Introducing: The Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux
If you aren’t familiar with Van Cleef & Arpels, then it’s time to brush up on your haute joaillerie & horlogerie knowledge. But to keep the boat moving, I’ll sum it up for you in brief – Van Cleef & Arpels makes some of the most interesting, unusual, and visually intricate watches currently in production. While fairies, flowers, and butterflies are their thing (and not for everyone), there is something magical about what VC&A does that any true horology nut can appreciate. Take their enameling department: They have 20 dedicated enamelers in their manufacture, all hard at work creating little miniature masterpieces. And they don’t hold back from pushing the limits in the movement department, either. That’s why, when they decided to re-launch the Pont des Amoureux this year in a new ladies’ version, they created an entirely new movement based on the Valfleurier Q020, with six different enamel dial scenes – all with the option to have gem-set bracelets.
The Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux is the newest version of what has become a popular line within Van Cleef’s range of Poetic Complications. The original Pont des Amoureux features a retrograde display in which the gal indicates the hours and the guy tells the minutes. When they meet at the top (noon or midnight) they lean in and kiss. For the new version introduced today, however, you can press a button and have the couple kiss on demand. The Valfleurier Q020 inside this watch is also the movement base for the Ronde des Papillons, and uses similar technology to move the couple toward their rendezvous.
The watch itself took four years to develop, with each dial taking 40 hours to create in enamel. The Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux comes in six variations: one night version in white gold, one day version in rose gold; and versions for all four seasons, with spring and fall in rose gold and summer and winter in white gold. Each is available on a strap, with some available on a gem-set bracelets with 877 parts and 734 stones. Oh, and the links have been cut just so, so that the bracelet wraps flush around your wrist to better show off the diamonds.
I have always had a soft spot of Van Cleef. Their history and the pieces they create today are interesting to me, and their high jewelry is something I have long-admired. They continue to create compelling complications for ladies and they are unabashedly feminine. The Pont des Amoureux is no different. The 38mm watch is beautiful in person, and speaking with the team behind its creation, one can feel their passion for watchmaking. It’s about being thoughtful, creative, and not really caring about trends (no steel sport watches here!). All the details are thought through; the guy and gal change clothing over the seasons, and you can see a silhouette of the couple kissing in the movement when not activated. On each enamel dial, the scenes change from different locations in Paris and different bridges. And after trying to paint one myself, I can say with 100% certainty, it is nearly impossible to do, so bravo to those who have mastered the art. Are these for everyone? No. Are they worth appreciating even if you can’t afford one or want to wear one? A resounding YES. So if you’re considering a complicated ladies’ watch with a really good party-trick and rich horological chops, this is for you.
Brand: Van Cleef & Arpels
Model: Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux
Case Material: White or rose gold with diamond-set bezel
Dial Color: Enamel dials featuring a Parisian bridge scene at night, during the day, and throughout all four seasons (six total)
Strap/Bracelet: Either interchangeable Alligator strap or matching gem-set bracelet
Caliber: Valfleurier Q020
Functions: Retrograde, kissing on demand
Power Reserve: 36 hours
Pricing & Availability
Price: Starting at $123,000
Limited Edition: Not limited, but numbered
For more, click here.