Van Cleef & Arpels gets butterflies over first watch of 2016


Richemont-owned Van Cleef & Arpels has revealed the first watch it will be showing at SIHH in January which features a brand new movement dedicated to an irregular, animated complication.

The house of Van Cleef & Arpels follows two contradictory paths with its watches. The first is a bold sense of geometry as illustrated with its iconic Cadenas model, whilst the second is an ethereal lightness of touch as demonstrated by its Poetic Complications series, which in 2016 is expanded to include the Lady Arpels Ronde des Papillons.

This year VCA has created an entirely new movement which utilises mechanical complexity to bring to life a poetic dance of three butterflies – a house signature since the 1920s – and a swallow.


Jumping hours are displayed using the wing tips of the rotating swallow along a 12-hour retrograde scale whilst three separate butterflies track along three separate retrograde minute scales of varying distances.

This variety of scale arcs requires an elliptical wheel within the movement to allow the butterflies to move at varying speeds. The watch’s coup de grâce is a 13-second, on-demand animation of the figures which then return to the correct time.

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