Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerine Enchantée (Poetic Complication)

SIHH 2013…the Magic Ballerina…

Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerine Enchantée Poetic Complication Wings Down

“wings down”

There are still a handful or two of watches that debuted last week at SIHH 2013 that deserve a closer look.  Let’s start with a quick look at the Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerine Enchantée, born into the Maison’s “Poetic Complication” line.  Not particularly known for its men’s pieces, Van Cleef is however known for graceful, feminine pieces such as this. Following 2011’s Five Weeks In a Balloon and “From the Earth to the Moon” (unique piece for ONLY WATCH 2011) it’s always great to see what they come up with next.  This year Van Cleef has drawn inspiration from a quote by Anna Pavlova which echoes the imagery of the Maison: ”I’ve been dreaming that I was a ballerina, and that I was spending my whole life dancing as lightly as a butterfly…”  Indeed.

More details, below.

“wings up”

Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerine Enchantée Poetic Complication Wings Up

The central figure is a miniature ballerina, sculpted in relief of gold and set with diamonds.  The layered veils of her tutu, light and transparent, create the magic of the piece.  While an inner layer of champlevé enamel clothes the dancer, the outer layer acts as a pair of openwork wings which come to life to display the time on demand of the wearer.  Note also the wave guilloché background, with a beautiful violet hue; it sits beneath several layers of translucent Grand Feu enamel are then applied to lend depth and brilliance to the ensemble.

The double retrograde movement displays time on demand in a “poetic” fashion, as we come to expect from the Maison.  Here, when the user presses a button at the 8 o’clock position, the ballerina’s tutu comes to life.  The veil indicating the hours rises first (left), followed by the second veil which positions itself against the minute scale.  They remain in place, enabling the time to be read, then return simultaneously to their initial positions.  One of the feats of this complication lies in its fluid movement: the ballerina appears to move her wings with grace and poise.

Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée Complete

Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée

  • Mc Van Cleef & Arpels

    …after all that gratuitous marketing for Jaeger Le Coultre this past month, I cannot say this watch offers much redemption. What an awful, uninspired design. Sigh…

    • http://www.perpetuelle.com/ Perpetuelle

      @b136208d49b9e51d44c1e3be623e91ec:disqus Past month? I’ve been providing gratuitous marketing to Jaeger for years! :-)
      As for the Van Cleef piece above, well, I respect your opinion — beauty, it’s always in the eye of the beholder!
      Kyle

  • Mc Van Cleef & Arpels

    seriously, is this site becoming a marketing tool for big brands? It seems that way… Perhaps it’s always been that and I just didn’t notice. My bad.

    • goju1

      I think your comments are confused or perhaps you are not well informed.
      This is a watch blog and as such reports on watches.
      In January and February readers are interested (in particular, in SIHH and Baselworld).
      Tastes for everyone differ and one man’s watch is another man’s poison.
      In this particular case VC&A have produced a clever complication on a theme that they are renowned for. From a horological perspective it is a very fine piece of work.

      • Mc Van Cleef & Arpels

        Fair enough, but I am indeed entitled to my opinion, and I am no novice to watch design (nor a cyber warrior). This is a very poor design, whatever the complication, and yes, I know there’s no accounting for taste. But there are limits. You can put a ferrari engine in a Skoda, but it will still look like a Skoda (with diamonds, for some people…). Anyway, it’s a pointless discussion (as you point out yourself). Perpetuelle’s reports in the first month (not February, unless you can time travel) were just that: telling us what the industry could be telling us itself. That is not why I come to other watch blogs. I like to a read a little more, and I hope the editors of Perpetuelle will do better, that’s all.

        • http://www.perpetuelle.com/ Perpetuelle

          You got it right — “…telling us what the industry COULD BE telling us itself…” (my emphasis). I guess that’s why I have an audience here!
          Cheers

    • http://www.perpetuelle.com/ Perpetuelle

      @b136208d49b9e51d44c1e3be623e91ec:disqus

      Well, in the sense that Perpetuelle works for the big brands, no. But I do confess that many a fine brand is quite happy to find their creations featured here on Perpetuelle, at not cost to them! Indeed, there is a bit of bias towards the positive here as watches that do not interest us (or those that are downright awful in their design) are most often ignored. i.e. the simple act of omission from our editorial coverage says something in itself.

      But long-time and informed readers here know that I shy not from the negative side of the editorial ledger — just a few examples of many, I cite them just for you:

      * http://blog.perpetuelle.com/watches/tag-heuer-shoots-itself-in-the-foot-on-tag-heuer-caliber-1887-launch/
      * http://blog.perpetuelle.com/special-reports/time-bandits-howard-hughes-patek-philippe-saga-resurrected/
      * http://blog.perpetuelle.com/special-reports/elvis-presley-omega-constellation-sells-for-42000/
      * http://blog.perpetuelle.com/watches/richard-mille-rm-036-tourbillon-g-sensor-jean-todt/
      * http://blog.perpetuelle.com/special-reports/beyond-the-big-bang-whats-next-for-hublot/

      So, what you see is what you get here at Perpeutelle. C’est la vie!

      Kyle

      • Mc Van Cleef & Arpels

        I really appreciate your response, and am happy to see better stuff (I had read those before, and enjoyed those immensely). I just wondered why there hadn’t been any such stuff in recent months. I know there’s no accounting for taste, and I apologise for continuing to bring this up, but the bit about Van Cleef & Arpel taking Pavlova’s words as inspiration for this design is meaningless and should not have been taken so seriously. It is no criticism to you, but to Van Cleef and gang, who deserve less credit than you gave them for this “creation”. This ballerina drawing seems to infringe on the copyright of My Little Pony…

  • goju1

    Cool!