Best of the Best 2012: Women's Watches: Decorative Artistry: Van Cleef & Arpels Polar Landscapes

  • Van Cleef & Arpels Polar Landscapes
  • Engravers have imparted a particular expressiveness to the polar bears' faces
  • The Polar Landscapes series also includes a design with engraved seals in diamond pave and and Aurora Borealis in mother-of-pearl
  • In a fourth design, whales are contrasted against a sea of mother-of-pearl and blue glass

Parisian jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels has dramatically increased its influence in the watchmaking world over the past several years by introducing a series of decorative-arts timepieces. Its network of artisans specializing in a variety of disciplines has grown to such a degree that the company seems to effortlessly roll out stunning watches every year. Polar Landscapes ($114,000)—four designs limited to 22 watches each—exemplifies the striking results the company achieves using mixed-media techniques. Artists render scenes of icy terrains in mother-of-pearl marquetry, and employ diamonds and engraved metal to depict wildlife. (877.826.2533, www.vancleef.com)

From Around the Web...
Six timepieces with displays that are redefining timekeeping…
Watchmaking’s long history with motorsports has been honored by several Swiss brands…
For those who have always wanted to cross experiencing weightlessness off of their bucket list…
Richard Mille enlists an Airbus designer to incorporate aeronautic elements into its latest watch…
Davide Traxler discusses the U.S. market and what lies ahead for the brand’s most iconic...
The exceptionally skilled artisans at Jaquet Droz have produced a captivating new line of watches…
The Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon uses a boom-like retrograde minutes display…
A carbon resin–coated case and pink-gold plate are complemented by a strapping calfskin weave…
Wrought in white gold, only eight examples of the precious timepiece will be produced…
215 years ago, Abraham Louis-Breguet patented a complication that changed watchmaking forever…