Jeweller extraordinaire and master storyteller Van Cleef & Arpels has captured our imagination once again; this time with the latest version of its Lady Féerie watch. It perpetuates the maison’s fascination with fairies and is also a radiant example of how the brand has perfected the art of elegantly combining technological innovation, métiers d’art, and jewellery making.
Fairies fluttered into the brand’s creative universe in the 1940s. Presented as bejewelled clips, these whimsical symbols of joy and hope were beloved by collectors because of their delicate structures and graceful poses. They eventually found their way onto the maison’s precious watch dials in 2007 and continue to weave magic into its most treasured creations even until today.
In the latest version of the Lady Féerie watch, the waiflike ethereal being is perched on iridescent mother of pearl clouds. Wand in hand, she trails the passage of time on the retrograde minute display while the jumping hours are portrayed at 6 o’clock on a circular window. The watch is driven by a self-winding mechanical movement equipped with a retrograde minutes module that had been developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels.
Complementing the timepiece’s unconventional portrayal of time are the exquisite metiers d’art techniques that lend an otherworldly radiance to the watch. Meticulously hand-engraved from white gold, the fairy is the epitome of grace in her sapphire and diamond dress and rose-cut diamond visage. Her diamond-edged translucent wings are further decorated with plique-à-jour and grisaille enamel, used together by the maison for the first time on a single motif to create gradation and depth of field. Hued in vibrant bluish tones, after the colours on the guilloché mother-of-pearl dial, they mimic the moonlit sky.
On the reverse, the exhibition case back is decorated with floating clouds, offering an easy view of the guilloché oscillating weight that has been further adorned with the moon and stars. Presented in a white gold case set in diamonds, it is offered with an interchangeable shiny white alligator strap and available as a numbered edition.