Van Cleef & Arpels unveiled its newest collection of timepieces inspired by, and dedicated to, love stories. The new Lady Arpels Pont Des Amoureux watches are part of the Poetry Of Time collection, first introduced in 2010, but in the new version, modern love being what it is, the kiss is longer and the couple can now be united on demand at any time of the day for a quick 10-second kiss before returning to their timekeeping posts.
Van Cleef introduced the new model in Paris, along with a new daytime version, a men’s non-diamond model and four high-jewelry versions, each representing a season.
The Pont des Amoureux is driven by a complication developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels by Jean-Marc Weiderrecht of the Swiss boutique movement firm Agenhor. The module that triggers the kiss was redeveloped for the new versions, in part to amplify the romantic narrative. It prolongs the kiss at midnight and noon from 10 seconds to three minutes; it adds a suspenseful “poetic pause” before each kiss; and it makes a kiss on demand possible at the push of a button. The new movement is automatic, with a Valfleurier Q020 base rather than the manual-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre base of the original.
The dials are hand-painted in the grisaille enamel technique, using white enamel powder, known as “blanc de Limoges,” on a dark background, and using a tiny brush to create light and dark shades in a composition that is more representational than the precise lines and contours of color blocks used in creating traditional enamel. For the new models, color was added to the mix, and the result is a soft, blended depiction of the surroundings, like an impressionist painting. All of the enameling is now done by a staff of 20 in-house enamelers.