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    Historic Pieces


    The beginnings of watch-making

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    The"Bras-en-l'air" or Chinese Magician pocket watch, 1927, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection

    While women’s timepieces were being transformed throughout the 1920s, men were perfecting the art of wearing pocket watches. With their simple geometric designs or Chinese-inspired motifs, these watches were already equipped with highly technical features.

    The Bras-en-l’air or Chinese Magician pocket watch - in two-toned gold, osmior and black and green enamel - already featured a movement similar to today’s retrograde movement: when the button is pressed, the arms of the Chinese magician indicate the time.


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