It never ceases to amaze how romance co-exists so wondrously with technical complexity in the high watchmaking universe of Van Cleef & Arpels—an inimitable art honed and crafted to perfection. Encapsulated by its Poetry Of Time vision, complications are juxtaposed with poetic and whimsical elements in the making of its ever-expanding suite of award-winning haute horlogerie timepieces—bejewelled, technical and rare to the utmost.
Shining the spotlight on dance Van Cleef & Arpels has derived immense inspiration from ballet for many decades, in fact as far back as its inception in 1896 where the founding family was already committed to arts patronage. This fascination continued into the 1920s where ballet enthusiast Louis Arpels and nephew Claude indulged in frequent visits to OpeÌra Garnier, a stone’s throw from their Place VendoÌ‚me boutique. To no surprise, the first ballerina clips, now a house signature, was unveiled in the early ’40s.
In the 1950s, Claude Arpels befriended the New York City Ballet co-founder and famed choreographer George Balanchine. Thereafter their mutual interest in gems cemented their artistic bond resulting in the production of Balanchine’s ballet Jewels, first performed in New York in April 1967, where each of the three acts made connection to a different gemstone and composer: Gabriel FaureÌfor Emeralds, Igor Stravinsky for Rubies and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for Diamonds.
THREE CHAPTERS OF POETRY
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