A hymn to golden beads
November 9th, 2022
In a joyful and lively spirit, Van Cleef & Arpels is today revealing new Perlée creations that showcase the emblematic golden bead motif.
In yellow, rose or white gold – and combined with precious or ornamental stones, mother-of-pearl or coral – they lend their rounded forms and shimmering reflections to a variety of jewelry and watchmaking pieces with graphic, luminous silhouettes.
With their wealth of styles and materials, the creations illustrate the expertise of the Maison’s savoir-faire in a light and delicate style.
In keeping with the Perlée collection’s cheerful style, five new rings adorned with golden beads give pride of place to a dazzling palette of ornamental stones. With their rounded shapes, these creations reinterpret the aesthetic of the Philippine rings created by the Maison in 1968. The latter also combined ornamental stones and diamonds in bold and colorful compositions, typical of the jewelry of the period. These new pieces bring a fresh breath of creativity to the collection, imbuing it with a sunny, pop feel.
At the center of a three-dimensional setting, each jewel showcases a stone carefully selected for its vibrant color and generous dimensions. They range from the brilliant black of onyx and the elegantly striated deep green of malachite to – available in smaller quantities due to their rarity – the lightly glittering blue of lapis lazuli, azure turquoise and the orangey-red hue of coral; all these shades combine with yellow gold to create luminous pieces. Two rows of delicate golden beads fan out on either side of the gem, along with a line of round diamonds. By heightening the sheen of the precious metal, the mirror polishing technique endows the creations with interplays of reflections and contrasts.
The Perlée couleurs collection is also enriched by two sets: made up of a bracelet and a pendant, they reveal new harmonies of materials. Revisiting a style launched in 2017, the bracelets bring together a dome in yellow gold set with diamonds, and a cabochon in lapis lazuli or coral. This precious encounter is presented on an open bangle, composed of a multitude of golden beads, which unfurl like a shimmering cascade around the wrist. On the pendants, the lapis lazuli and coral cabochons are elegantly framed by a border of golden beads, emphasizing their rounded lines.
Featured for the first time on these types of pieces – only available in small quantities – the rare materials of lapis lazuli and coral have been carefully selected. They display an intense and even color – deep blue for the lapis lazuli, orangey-red for the coral – and a smooth and regular polished surface. They complement the various stones already showcased on these styles, such as malachite, carnelian and turquoise. Diamonds add brilliance to this warm dialogue.
Variations of precious colors
For the first time since its launch in 2008, the Perlée collection invites colored precious stones onto three sparkling new rings. Inspired by the Caroline rings and bracelets created by Van Cleef & Arpels in the late 1970s, this aesthetic sets up a dialogue between the shimmer of the emblematic spheres, and the colorful overtones of rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Rigorously selected by the Maison’s expert gemologists, carmine rubies respond to the tender nuances of rose gold, while intense blue sapphires and emeralds of luminous green harmonize with the warm glow of yellow gold.
In line with the playful spirit of the collection, these pieces are characterized by their asymmetric design and interplays of light and shape. On each of them, five rows of golden beads wrap themselves around the finger – the widest at the summit of the ring, with the thinnest below – on either side of an oblique band of precious stones, which catches the eye. The gems are held in place by polished gold nails positioned between the stones. Used in the collection for the first time, this technique calls for great dexterity from the stone-setter, especially when working with delicate materials like emeralds. To intensify the ring’s shimmer, the mount has been pierced with honeycomb openwork, and the entire piece intricately polished.
Reflections of gold
This same aesthetic has brought three Perlée diamonds rings into being: the fires of round diamonds respond to the radiant color of yellow gold, the clarity of white gold, and the warm hue of rose gold. With their graphic style, these creations sparkle according to the movements of the hand. As with all Van Cleef & Arpels pieces, the selected diamonds meet the most stringent quality standards (D, E, F for color and IF to VVS for clarity).
To accompany the Perlée diamonds pavé rings launched in 2020, the Maison is today unveiling three pairs of matching earrings in yellow, white and rose gold. Echoing the rings, these new pieces reveal generous gadroons, framing a dome paved with 74 round diamonds of varying diameters. Each gadroon is worked by hand and polished to ensure the harmony of the ensemble, while honeycomb openwork allows the light to pass through the stones. These three-dimensional creations are a treat for the eyes, which flicker between the brilliance of the gems and the gleam of the gold.
Van Cleef & Arpels is now introducing the Perlée collection’s emblematic aesthetic to new watches. These five timeless pieces combine gentle curves and subtle details, watchmaking savoir-faire and jewelry inspiration. With their fluid lines and playful spirit, the novelties offer a contemporary take on jewels that tell the time.
From left to right: Perlée watches, 23mm in yellow gold, guilloché white mother-of-pearl, Swiss quartz movement, white gros-grain bracelet; yellow gold, guilloché white mother-of-pearl, Swiss quartz movement, yellow gold bracelet; yellow gold, guilloché yellow gold, Swiss quartz movement, pansy blue gros-grain bracelet; yellow gold, guilloché onyx, Swiss quartz movement, black gros-grain bracelet.
Elegant and feminine, they have a round shape fringed with a very modern- looking double row of golden beads, displaying an edge in mirror-polished yellow gold. Beneath a convex glass, their dials range between mother-of-pearl, onyx and yellow gold. Adorned with a radiating guilloché
motif, they catch the light to create intense reflections. The time is set using a push-button on the back of the case, which is completely invisible when the watch is worn.
Perlée watch, 30mm in yellow gold, guilloché white mother-of-pearl, Swiss quartz movement, white gros-grain bracelet.
Four of the five new models have a case of 23mm in diameter, while the case of the fifth has a diameter of 30mm. Each watch is supplied with an interchangeable bracelet in gros-grain fabric, along with a flexible bracelet to be chosen among those of the collection. In the spirit of a jewel watch, a precious bracelet – made up entirely of articulated gold bead links and matching the watch’s beaded contour – is also available. Using a simple procedure, the bracelets can be changed to match their wearer’s mood.
From left to right: Perlée Toi & Moi secret watch in yellow gold, diamonds, turquoise, white mother-of-pearl, Swiss quartz movement; rose gold, diamonds, turquoise, coral, white mother-of-pearl, Swiss quartz movement.
The golden beads come together once again in a delightful dance, to adorn secret jewelry watches. These pieces combine the delicate spheres with the intense colors of ornamental stones, to form joyful associations.
Perlée Toi & Moi secret watch in rose gold, diamonds, carnelian, black pietersite, white mother-of-pearl, Swiss quartz movement.
Inspired by “you and me”
jewels, these wrist watches bring two differently-sized motifs face to face, on an open bangle entirely composed of the golden beads. Pivoting delicately through 360°, the larger one reveals a dial in white mother-of-pearl, surrounded by a border of round diamonds. In keeping with the spirit of the Perlée collection, these three creations each offer a combination of different materials.
On the first, the warm red of carnelian contrasts with the captivating aspect of black pietersite, while on the second the bright blue of turquoise complements the brilliance of diamonds and yellow gold. In a luminous harmony, the third watch – available in limited quantities – combines the lively tones of turquoise and coral. The round silhouette of each cabochon is emphasized by a golden bead surround, whose intense shimmer adds the finishing touch to these colorful creations.
A savoir-faire at the heart of jewelry creations
Faithful to the tradition of the Maison, the new Perlée jewelry creations give pride of place to the golden bead technique, which calls for collaboration between different craftsmen. These spheres of varying diameters are produced from precious metal – yellow, rose or white gold – using the lost wax casting technique. Jewelers then rework them individually by hand: their precise and intricate gestures give a harmonious and consistent roundness to the ensemble. Several stages of polishing are also required, to ensure the beads present a smooth surface that will encourage effects of brilliance.
of watchmaking and jewelry
The Maison’s expertise is also expressed in watchmaking creations that combine French and Swiss savoir-faire: the gold bracelet of the secret watches is produced in French workshops, while the dials and movements are assembled in Van Cleef & Arpels’ Watchmaking Workshops, in Geneva. The collaboration between these crafts results in poetic watches, which bring enchantment back to the art of telling the time.
For the first time this year, links of golden beads have been assembled to create a watch bracelet of extreme flexibility. It hugs the wrist like a second skin, ensuring optimal comfort when worn.
The choice of precious materials
Selecting the materials is an essential stage in Van Cleef & Arpels’ tradition of excellence. From precious and ornamental stones to mother-of-pearl and coral, the Maison chooses the most beautiful specimens in line with the strictest criteria of quality.
All the diamonds used by Van Cleef & Arpels meet the highest gemological standards: D to F for color, and IF to VVS for clarity. They sparkle intensely on the Perlée creations, thanks to an openwork structure that allows the light to pass through. Natural and untreated, the rubies, emeralds and sapphires set on the Maison’s pieces display crystal clear materials, balanced cuts and dazzling colors.
Van Cleef & Arpels’ attachment to precious materials also finds expression in the particularly stringent selection of ornamental stones. Among them, the warm red carnelian reveals a lightly translucent surface, while the turquoise and lapis lazuli – both extremely rare – are characterized by their intense color and harmonious material. The hand-polished onyx displays its characteristic black and shining surface. Black pietersite – a new stone in the Perlée collection this year – derives its poetry from the multiple minerals it contains, giving it the appearance of a picture.
Coral and mother-of-pearl are also subject to a meticulous examination by the expert gemologists. The coral is sustainably produced and selected for the evenness of its joyful orangey hue, showcased by the polishing work, while white mother-of-pearl presents its iridescent hues enhanced by the guilloché technique.
Born in 2008, the Perlée collection draws its golden beads from the Maison’s history. These precious spheres have gleamed in Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations since the 1920s, first to emphasize a design or border a stone before becoming a motif in their own right. From 1948 onwards, they increased in size and spread through the Couscous and then Bagatelle collections. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and watches revealed golden beads of various sizes, sometimes associated with precious stones. They also gave rise to charming animal clips in the “la Boutique” collection, which offered more accessible and playful pieces from 1954 onwards.
In the 1960s, jewelry emphasized fluid and flexible shapes, notably thanks to golden beads. They rolled themselves playfully into braids in the Twist collection, combined with coral, turquoise and cultured pearls. From 1968, they also took up their place in the Alhambra collection, surrounding Van Cleef & Arpels’ iconic symbols of luck with a delicate golden contour.
Today, the Maison is frequently enriching the Perlée collection with new jewelry creations, through the Perlée pearls of gold, Perlée couleurs, Perlée diamonds, Perlée clovers and Perlée signature lines, alongside watches of precious and sparkling elegance.
Enchanted by Mediterranean landscapes, Van Cleef & Arpels has designed a High Jewelry collection alive with the colors of sunshine and the sea: Perles d’été. Made up of twelve unique pieces, it offers an interpretation of these radiant horizons in a finely rounded aesthetic inspired by the Perlée jewelry collection. Further influenced by the shapes and shades of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as cocktail jewelry, these creations combine precious and ornamental stones in a daring spirit of shimmering elegance. The dazzling blue of the turquoise mingles with the warm rays of yellow gold beads to compose striking tableaux. Blending exceptional materials and consummate savoir- faire, necklaces, long necklaces, bracelets and rings extend an invitation to bask in the light of a bejeweled summer.
Illustrating Van Cleef & Arpels’ penchant for ornamental stones and noble materials, the Perles d’été collection unveils precious lots acquired by the Maison several years ago. Turquoise, a material dear to Van Cleef & Arpels particularly since the 1920s, takes center stage in this collection. Out of twelve unique creations, ten feature turquoise of rare quality, taken from three batches unearthed in Arizona.
The 14 cabochons of the first lot present a smooth essence with no inclusions. The Maison’s expert gemologists selected them for their uniform azure hue, imbued with a softness suggestive of Mediterranean landscapes. Delicately polished to enhance their glow, they adorn two necklaces, two bracelets and four rings within the collection. The second batch is made up of 19 cabochons of various sizes, set in a steady cascade on the Brume de turquoise necklace and its detachable pendant. Perfectly matched, these stones exhibit an intense and consistent blue shade and a mirror-like surface produced by meticulous polishing on both sides. Finally, the third batch features 39 turquoise beads with diameters ranging from 10 to 23 millimeters. These substantial dimensions, coupled with a dazzling, uniform essence, make them an exceptional set, arrayed on the Lueur d’été transformable long necklace.
on, présenté sur le sautoir transformable Lueur d’été.
This collection also highlights the beauty of coral. On the same long necklace, coral beads – 3 to 11mm in diameter – reveal their deep red hue, while the Crépuscule d’été long necklace and bracelet illustrate two generous, milky white coral “buttons.”
Cultivated using sustainable production methods, the precise matching of these two differently colored batches make them all the more precious.
Evoking a Mediterranean atmosphere, the collection draws inspiration from the flamboyant aesthetic of “cocktail”
jewelry. This expression is thought to have originated in 1930s America to denote spectacular creations – especially rings – worn by elegant women at soirées in high-society. Raising a glass to their lips, they would turn every head in the room.
Cocktail jewelry came back into fashion in the 1960s and 1970s, a period synonymous with new bold and liberated lifestyles. With their ample volumes and contrasting colors, these pieces stood out for an architectural style and an exuberant color palette blending precious and ornamental stones, as well as organic materials. Diamonds sparkled alongside turquoise and lapis-lazuli, the intense purple of amethysts set off the peach tone of angel skin coral, while green agate, jet black onyx and pink-orange coral stirred new and brilliant harmonies. Rings, necklaces and bracelets glistened under the honeyed rays of a setting sun. Reinterpreting these codes, the High Jewelry collection blends bold creativity and virtuoso savoir-faire, all in a warm, pop-infused spirit.
Brume de turquoise necklace
with detachable pendant
Yellow gold, sapphires, turquoise, diamonds
Like a mist of precious bubbles, this creation presents a majestic array of 19 cascade-set turquoise cabochons. Their strikingly intense color, generous volumes and smooth, mirror-finished surface make for exceptional quality. Calling to mind a serene sea under an azure sky, the motifs are accented by a contour of golden beads that gleams in the light. These spheres of varying sizes, iconic motifs of the Perlée collection, mingle with the yellow gold of a detachable pendant, aglow on the hollow of the neck.
Like a vivid summer sun, it encircles two cabochons with its golden rays, filtered through a spray of precious droplets: diamonds and sapphires embellish the medallion in a seemingly arbitrary sequence, while joyful golden beads punctuate openwork beams that reveal the skin. The tiered volumes of the beads, as well as the varied dimensions of the gemstones, call forth a symphony of glimmering reflections. As a finishing touch, three rows of golden beads elegantly conceal around the clasp on the back of the piece.
The fruit of more than 800 hours of work, the Brume de turquoise necklace captures a Mediterranean landscape resplendent with a celestial palette and a sunny glow.
The azure plane of the Mediterranean Sea extends from golden coastlines, glistening under a brilliant sun. Such is the vista conjured up by this creation, imbued with midsummer poetry. The volume of a turquoise cabochon surfaces amid a wreath of yellow gold gadroons. The stone’s uniform color, smooth, brilliant finish and stunning proportions convey a singularly precious character. Fine prongs of varied sizes delicately hold it in place, while the meticulously polished gadroons form a halo of light. These trimmings, reminiscent of the Perlée creations’ curves, continue on the body of the ring, enhancing the piece with a sense of relief and perspective.
With its architectural aesthetic, its materials and its colorful harmony, this design reflects the tradition of “cocktail” rings in vogue in the 1960s and 1970s. Its mellow nuances stir sweet sensations of a summer’s day or a sunset by the sea.
transformable long necklace
Yellow gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, red and pink coral, diamonds
With its distinctly supple aesthetic and the intense nuances of its ornamental stones, the Lueur d’été transformable long necklace takes inspiration from the 1920s and the 1970s – two decades characterized by their fluid jewelry and free spirit. This piece brings together 39 turquoise beads of varying sizes, accentuated by the gentle sparkle of lapis lazuli and the fiery red of coral. Matched with extreme care, the materials were then deftly beaded on a silk thread using the traditional knot beading technique. This symmetrical composition is enhanced with shimmering diamonds and the sunny reflections of golden beads, in a subtle nod to the Perlée collection. Together, they create wonderfully delicate jewelry motifs, cadencing the piece and complementing the polished surface of the spheres with companion materials of equal brilliance. The light gradually embraces the necklace in a precious sprinkling of illumination that extends down to the detachable tassel. The lapis lazuli and coral spheres making up this embellishment burst forth from a gold and diamond-encrusted crown in a beaming finale. The wearer enjoys full liberty to customize the creation, as two discreet clasps make it possible to split the original piece into two necklaces: one featuring the azure band of turquoise in a consistent cascade, while the other comprises its multicolor counterpart.
Delta de turquoise bracelet
Yellow gold, turquoise, diamonds
The Delta de turquoise bracelet showcases a remarkable turquoise cabochon set at the heart of interlacing lines of diamonds and golden beads. The exceptionally lavish gemstone is held at the center of the wrist by long mirror-polished gold prongs, as well as a garland of rounded gadroons embellishing the piece like shimmering ripples. Gadrooned gold motifs, a feature of the Maison’s creations since the 1940s, illustrate Van Cleef & Arpels’ fondness for goldwork, meticulously executed here to underscore the center stone. Two round diamonds, positioned on either side of the cabochon, lend their sparkle to heighten the intense hue of the turquoise. The brilliance extends to the band with two rows of diamonds, dancing in harmonious dialogue with the warmth of the golden beads. Thanks to its openwork structure, the bracelet offers subtle glimpses of the skin between its tapered lines in a finishing touch of lightness and finesse.
Inspired by the eponymous mountain range, the Estérel bracelet presents a bold interpretation of this Riviera landscape. Rising to a summit, it unites the vivid blue of the turquoise with the sculpted reliefs of finely gadrooned gold. The ridges and furrows surge, cascade and overlap in tiered lines. Exactingly executed using the green wax casting technique, they seem to cover the structure in molten metal, suffusing the piece with a movement particular to volcanic lands.
These taut lines set off the roundness of the cabochon and the tips of the gadroons, recalling the golden beads on Perlée creations. The lagoon color of this first dome – rare for turquoise – and the intense brilliance fostered by several stages of polishing spark a striking contrast. Through its texture effects and reflections, this creation exemplifies the Maison’s taste for stylized forms and creations that exalt natural materials.
Cap azur transformable necklace
Yellow gold, turquoise, diamonds
The Cap azur necklace reflects a bountiful climate, stringing together discs adorned with sparkling diamonds and carefully polished golden beads. Like a tribute to the path of the stars, its architecture plays on the complementarity of the motifs highlighted by the openwork gold, evoking the sweep of the sun or the changing faces of the moon. Its suspended pendant lends this piece its full intensity: two generously proportioned turquoise cabochons, set with consummate care to preserve their essence, call to mind the limpid coves of the “Middle Sea.” Once again, their contours are edged with diamonds and golden beads announcing the three last discs on the necklace, the final drops of a precious stream.
Thanks to an ingenious pressure clasp system, this transformable necklace can be worn as a short necklace once the turquoise pendant is detached. Combining dazzling materials and finely crafted works of jewelry art, this piece illustrates the prowesses of Van Cleef & Arpels’ High Jewelry workshops.