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Van Cleef & Arpels - Precious garden

Van Cleef & Arpels Precious garden

Le Jardin Van Cleef & Arpels may have just eight flowers, but its incredible luxuriance is a tribute to the extraordinary jewellery skills of its creators.

The Van Cleef & Arpels booth at the SIHH this year was an oasis of colour in wintry Geneva, with its bright garden design featuring multicoloured blooms set against an azure sky. Alongside the flagship piece, the Lady Arpels Planetarium, and the twelve watches of the Midnight Zodiac Lumineux, the watchmaker-jeweller from the Place Vendôme unveiled some more terrestrial but no less poetic creations: the High Jewellery watch collection Le Jardin. Displayed in the centre of the booth, accompanied by a range of different jewellery pieces, the collection comprises eight designs, including five extraordinary unique pieces and three “repetitive” models, as the Maison calls the watches it produces in series. They are all driven by a quartz movement, which shows the hours and minutes.
These quintessentially feminine floral high jewellery creations also follow a horological model originally invented for women – the secret watch – which would enable ladies to consult the time discreetly at social functions, without appearing rude. Six pieces in the Le Jardin collection perpetuate the tradition of mystery that Van Cleef & Arpels still holds dear. Each of the three repetitive creations can also be converted into a brooch, another very feminine ornament.

Unique pieces

Forget-me-nots, daisies, chrysanthemums, peonies and dandelions are the simple, unpretentious flowers, many of them wild, that Van Cleef & Arpels has chosen for its prestigious one-off creations.
The Myosotis (forget-me-not) and Pâquerette (daisy) are similar in design, with a generous bracelet paved in multi-coloured gemstones. The articulated structure of the spectacular floral bracelet offers two moods, depending on whether it is laid flat or wrapped around the wrist. The Myosotis watch uses sapphires to create a tapestry of blue, yellow and pink, while the Pâquerette makes the most of yellow sapphires, green tsavorite garnets and pear-cut diamonds to build up a carpet of daisies. The tiny 12 mm white gold watch dial, paved with gems, discreetly displays the time in the centre of the bracelet.

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Myosotis and Pâquerette watches © Van Cleef & Arpels

In Le Jardin Van Cleef & Arpels, majestic peonies and chrysanthemums share the same presentation, with a single large bloom set on a slender bracelet, clasped with a jewelled bow. The central corolla of the peony, in white gold paved with diamonds, falls away in tiers of petals. The bracelet is set with round pink sapphires. The Chrysanthème watch is an explosion of rose gold petals set with pink sapphires tipped with diamonds, above leaves crafted from rose and yellow gold set with diamonds. The 10 mm watch dial in the centre of each flower is concealed by a bejewelled cover.

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Chrysanthème and Pivoine Secret Watches © Van Cleef & Arpels

The modest dandelion is the subject of a highly original creation based on a torque design. Torque neck and arm rings appeared in Scythian art at the beginning of the Iron Age, and were adopted by the Celts from around 500 BC. Dandelions adorn both ends of the bracelet. The fresh young bloom at one end is adorned with white and yellow round diamonds, which conceal the watch face under a floral cover. On the other end, the lacy seed head or “clock” is represented by an openworked sphere of diamonds, with more diamonds sparkling inside. The white, yellow and rose gold bracelet stem is set with white and yellow diamonds in the shape of dandelion leaves.

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Dandelion Secret Watch © Van Cleef & Arpels

Transformable watches

Mounted on a grosgrain ribbon strap closed with a diamond-set pin buckle, the Marguerite, Primerose and Cosmos secret watches join the Maison’s other creations that can be converted into a brooch.

The eighteen white gold and diamond petals of the Montre Marguerite Secrète frame a 12 mm yellow gold watch face paved with diamonds, which can be hidden behind a cover set with yellow sapphires to complete the flower. Once the strap is detached, the watch can be mounted against a spray of delicate foliage worked in gold, and transformed into a brooch.

The Montre Primerose Secrète bursts with the fresh colours of spring, supplied by yellow and rose gold, white diamonds and pink sapphires in various shades. A touch on one of the convex petals triggers the diamond-set cover and reveals the watch beneath. The brooch is mounted on a spray of yellow gold swirls set with diamonds.

Finally, the Cosmos watch in white gold, with a navy blue strap, is completely paved with white diamonds. The petals play with different volumes, shapes and orientations, and are snow-set with diamonds in eighteen different sizes. As with the two previous models, a 12 mm watch dial displays the time.

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Marguerite, Cosmos and Primerose Secret Watches © Van Cleef & Arpels

The brand

Each of Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations is imbued with jewelry and watchmaking excellence, drawing inspiration from whether nature, couture or the imagination. Its creations evoke a timeless world of harmony and beauty.

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