The Lady Arpels Papillon timepieces
A limitless source of inspiration, butterflies – symbolizing the eternal renewal of a poetic and ethereal nature – have often fuelled the Maison’s imagination.
In 2013, the butterfly – that universal symbol of metamorphosis – lends its delicate form to new compositions evoking the cycles of nature and the seasons: from day to night and from spring to winter. 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.
Lady Arpels Papillon Rouge Gourmand
With its butterfly and strawberries, this dial depicts a happy summer scene. The bright colors – yellow, green and red – and rounded forms are an invitation to live life to the full.
The dial, which is covered in white mother-of-pearl, incorporates various enameling techniques. Translucent plique-à-jour enamel is applied by brush to the cells which make up the upper wing, with their thin gold borders. Unpolished cabochonné enamel gives a curved relief to the strawberries, while the champlevé enameling technique adorns the veined leaves with green.
Lady Arpels Papillon Orange Solaire
With their outstretched wings, a pair of butterflies appear to float in mid-air in an autumnal atmosphere. This enchanting composition is bathed in warm, golden sunlight.
This dial combines various craft-skills to produce a distinctly luminous effect. The dazzling butterflies – colored using the plique-à-jour enameling technique – stand out against the iridescent shimmer of the mother-of-pearl background. Their wings are adorned with a gradation of fawn tones, echoed by the sun’s half-circle in paillonné enamel. Their bodies are represented by eye-catching marquise-cut diamonds.
Lady Arpels Papillon Noir Argent
Warm autumnal tones give way to the sparkling icicles of winter. Light and shade predominate, perpetuating the juxtaposition of black and white so dear to the Maison. A delicately outlined butterfly spreads its wings in a landscape ringed with frost.
Shimmering gray mother-of-pearl, paillonné enamel and sparkling diamonds come together in a skillfully structured composition. The delicate golden contours of the wings are emphasized by the alternation of opaque black and transparent enamel, the latter revealing an underlying sliver of white gold. Light as snowflakes, round diamonds add a brilliant note to this study in contrasts.
Lady Arpels Papillons Bleu Nuit
With its diaphanous wings, this mysterious moth flits through the dreams of a sleeping beauty. Delicately poised amid blades of grass, it occupies the center of a dial bathed in pearly moonlight.
With their subtle gradation of enamel, the wings of this nocturnal butterfly stand out for their enchanting lightness and transparency. The plique-à-jour enameling technique enables light to permeate the composition in a remarkable way. The midnight blue wings seem lit up by the moon – which is depicted in paillonné enamel (gold leaf is placed beneath a layer of transparent enamel to produce a glittering effect) – while diamonds glisten like dew drops.