Van Cleef & Arpels’ making of a fairy tale
Biggest surprise of last week’s SIHH was without a doubt Van Cleef & Arpels’ first Extraordinary Object: the breath taking Automate Fée Ondine. The robotised fairy tale is the fruit of long years’ work and an intense collaboration with automaton maker François Junod and the savoir-faire of the numerous craftsmen who have taken part in its creation.
Bringing together the jewellery and watchmaking traditions, this unique piece marks a new chapter for Van Cleef & Arpels, in keeping with precious objects such as carriage and table clocks. The highly complex mechanism – which animates various elements and on top of that also tells the time – gives pride of place to an ephemeral poetry: movement and lightness, the beauty of nature, the grace of a fairy waking from sleep and the nuances of precious stones and enamel.