Pierre Arpels joined Van Cleef & Arpels at the end of World War II. In 1949, he contributed uniquely to the history of the Maison, when - in total secrecy - he designed a watch of rare quality and timeless beauty for himself. He had wanted to create “an exceptional piece” and he bestowed it with his own name: the Pierre Arpels.
Pierre Arpels timepiece of the same model created by Pierre Arpels, 2004
Pierre Arpels timepiece retail card, 1951, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Archives
At first, this exclusive timepiece was only available to Pierre Arpel’s social circle. However, in 1967, the Pierre Arpels timepiece became available to the general public and it has been featured in the Maison’s watch collection ever since.
The original Pierre Arpels timepiece was in yellow gold with a white enamel dial and a black leather strap. Over the years, the Maison has introduced a multitude of versions, but each has always personified the same combination of tradition and modernity.
Elegant and extra-thin, the Pierre Arpels is immediately recognizable for the two straight bars which frame its dial, with single attaching pins at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions.
The Pierre Arpels remains today a symbol of discrete sophistication, the very essence of the Van Cleef & Arpels style.