The Complications Poétiques® collection: a blend of emotion and technology

Perpetuating a poetic vision of life, Van Cleef & Arpels explores an exclusive dimension in the art of watchmaking: an element of dream and emotion. The wonders of time-telling technology, engineered in its Swiss watchmaking workshops, compose the stories told on the dial.

In 2006, to celebrate its 100-year anniversary, Van Cleef & Arpels designed an original watch that portrays the cycle of the seasons as time ticks by. Thus was born Complications Poétiques®, a collection embodying a new vision of watchmaking. Within each creation, technical prowess goes hand in hand with a quest for creativity and enchantment. 24-Hour, Quantième de saison, Retrograde, Planetarium or five-minute repeater movements tell the time through tableaux representing a stroll through Paris, a star-studded sky or a planetary ballet, fluttering butterflies or a romantic rendezvous. These masterful mechanisms offer precious moments of emotion, reflecting the Poetry of Time dear to Van Cleef & Arpels.

24-Hour movement: a full day of poetry

This self-winding mechanical movement, featuring a 24-hour module developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, gradually transforms the decor on the dial throughout the day. Van Cleef & Arpels uses this technology to breathe life into daylong narratives such as the cycle of the Sun and Moon in the Jour Nuit watch, or a joyful promenade in the Une Journée à Paris model.

Retrograde movement: a graphic portrait of hours and minutes


On watches designed with retrograde animation, the hands do not turn on an axis, but rather move along a circular arc before returning to their initial position, ready to begin another cycle. Built with a retrograde module, this manual-winding mechanical movement animates figurative motifs such as a fairy’s magic wand, two lovers meeting on a bridge, or a butterfly dancing around a tree.

Planetarium movement: celestial ballet


Highly complex, this self-winding mechanical movement, designed with a module developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, animates the Lady Arpels and Midnight Planétarium watches. It serves a number of different functions, starting with a miniature depiction of planets revolving around the Sun. The heavenly bodies rotate on successive discs, reflecting their actual pace in the solar system. To complement this astral ballet, a shooting star sweeps across the dial, indicating the time.