The Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux watch – a Van Cleef & Arpels icon since 2010 – is depicting the kiss in daytime, nighttime and seasonal variations.
Two lovers are thinking of each other, wishing that they could meet. They walk along the Seine, then strike out onto the bridge that will bring them together.
The watch’s self-winding mechanical movement is fitted with a retrograde module, developed exclusively for the Maison in collaboration with Agenhor in the Geneva watchmaking workshops. The young lady progressively moves forward to mark the hours, while her beloved crosses his half of the bridge in 60 minutes. At midday and midnight, they are tenderly reunited.
To recreate the poetry of that instant at any time, the watches have an animation-on-demand module: the decisive kiss can be relived at the press of a button.
To bring these charming scenes to life, the grisaille enamel technique – developed in France from the 16th century onwards – is showcased in different ways on the two dials.
On the original watch, is it used in its traditional version, with white enamel powder – known as “blanc de Limoges” – placed on a dark background. The resulting play of contrasts strikingly depicts the light and shade effects of the Parisian night.
Lady Arpels™ Pont des Amoureux Jour timepiece
Grisaille enamel on Lady Arpels™ Pont des Amoureux timepiece
On the dials of the daytime and seasonal versions, the Maison has used colored grisaille enamel for the first time: the craftsmen in the workshops used pink and blue enamels against a white background, to evoke the gentle quality of daylight.
For Van Cleef & Arpels, attention to detail is a veritable art form. Miniature versions of the two lovers have been skillfully inserted into the mechanism, as reminders of Love hidden in the heart of the timepiece. The dial also contains a reference to luck, with a single gold spot in the sky representing the Great Bear constellation.