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Van Cleef & Arpels - Lady Arpels Oiseaux Enchantés

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For Watches & Wonders 2015, Van Cleef & Arpels showcased a new savoir-faire expanding its  Extraordinary Dials collection with three limited edition timepieces where engraving on gold or hard stone marquetry are combined to miniature feather art with natural feathers to suggest the beauty of birds, a first for Van Cleef & Arpels.

To create the Lady Arpels Oiseaux Enchantés models, Van Cleef & Arpels partnered with Nelly Saunier, the feather artist who created these incredibly detailed three-dimensional birds with shimmering natural plumage.


This craft skill calls for a degree of precision that runs to the tenth of a millimeter. The feather artist works like a painter, choosing pigments and raw materials. Each feather is selected for its specific color and texture.


The barbs and barbules are removed from the feathers and carefully prepared to correspond to the original drawing. They are then combined, shaped and positioned to match the form of the bird.

In the background, jade, turquoise or lapis lazuli are used to compose landscapes that nicely harmonise with the birds.

Produced in three limited editions of 22 pieces each, the Oiseaux Enchantés timepieces are crafted from yellow gold, pink gold and white gold. The case has a diameter of 38 mm with bezel and crown set with diamonds. The back cases are engraved with with motifs echoing the story of the dial.


Lady Arpels Cardinal Carmin
A cardinal with feathers of crimson soars above mountains and valleys fashioned from different stones: jade, variscite and blood jasper. A diamond-set river flows in the valley. The bird engraved on the back of the case flies over a haven of greenery.



Lady Arpels Colibri Indigo
A hummingbird in shades of indigo hovers over a flower of diamonds and hard stone marquetry composed of lavender jade, lepidolite and variscite. On the back of the case, the engraved bird gathers nectar from the surrounding flowers.



Lady Arpels Martin-Pêcheur Azur
A kingfisher flies over a sea with shades of turquoise and lapis lazuli. Lines of diamonds outline the foaming waves. The bird’s flight comes to an end on the back of the timepiece, where it appears on a rock facing the sea.



The Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Oiseaux Enchantés are powered by a hand wound mechanical movement and are matched to alligator leather straps secured by a gold pin buckle set with diamonds. Prices on request. vancleefarpels.com

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