The four Charms Extraordinaire, Charms collection, limited editions
In 2008 the Charms watch was born, with its lucky charm motif spinning merrily around the dial. In 2013, Van Cleef & Arpels is opening a new chapter in its Charms collection with four exceptional limited editions, the four Charms Extraordinaire timepieces.
Each year, with its Extraordinary Dials™ novelties, Van Cleef & Arpels presents an enchanting interpretation of the passage of time. They have included landscapes from across the world, twinkling constellations, lucky motifs and – this year – twirling butterflies and kites. Reflections of the Maison’s fertile imagination, each new scene is brought to life by the gestures of skilled craftsmen.
Within the space of a single dial, traditional crafts combine to create compositions of great sophistication, in which each detail is testimony to the creativity and excellence of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Detail of Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles, Charms collection, limited edition
With the four Charms Extraordinaire timepieces, the Maison has employed its most precious craft-skills to relate new tales of luck. From engraving and sculpture on gold to enameling, miniature painting on mother-of-pearl and translucent lacquer, Van Cleef & Arpels has assembled the talents of virtuoso craftsmen to transform the Maison’s dreams of beauty into reality. Each piece is adorned with a triple row of diamonds and colored stones, selected using the strictest criteria and mounted on the bezel.
Thanks to this varied savoir-faire, the Charms Extraordinaire watches are adorned with enchanting scenes which overflow from their dials. Four auspicious symbols – the lily-of-the-valley, the lotus flower, the dandelion and the swallow – are depicted in settings of great refinement. Alternately delicate and profound, the gradation of hues continues onto the bezel – which is adorned with variously colored gems – while an ethereal lucky charm evokes the theme of each piece.
Charms Extraordinaire Muguet, Charms collection, limited editions
The Charms Extraordinaire Muguet watch brings together various poetic motifs: the fairy – an emblematic figure for the Maison– is depicted accompanied by a butterfly, amid radiant sprigs of lily-of-the-valley. In the language of flowers, this lucky plant – offered as a token of affection – can make the most precious wish come true.
This limited edition gives pride of place to miniature painting on mother-of-pearl, which has previously graced certain timepieces by Van Cleef & Arpels. This technique enables a drawing to be rendered with extraordinary subtlety, and with an infinite range of nuance and detail: it calls for patience, meticulousness and real artistic sensibility.
Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles, Charms collection, limited edition
The Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles timepiece portrays a pair of brisk and graceful swallows, together symbolizing the coming of spring. In Europe, they are thought to bring good luck to the house where they build their nest. Van Cleef & Arpels here revisits two favorite themes: pairs of birds – offering a tender symbol of love – and the swallows which have inspired its creations from the 1920s onwards.
This piece is notable for its delicate gradation of colors. The two birds stand out against a highly nuanced background of blue, pink and mauve, produced once again by the technique of miniature painting on mother-of-pearl.
Charms Extraordinaire Lotus, Charms collection, limited edition
The lotus flower of the Charms Extraordinaire Lotus timepiece is an extremely important symbol in Asian culture. Emerging from the water to bloom in the sunlight, it evokes self-fulfillment, enlightenment and purity. The lucky charm takes on the stylized outline of the flower to become a precious talisman invoking inner peace.
In full bloom at the center of the dial, the lotus flower stands out clearly thanks to the champlevé enamel technique. To produce this subtle effect, the cavities which make up the shape of the motif are filled with enamel; the enamel undergoes successive firings and is then delicately sanded.
Charms Extraordinaire Féérie Dandelion, Charms collection limited edition
Suffused with lightness and movement, the Charms Extraordinaire Féérie Dandelion watch depicts a butterfly-winged fairy, flanked by a dandelion blowing in the breeze. Associated with luck and the spread of knowledge.
This limited edition Féérie Dandelion watch is notable for its intricate detail, highlighted by a wealth of savoir-faire. The dial, struck with a spiral motif, displays a vitality emphasized by translucent blue lacquer.