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

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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,

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