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Van Cleef & Arpels

spring/summer 2011

Jules Verne's rocket space ship on a men's watch

In May 2011, the French Haute Joaillerie house and watchmaker Van Cleef & Arpels presents its work with insights into the culture of crafting and the world of inspirations - from literature to glamorous events.

Jules Verne's fantastic sci-fi journeys - like the watch on this page shows a flight from earth to the moon, or the most spectacular balls of the last century are the sources for the collections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

The ball-collection 'Bals de Légende' was presented with a video documentary about the costumes and jewellery (analysed by historian Vincent Meylan) at one of the most glamorous balls of the last century held at the Palais d’Hiver (Winter Palace) by Tsar Nicholas II in St Petersburg in February 1903.

Unfortunately, the jewellery from the collection is veiled; it will premiere on 17 June in London. Already unveiled are the time pieces from the 'Poetry of Time - Extraordinary Journeys' collection. After 'Five Weeks in a Balloon', the 2nd episode shows outerspace 'From the Earth to the Moon'-motifs like a rocket, planets, stars and shimmering stardust following the inspiration of the French writer Jules Verne, who has written in 1865: "The moon rose to a firmament of crystal purity, extinguishing the scintillating lights of the stars on its path."

Van Cleef & Arpels: "The Poetic Complication From the Earth to the Moon timepiece carries the astronauts to their lunar destination."

fig.: Complication Poétique 'De la Terre à la Lune' (From the Earth to the Moon) by Van Cleef & Arpels (numbered edition). Photo: (C) Van Cleef & Arpels. The dial and the spaceship are adorned with an inlay of jade, agate, meteorite stone and champlevé enamel.

Video, posted in May 2011: Van Cleef & Arpels' insights into the workshop. The video shows the making of painted enamel arts on watches.




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