Since the Maison's foundation in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels' garden has never ceased to blossom throughout the decades. Following the seasons, the Maison celebrates the beauty of flora by transcribing its infinite nuances and shapes. Nowadays, the contemporary collections express this tribute to nature, among with the High Jewelry and Watchmaking creations.

From the 1930s onwards, the Maison has also created surprise and wonder with pieces that illustrate its taste for mystery: secret watches. Light and spring-like, the Marguerite Secrète watch ticks away the hours beneath a heart of yellow sapphires. In a precious game of hide and seek, the latter reveals a diamond dial that echoes the sparkle of the petals whose finely arched silhouette suggests a natural appearance of a real flower. 

 

In keeping with the Maison’s tradition of transformable creations, the watch becomes a clip by assuming the central place in foliage of yellow gold, carved using ancestral goldsmith’s techniques. With their polished openwork, the leaves seem to quiver in the breeze, in an interplay of brilliance and warm reflections.

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  • Marguerite Secrète watch transformable into a clip, white gold, yellow gold, yellow sapphires, diamonds, Swiss quartz movement. Van Cleef & Arpels.
Marguerite Secrète watch transformable into a clip, white gold, yellow gold, yellow sapphires, diamonds, Swiss quartz movement.

Brilliant gems of life

Van Cleef & Arpels has also developped a taste and unique expertise of coloured gems. The gemmologists work to select them according to the most demanding criteria, transmitted between experts at the heart of the Maison. Indeed, Van Cleef & Arpels is seeking daily for excellence and is also sensible to the emotion sparked by their nuances and coulour brightness. 

 

The Maison is attentive to the intensity of colour of each gem, immediately catching the eye, to the beauty of the material, to the weight, to the size or even to the elegance of the shape. Then comes an encounter, a secret alchemy that awakens the senses.

 

To celebrate the beauty of wildflowers, Van Cleef & Arpels has created the lively and elegant Folie des Prés™ High Jewelry collection. Adorned with round and pear-shaped gemstones, its creations reflect the diversity and harmony of nature.

In Van Cleef & Arpels’ garden, the Dahlia Secret High Jewelry watch unfolds its corolla of yellow gold and diamonds upon a mount adorned with precious leaves.

 

A closed-set diamond is hidden in each petal, illuminated by a central diamond. Next to the sparkling gem, three round yellow sapphires indicate the position of the secret mechanism: slight pressure reveals the dial, adorned with spessartite garnets.

In Van Cleef & Arpels’ garden, the Dahlia Secret High Jewelry watch unfolds its corolla of yellow gold and diamonds upon a mount adorned with precious leaves.

  • Dahlia secrète watch, 18K yellow, rose and white gold, diamonds, yellow sapphires, tsavorite garnets, Swiss quartz movement, unique piece. Van Cleef & Arpels.
Dahlia secrète watch, yellow, rose and white gold, yellow sapphires, tsavorite garnets, diamonds, Swiss quartz movement. Unique piece.

The Traditional Mystery Set

To unite sparkle and radiance, Van Cleef & Arpels also committed to fully highlighting the beauty of the stones. Patented in 1933, the Mystery Set technique is probably one of the most eloquent expressions of the art of High Jewelry. It is the result of a constant and tireless quest into the presentation of gems on a mount of precious metal, pursued over the centuries: making the jewel’s structure as understated as possible.  

  • Petit Gloxinia clip, platinum, 18K rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set rubies, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels.
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Reflecting the inventiveness enlivening the Maison since its creation, this technique allows metal to disappear in favor of precious stones: most often rubies, but also sapphires, emeralds or diamonds. Once set, the gems, carefully choosen,  perfectly cover the surface and give it a velvety shine.

 

 The delicate and meticulous process of selecting the specific combination of gems intended for a single set surface – a process known as pairing – is guided by a search for uniformity, in constant relation with the Design Studio which came up with the project. To create a perfect illusion, each gem goes through four stages of selection: their cut, color, intensity and brilliance must be absolutely consistent

Campanule clip, 18k white and rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels.

Campanule clip, 18k white and rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds

Campanule clip, 18k white and rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels.

Details of the Campanule clip

Campanule clip, 18k white and rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels.
Campanule clip, 18k white and rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels.

Campanule clip, 18k white and rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds

Details of the Campanule clip

The Mysterious Set secret is in the use of gold rails in which meticulously cut stones are fitted one by one.

 

Unlike other setting techniques, the Mystery Set does not only require the expertise of the stone-setter, but also that of the gemologist, the jeweler, and the specially qualified “Mystery Set lapidary”. Its success (over 300 hours work for a clip) can only be the result of a collective process, undertaken by a group of craftsmen. In that operation, mutual communication and agreement are fundamental. 

 

Curvaceous, The Cosmos ring distinguishes itself by its chromatic constract : the blazing Mystery Set rubies combine with the shimmer of diamonds in a harmony of gems echoing nature's vitality. 

  • Pavot ring, 18K white gold, 18K rose gold, Traditional Mystery Set rubies, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels.