Van Cleef & Arpels is bringing its fairy tale to the West Coast. From May 3rd through May 16th, the jeweler will transform 1,000 square feet of South Coast Plaza’s Jewel Court in Costa Mesa, California. The set up will play host to installations that show off the brand’s latest collections from its Pont des Amoureux (Lover’s Bridge) watches to brand new Alhambra necklaces.
Sources both inside and outside of the company say that it hasn’t been hurt by the pandemic. Its Alhambra collection, in particular, has become increasingly in demand for clients wanting a piece of the elite jeweler’s signature DNA about their persons. A brand new lineup of secret watch Alhambra pendant necklaces ($18,600 to $45,400) will be on view for a prelaunch, offering fans of the style a first-hand look at the new pieces which include variations like pavé diamond-set versions with 18-karat gold sunray dials beneath, to turquoise and lapis lazuli with mother-of-pearl dials. These will only be available at the pop-up and in boutiques in limited quantities, however the carnelian and rose-gold guilloché pieces will be available online starting May 3rd.
But for collectors looking for timekeepers with a little more weight, Van Cleef’s Pont des Amoureux watches (starting at $123,000) combine serious watchmaking expertise with all of the romance, poetry and luxurious materials on which the company has built its aesthetic. First launched in 2010, the collection features two lovers who move to meet in a kiss on a bridge, but the latest iterations, which debuted in 2019, unite the couple in a longer embrace and can be brought together on demand at any time of the day for a 10-second smooch before retreating to their original position. At midnight and noon, the duo, sculpted in gold, meet in an embrace that lasts three minutes before the woman returns to her position at the beginning of a jumping retrograde hour scale, while the man retreats to the start of the retrograde minutes on the other side. The movement accounts for the three-minute kiss by returning the indications to the correct time. It is the world’s only watch with kissing automatons and you can see them in action in South Coast Plaza in all iterations in 18-karat white gold or 18-karat rose gold with or without pavé diamonds.
To set the stage for its tiny mechanical marvels, dreamy settings arranged around a delicate garden include four rooms that explore different themes. The first two rooms will be dedicated to the watches with a backdrop of Paris by night and day. A third room brings Van Cleef’s fairy and ballerina themes to life, while a fourth is dedicated to the cosmos with a star-studded sky that pays tribute to the Poetic Astronomy collection.
Since a voyage to Paris is likely not on the cards right now, this is your chance to get your hands on Van Cleef’s most coveted jewels in a setting that is close as it gets to the city of love. The installation will be on display at 3333 Bristol Street Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m for two weeks starting May 3rd. Touring the space requires a reservation in advance.