in yellow gold with lapis lazuli and rock crystal. On the watchmaking side, the new Sweet Alhambra watches, which come in four jewellery versions in rose gold decorated with mother-of-pearl, malachite, lapis lazuli and turquoise, introduce a smaller-sized 22.7mm diameter case into the collection.

Alhambra, plus moderne que jamais

The 5 Sweet Alhambra 2019 models © Van Cleef & Arpels

This smaller case is back this year, surrounded with a double row of gold beads, in five models with designs that differ considerably from those seen last year. As a sign of the incredible capacity of this collection, which was born in a time of change in the 1960s, to adapt to new trends and new tastes, the latest Sweet Alhambra models come with interchangeable leather straps that are available in a range of colours – a first for Van Cleef & Arpels. From white to black via pink, raspberry, bordeaux, sky blue and navy blue, these straps in shiny alligator leather have a motif of large square scales. Each watch is supplied with two straps that can be removed and replaced using just your fingertips, as well as a buckle, which is also interchangeable, allowing the watch to adapt to its wearer’s mood or outfit.

Alhambra, plus moderne que jamais

A choice of colorful interchangeable leather straps © Van Cleef & Arpels

The cases and dials use the same traditional precious materials such as yellow gold, diamonds, mother-of-pearl and onyx. Paired with rose gold, the model with a white mother-of-pearl dial is available in a non-set version or with 185 diamonds on the flange and the flanks of the case, between the two rows of gold beads, for a total of 0.74 carats.

Alhambra, plus moderne que jamais

© Van Cleef & Arpels

The black onyx dial and its matching strap show off the four-leaf clover on the white-gold version, which is set like the model in mother-of-pearl. The good luck symbol so beloved of Jacques Arpels is highlighted to the full in the white-gold version with a dial set with 333 round diamonds. The largest stones are set at the outer edge of the dial, reinforcing the curves of the case, while the smallest stones, at the centre, give an impression of depth. Although this classic and refined watch should preferably be worn on a black strap, imagine how it looks with a raspberry coloured one! The fifth model in this new Sweet Alhambra 2019 collection is in yellow gold. Its engine-turned dial with a sunray pattern catches the light and accentuates the gold colour.

Alhambra, plus moderne que jamais

© Van Cleef & Arpels

The new Sweet Alhambra models are fitted with a quartz movement that displays the hours and minutes. The crown is hidden under the case to maintain the purity of the four-leaf clover design.

Prices
- White mother-of-pearl / Diamond-set white mother-of-pearl: CHF 7,000 / CHF 14,200
- Diamond-set black onyx: CHF 15,100
- Diamond-set white gold: CHF 27,600
- Engine-turned yellow gold: CHF 8,000

 

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