March 10, 2009
by Ariel Adams
One of my favorite watch makers from a novelty standpoint is Van Cleef & Arpels. There is always a little bit of magic in their watches. In the video, the current philosophy behind the brand’s watches is made very clear. Essentially they admit that people need watches less today (than in the past) to tell the time, as we can rely on phones and computers. However, luxury watches are still valued for what they call “whimsical complications.” To this degree, art becomes as important as function in a watch – and the degree of creativity imbued in their line up is intriguing.
The first watch discussed in the video is the Van Cleef & Arpels Day in Paris watch, that I wrote about here on Luxist. A fascinating piece with a 24 hour rotating disc as the face with tells the story of a woman’s day in Paris (duh). Then you have the Gardens collection which has the same idea of a rotating disc, but instead has it revolve once a year. I also wrote about this watch on Luxist here. The painting (it basically is) in the background of the garden collection watches have areas to represent the seasons. It is a cool idea, and while very simple, something most watch makers would likely not have thought of. That is what I talk about magic when it comes to Van Cleef & Arpels, it is like they are creating toys (expensive ones) for adults (no, not those toys).