Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Watch With Bracelet Hands-On

Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Watch With Bracelet Hands-On

Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Watch With Bracelet Hands On   hands on

Van Cleef & Arpels is one of my favorite "oh god that is expensive" luxury brands. Under the Richemont Group, the Paris-based maker of high-end, emotion-based beauties produces gorgeous items for mostly women. These creations are often extremely good at causing a sharp sense of depression in the gift-giving center of the male brain. In fact, Van Cleef & Arpels once shared with me that during an internal study of its existing clients, an interesting piece of feedback was that their products had the ability of humbling even very successful people.

While Van Cleef & Arpels is mostly focused on products for women, they do have some men's watches. They've actually had more in the past, but as of a few years ago they did indicate to me that more men's watches would be part of their future. As promised, Van Cleef & Arpels relaunched the Pierre Arpels collection last year (hands-on here), and this year they've added to the collection with an interesting new bracelet.

Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Watch With Bracelet Hands On   hands on

Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Watch With Bracelet Hands On   hands on

While there is a 38mm wide size version of the new Pierre Arpels watch, our focus here is entirely on the 42mm wide size model that we feel is actually the men's version. You'll also note from our hands-on article last year on the Pierre Arpels watch (linked to above) that you can get these watches with a bezel lined with diamonds. While many men in the United States and Europe aren't too interested in diamonds on their watch, many men in Asia and the Middle East feel quite the contrary. While I would hardly want diamonds on a piece I wore daily, I can see the appeal in dressing up a high-end watch with further precious elements. Though I will admit that lining a watch bezel with round-cut diamonds is a particularly feminine thing to do.

Van Cleef & Arpels is not now what you would call a major watch movement maker. That will perhaps change a bit in the future as they have hired talented movement designer Denis Giguet as the head of watchmaking - which should prove interesting. Giguet if you recall was the man responsible for what is probably my favorite Opus... the Harry Winston Opus XI from 2011 (hands-on here). Anyhow, this Pierre Arpels watch contains a mechanical movement from Piaget. Very thin, the movement displays only the hours and minutes, and is manually wound. My hope is that an automatic version will come in the future.

Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Watch With Bracelet Hands On   hands on

15 comments
MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I just got back from seeing Thor 2 with my daughter. Perhaps this watch is Thor's watch of choice for those formal Ass-Guard gala events. The metal band has pretty much the same pattern has his shirt (or whatever you call his tunic beneath breastplate).

spiceballs
spiceballs

Watch OK but there are, in my opinion, better examples of this face, style, etc out there.  Bracelets are nice ( I like mesh and have a shark's mesh myself) but single lug - no thank you.  Overall, good luck at this price.

garph
garph

Not a fan of the single lugs. But throw me a dress & call me Nancy. This is one sexy piece!

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I just don't see that this is a men's watch. I'm not a boorish troglodyte, and have a good appreciation for some of the finer pieces, but this style is just too dandy. 


The bracelet is interesting. One of the more popular exotic hides I work with is snake, and the top side of this bracelet is almost identical to the scaling found on some of the smoother snake hides, like whipsnake or Asian beauty. I wonder if that is the look they were going for? I might have polished the top though, or done something to give it a little more elegance (yeah, after I said the watch is too dandy I'm suggesting they should have upped the elegance). The matte brushed look is a stark contrast to the rest of the watch. 


Am I reading it correctly that the watch without the bracelet is less than 40% the cost with the bracelet? Must be one hell of a bracelet...

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

The mesh bracelet is very interesting looking.  A lot of watches were rocking the flat look... in the Seventies.  It looks classy yet dull, suited more to a mail-order catalogue than some fancy watch boutique.  I think it looks like a woman's watch - the central attachment lends to that impression, and I don't think i'd ever feel comfortable wearing it.  All that gold and expense, yet it looks less than the sum of its parts.

LapYoda
LapYoda

Very pretty watch, but despite its size it doesn't come off as very masculine.  The dial design would not be out of place on a men's dress watch, but that bracelet design screams 1970s/early 1980s ladies' watch.  The single lug makes it look especially feminine.  If I'm a dude - and I am - with 40 grand to blow - which I don't have - it's not going to be on a watch that looks like my mom's 1979 Seiko.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

"In fact, Van Cleef & Arpels once shared with me that during an internal study of its existing clients, an interesting piece of feedback was that their products had the ability of humbling even very successful people."

ROFL!! I'd love to know how they found that out! "Excuse me, very successful person, do you feel humiliated by our hyper-tacky ludicrously expensive looks-like-it-was-bought-at-Paris-Disneyland pieces?"

But actually this particular watch is not too bad, and the bracelet is indeed very interesting. I'm *still* laughing at their "poetic wish" garbage, strong contender for the tackiest watches ever made [though Bulgari's "commedia dell'arte" things run them close], but maybe there is hope for them yet. Maybe.

JonnyD
JonnyD

@LapYoda  

The lug structure is rather feminine and would look better worn by a woman in the 38mm size. And surely, this being a dress watch, a display case back should be in evidence.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@aBlogtoWatch And did you notice the 2 large 'buttons' on his breast-plate? They are those hokey 'poetic' men's and lady's watch faces with Paris on them. Thor seems like such a sensitive soul that I had to add them too. Ha ha ha

LapYoda
LapYoda

@JonnyD @LapYoda Agreed.  My wife says the 38mm version is something she could pull off, whereas it would look ridiculous on a man.  Had they made the central lug attachment wider it may have attenuated some of the femininity of the design, but the gestalt is still that of a woman's piece.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Zeitblom As in Josh Zuckerman's line from the movie "Surviving Christmas"? At least that is where I heard "some things can not be unseen".

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

@MarkCarson @aBlogtoWatch Poetic Wish Thor?! You really ought to post warnings before letting innocents like me see that! Remember: once something has been seen, it cannot be unseen.....