This year, the intense reflections of guilloché yellow gold – introduced in the Alhambra collection in 2018 – blend with the sparkle of diamonds and the gleam of gold mother-of-pearl on new jewelry and timepiece creations.
The Alhambra collection is incorporating an original pendant, bracelet and long necklace designed to highlight the guilloché technique. The Maison used this traditional aesthetic in the 1910s to embellish watch dials, extending it in the 1930s to cases, powder compacts and Minaudières in which stones mingled with precious metals.
Today, Van Cleef & Arpels is drawing inspiration from the evocative lines produced by this engraving technique, through radiant designs etched into yellow gold. The depth and sunbeam-like structure of the veins bestow a subtle relief on the surface of the metal, intensifying the f low of light. By alternating guilloché and diamond-paved motifs, the long necklace and the bracelet captivate the gaze with their shifting reflections suffused with warm hues.
Faithful to the collection’s original aesthetic, each Alhambra motif is adorned with a delicate beaded contour and a central gold bead – finely rounded and shimmering.
A loving nod to the new jewelry designs, two Sweet Alhambra watches enrich the collection with their fiery glow. The first one underscores the guilloché technique through a radiant dial imbued with intense reflective qualities. Its graphic lines contrast with the elegant hues of a selection of alligator-skin bracelets. Easily interchangeable, the bracelets can be removed thanks to a slight pressure. They offer a playful way to celebrate luck at any time, setting off an outfit or adapting at will from day to day and season to season.
The Sweet Alhambra jewelry watch, made of gold, diamonds and gold mother-of-pearl, appears utterly devoted to light. The bracelet features lustrous alternating motifs, around a guilloché gold dial. The gold mother-of-pearl stands out for its golden hue and glistening reflections, the guilloché gold captures the light glowing on the engraved surface, while the diamonds heighten the beauty of the bracelet with their sparkling brilliance. All these materials imbue the iconic Alhambra motifs with resplendence. This bracelet that displays the time of day invites the eye to contemplate the hours shimmering by.
THE EXPERTISE AND SAVOIR-FAIRE OF VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
True to the tradition of excellence at Van Cleef & Arpels, the Alhambra collection reflects the consummate expertise of a High Jewelry Maison. From lapidaries to jewelers, from stone-setters to polishers, each piece calls on a wide variety of skills.
As with the other Vintage Alhambra creations, the guilloché yellow gold motifs are framed by an elegant beaded border. This precious surround is carefully reworked by master jewelers, before the prongs – rounded for added softness – are bent down to hold the motifs in place.
A final polish brings out all the luminous beauty of the ensemble. In all, no fewer than fifteen successive steps of selection, production and verification are required to create an iconic jewel that will stand the test of time.
SELECTION OF MATERIALS
T H E LU S T E R O F G O L D M O T H E R- O F- P E A R L
Produced naturally inside seashells, this material stands out for its gold color with ever-changing overtones. Its sheen evokes femininity, gentleness as well as protection. Selected according to the most stringent criteria of quality, the gold mother-of-pearl used by Van Cleef & Arpels comes mainly from the balmy waters of the Australian seas. It is remarkable for its warm tones, satiny surface and the quality of its luster.
Since its creation in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has always chosen gems of the highest quality for its creations. The same rigorous care is applied to select center and pavé stones: D, E or F for color and IF to VVS2 for clarity, diamonds are coordinated to impart an exceptional intensity into each and every piece.
ALHAMBRA: AN ICON OF LUCK SINCE 1968
“To be lucky, you have to believe in luck,” as Jacques Arpels – Estelle Arpels’ nephew – used to say. Ever cherished by the Maison, luck is a value that has often guided its footsteps and inspired some of its most characteristic creations. In 1968, the Maison created the first Alhambra long necklace, inspired by the four-leaf clover shape. Like a harmonious token of luck it was made up of 20 motifs in creased yellow gold, delicately fringed with golden beads. The symbol was an immediate success, establishing itself throughout the world as an icon of luck and emblem of Van Cleef & Arpels.Email This Post