Van Cleef & Arpels extended its precious Charms Extraordinaires Collection with four remarkable limited editions, each representing a different symbol of fortune – dandelion, lily-of-the-valley, lotus flower and swallow. Every little detail of these watches shows the exceptional mastery of the brand’s best craftsmen, while the use of gold, diamonds and sapphires gives them a glance of high luxury. As the signature of the collection, each piece features a characteristic lucky charm, spinning around a dial. I have recently reviewed another stunning ladies’ watch from Van Cleef & Arpels’ 2013 edition (The Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée watch).
The things about Van Cleef & Arpels’ watches which impress me most are beautiful miniature engravings, paintings and mosaics, highlighted by the use of vivid colors and various materials, from mother-of-pearl, enamel and translucent lacquer to gold, diamonds and colored stones. Besides, a triple row of diamonds that adorns the bezel of each Charms Extraordinaires watch, does not serve just for increasing a level of luxury. Instead, it seems that every single stone is put on the right place, creating a wonderful gradation of hues, so that complete setting looks like the true piece of art that stays in the perfect harmony with an exquisite dial. All models are powered by quartz movements and they come in the limited series of 22 pieces each.
Charms Extraordinaire Féérie Dandelion Watch
This thrilling ladies’ timepiece is totally in line with its name. It is an extraordinary piece, with a fairy, a dandelion and a lucky charm. Now close your eyes and try to imagine how it looks like, before seeing the picture below. If you are a good connoisseur of the brand’s jewelry watches, you can probably make some nice creation in your mind, but you will still be amazed when you see this masterpiece.
As its main motifs, Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaire Féérie Dandelion watch showcases a butterfly-winged fairy and the plant associated with luck and the spread of knowledge. The fairy, presented by a miniature white gold sculpture, with a rose-cut diamond face and enameled wings, is blowing on dandelion’s feathers, in order to make a wish come true. These feathers are nicely depicted by diamonds that look like they are floating in the wind.
Equally impressive, there is a champlevé enamel surface, decorated by a catchy spiral motif, coated with a striking, translucent blue lacquer. It nicely matches bluish sapphires in the bezel’s middle row. Beside the bezel, diamonds also covers the lucky charm that represents another dandelion. A round case is made of white gold in the diameter of 38mm. It comes with a stylish pink leather strap.
Charms Extraordinaire Muguet Watch
This artistic watch also depicts a fairy, which is one of the brand’s main motifs. This time, the fairy with butterfly’s wings is sculpted in white mother-of-pearl and placed at the colorful mother of pearl surface, also depicting a butterfly and radiant sprigs of lily-of-the-valley. This wonderful flower, as it is said, can make the most precious wish come true. The level of mastery demonstrated with a dial is truly breathtaking. A miniature painting on mother-of-pearl using brush and magnifier, is a delicate technique that requires extraordinary skills, patience and sensibility and it provides a uniqueness of each piece.
A 38mm case of the Charms Extraordinaire Muguet watch is crafted in pink gold and features a bezel completely set with diamonds and yellow sapphires, as well as the lucky charm with a skeleton silhouette of a butterfly, also set with precious stones. A striking green leather strap perfectly follows the flourish motifs on the dial.
Charms Extraordinaire Lotus Watch
In the center of this beautiful feminine piece, there is a lovely lotus flower in a gentle pink color, executed in the complex champlevé enamel technique. Treated with successive firings and delicate sanding, enamel fills up cavities of lotus motif, making the nice 3-D effect. From the ancient times, lotus has been the divine symbol in Asian tradition, representing self-fulfillment, enlightenment and purity of body and mind. In some Asian cultures, it symbolizes elegance, beauty, perfection and grace. In Buddhist tradition, the growth of its pure beauty from the mud represents a great spiritual promise. Thus, the Charms Extraordinaire Lotus watch has two lotus flowers, one on its enamel dial and the other one as the lucky charm talisman, attached to its round, white gold case.
With the diameter of 32mm, this watch is significantly smaller than the previous two models. The beautiful painting on the light blue dial has a glamorous frame, set with diamonds, blue sapphires and Paraíba tourmalines. Another tender color comes with a baby pink leather strap.
Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles Watch
There is a belief that swallows bring good luck. Besides, they symbolize the coming of spring. These lovely motifs have been widely used by the renowned watchmaker, ever since 1920s, so it is not a surprise that Van Cleef & Arpels have chosen them for one of its newest creations. On a vivid mother-of-pearl dial of the Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles watch, you can see a miniature painting of two birds, also symbolizing tender love.
This masterpiece is characteristic by its delicate gradation of colors, from light blue, pink and mauve background to dark blue swallows, highlighted by diamond settings on their breasts. From the petit branch on which the bird rests, through a magnificent bezel, to the lucky charm that recalls the shape of clouds, there is a breathtaking selection of diamonds, pink and violet sapphires. The pink gold case has the diameter of 32mm and comes with a striking purple leather strap.