VAN CLEEF & ARPELS PONT DES AMOUREAUX
THE NEW PONT DES AMOUREAUX FROM VAN CLEEF & ARPELS IS A STUNNING AND UNIQUE WATCH THAT IS SURE TO MELT YOUR HEART AT FIRST SIGHT. THE DIAL FEATURES TWO DELICATE WHITE GOLD FIGURES, THE WOMAN WITH THE UMBRELLA INDICATES THE HOUR AND THE GENTLEMAN HIDING A FLOWER BEHIND HIS BACK INDICATES THE MINUTES. AND WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES 12, THE CUTE ROMANTIC COUPLE SHARE A KISS. THE CHRONOGRAPH HAS A 38mm DIAMETER CASE MADE OUT OF 18 CARAT WHITE GOLD AND IS SET WITH BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS AROUND THE BEZEL, AND THE WATCH CROWN IS SET WITH A SAPPHIRE CABOCHON. THE TIMEPIECE HAS A MODIFIED JAEGER-ECOULTURE MECHANICAL MOVEMENT. THIS AMAZING PIECE OF ARTISTRY IS FINISHED WITH A WHITE CROCODILE STRAP AND IS PRICED AT $116,000, MAKING IT THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE HOPELESS ROMANTIC ON VALENTINE'S DAY.
Haute Timepieces: Fall in Love with Van Cleef & Arpels’ Pont des Amoureux
Posted By Ariel Adams on February 8th, 2010
The actual Pont des Amoureux is a French bridge going over the Thiou River in Annecy, a town also known as the Venice of France. The fabled bridge earned a reputation throughout the years as a rendezvous place for couples in love.
This romantic concept has been applied to a poetic watch whose maker also carries a rich French legacy. Van Cleef & Arpels coined the phrase “poetic complication” and recently presented luxury lovers with a unique form of horology that perfectly demonstrates the poetry of its name. Instead of focusing on utility, these complications are whimsical and meant to evoke emotion. Here, that emotion is romance.
Women’s watches such as this are exceedingly rare. The piece combines exquisite jewelry components with artistic craftsmanship, which can only be fully appreciated once understanding the elements of the various tiny details.
First up for review is the functionality of the watch. Two figurines travel along respective hour or minute retrograde dials to display the time. The delicate figure of the woman carrying an umbrella serves as the hour indicator, while the man, secretly holding a flower behind his back, points to the minutes. The retrograde display has been further complicated by the fact that upon hitting the 12 o’clock hour, the lovers meet at the center for a kiss. The concept, while seemingly quite simple, was actually an incredibly arduous feat of engineering.
What you can’t see hidden inside the watch is a manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre 846 mechanical movement that is sized for a watch a fraction of the size. Why? Because the rest of the space is dedicated to a custom Van Cleef & Arpels module that makes the romantic gesture on the dial possible. And even though the French jewelry house knew that the complex mechanism would never be seen, their impeccable attention to detail dictated that it be beautifully finished nonetheless.
The bridge depicted on the dial isn’t the actual Pont des Amoureux, but a fairy tale rendition conceived by Van Cleef & Arpels. The most time-consuming process for the makers of the luxury timepiece is the components of the background of the face. The contre-jour enamel painting of the buildings and starry night in gray tones is completely painted by hand by a master artist. Each dial is then baked to perfection in a furnace heating up to 1545 degrees. The resulting dial with its white gold “lovers hands” and detailed bridge make for a stunning, and poetic, three-dimensional scene. The entire timepiece is housed in a 38mm wide 18-karat white gold case decorated with large diamonds around the bezel, as well as on the mono-piece lugs, their ends, and on the watch crown as a cabochon. Attached to the watch is a smooth, white reptile strap. It is a remarkable and beautiful timepiece for a lady, further enhanced by the story behind its design and construction. Priced at $116,000.