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Objects of Desire: Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée Collection

By Lynette Kee


For the first time in the history of Van Cleef & Arpels’s watchmaking creations, the maison pairs the body of a bracelet with a watch, the latter hidden behind a stone-set “pendant”, to bring its secret watch signature to the Perlée family. The French jewellery house’s artisanal emblem is well presented with jewellery crafting traditions from France and watchmaking expertise from Switzerland seamlessly pairing to re-enchant the art of telling time. Inspired by the open bangle concept, the timepiece doubles as a bracelet and a watch — just slide the “pendant” to reveal the watch face. This watch collection is available in yellow gold and lapis lazuli, pink gold From left: Perlée Couleurs ring in yellow gold and malachite, $3,100; Perlée secret watch in yellow gold, diamonds and lapis lazuli, price upon application. All pieces from the 2019 Novelties collection.


Three diamond bracelets in yellow gold (pictured, bottom), rose gold and white gold took the name of the Perlée Diamonds collection last year. The collection is now accompanied by a set of rings in the same precious materials. A first-of-its-kind interchangeable necklace joins the glamour of the Perlée collection, where the iconic golden beads take centre stage where three different- sized rings made up of golden beads are brought together to form a pendant. The central ring can be replaced by one of the three other coloured beaded rings in turquoise, coral or onyx. From top: Perlée Diamonds ring in yellow gold and diamonds, $10,200; Perlée transformable necklaces in yellow gold and coral or turquoise, (set price) $29,000. All pieces from the 2019 Novelties collection.


The Perlée Couleurs collection of bracelets was launched in 2018, and now expands its product offerings to a jewellery set of earrings, a pendant and a ring. For the new jewellery pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels borrows the coloured cabochon edged with beaded decorations from the previous Perlée Couleurs bracelet and executes them simplistically in earrings, a pendant necklace and a ring. This newly populated set also comes in three colours combinations of white gold and turquoise (pictured), yellow gold and malachite, as well as rose gold and carnelian. From left: Perlée Couleurs ring in white gold and turquoise, $4,500; Perlée Couleurs pendant in white gold and turquoise, $3,550; Perlée Couleurs earrings in white gold and turquoise, $5,300. All pieces from the 2019 Novelties collection.


The outline of a curve often lends softness and elegance to graphic or artistic creations. A case in point, Van Cleef & Arpels started its love affair with the art of beading in the 1920s to soften the look of fine jewellery with diamonds and precious stones. The golden beads followed the jewellery house into 1963, a period characterised by organic forms, where the former lent itself to the Twist collection. The playful beads eventually found their way to the French maison’s signature Alhambra collection in 1968, decorating the edge of the lucky four-leaf clover. The beading technique evoked an understated elegance that defined Van Cleef & Arpels’s spirit of beauty. Finally, in 2008, the maison debuted the Perlée, an entire collection that paid homage to these precious golden beads.

For more than a century now, Van Cleef & Arpels has been synonymous with unrivalled jewellery-making expertise and its ability to retain the brand’s savoir faire in every new collection while keeping at the forefront of modernity. The appetite for individuality is growing larger among consumers, and jewellery expression is one way for the Van Cleef & Arpels woman to showcase her personality. Here are the new additions designed for mixing and stacking with one’s favourite Van Cleef & Arpels pieces.