Van Cleef & Arpels’ Extraordinary Art of Motion



The 19th century was the golden age of automata—playful ­mechanisms that feature a concert of moving parts—but don’t tell that to Van Cleef & Arpels. In January, the jewelry- and watchmaker introduced its first extraordinary object, the Automate Fée Ondine. Conceived more than eight years ago, the mechanical wonder depicts a bejeweled fairy that comes to life for about 50 seconds in a remarkable display of animation. “Watchmaking today is about issues like distribution and currencies,” says president and CEO Nicolas Bos. “But at the end of the day, the reason customers are fascinated by the pieces we offer is because of this type of fairy-tale experience.” Material Success The unique object, which is priced upon request, features engraved and enameled silver; white, pink, and yellow gold; mystery-set rubies; diamonds; blue, pink, yellow, and orange sapphires; white
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