On Paris Time with Van Cleef & Arpels
by roberta naas
“Watchmaking at its highest level is a form of artistic expression,” says John Reardon, head of watches at Sotheby’s New York. “In the case of the Poetic Wish watches, this has resulted in cutting-edge micromechanical genius perfectly embracing the traditional decorative arts. For a fortunate few in New York, these watches represent an opportunity to own a functional work of art that makes a statement that will truly stand the test of time.”
The newest additions to Van Cleef & Arpels’ Poetry of Time collection is a continuation of the narrative that began in 2007 with the Poetic Complication Lady Arpels Féérie. This year’s Lady Arpels Poetic Wish silhouettes the young woman against the Eiffel Tower. She moves slowly to the center of the watch to indicate the hour. A second automaton—a cloud—drifts toward her, and the bells of Notre Dame chime when they meet. A kite flies up the river Seine to indicate the minutes.
On the men’s Midnight Poetic Wish, a young man moves past Notre Dame to indicate the hour. Again, the cloud moves toward him, and the cathedral bells ring when they meet. A diamond shooting star flies across the sky to indicate the minutes. “It is important for us to tell a story with each of our watches,” says Nicolas Bos, president and CEO for the Americas and worldwide creative director of Van Cleef & Arpels.
The new Poetic Wish watches house patented mechanical movements created by famous watchmaker Jean-Marc Weiderrecht and feature a central opening for the hammers of the repeater mechanism. The craftsmanship of the dials includes gold engraving, miniature paintings, mother-of-pearl inlay, and gemstone settings. Each watch is crafted in 18k white gold and is presented in its own extraordinary cabinet made of precious woods and mother-of-pearl inlay. The boxes, too, tell the story of the Poetic Wish watches, and when the top and bottom are put together, the young lovers are united. 744 Fifth Ave., 212-644-9500
Behind the scenes with Sigourney Weaver in her Gotham cover shoot.