Two lovers wait at each end of a bridge, inching closer to one another for a midnight kiss. A ballet dancer stands en pointe, her tutu fluttering to indicate the time. Against a blue sky, a butterfly flits and dances amidst white clouds, the tip of its wings revealing the minutes.
You never know quite what to expect with the Poetic Complication timepieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, but one thing’s for sure: they never cease to awe and amaze with their enchanting tales of wonder. For over 100 years, the venerated French maison has crafted captivating jewels that look to fauna and flora, mythical creatures and even the skies for inspiration. Hence, when it came to developing its signature line of timepieces, it did not embark on the race for most complicated that its competitors were in. Instead, Van Cleef & Arpels continued on the same path it had embarked on over a century ago: that of conjuring up dreams.
Here, the mechanics are at the service of the design, and the time telling function is secondary to the fables narrated on the enchanting dial.
The Poetic Complication timepieces have brought the entire universe onto our wrists with the Planetarium, which features our solar system’s trajectory in real time. The collection has also brought to life butterflies, fairies and flowers that flap their wings and bloom on demand, all thanks to ingenious mechanics that serve to animate the dials of the watches. The dials are also enlivened by all manners of artistic crafts the maison specialises in, from enamelling and miniature painting to engraving and sertissage.
This Friday, the French jeweller cum watchmaker will be exhibiting its Poetic Complication timepieces at ION Orchard, including the novelties launched at this January’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie fair, like the Lady Arpels Papillons Automate. The timepiece is an exercise in whimsical creativity, and features a butterfly that flaps its wings on demand, or with every flick of your wrist. Poetry in motion, indeed.
Moreover, an artisan from the maison who specialises in enamelling will be on site until the 22nd to demonstrate the skills, patience and dexterity needed to hone this metier.
The Poetry of Time exhibition runs from February 17th to 26th at Level 1 Atrium, ION Orchard.