When you enter the Van Cleef & Arpels booth, you travel back in time to the Belle Epoque, cradle of the Art Nouveau style, which is making such a big comeback. In fact, it has never left.

The Perlée collection presented this year by Van Cleef is simply beautiful. The small, dainty watches are true jewels on the wrist, looking like drops of coloured rain. Since they are meant as jewels, they have no crown, only a discreet push button on the back of the case. The strap changing system is extremely easy, as a real lady has no time or patience to tinker with logistics.

The Perlée watches can be worn on the wrist or, in what is surely the prettiest watch this year – as pendants, which hide secret watches under their covers made of precious or ornament stones (calcedony, quartz). And yes, since they are pendants, time is meant to be read upside down.

The Alhambra jewelry watch is a very dramatic apparition in gold and scarlet, while the poetic complication – the Fairy has a dial that puts the feminine silhouette against a superb backdrop of a fiery sunset in a beautiful garden. I also enjoyed the story continuation on the back, featuring tiny clouds and golden stars. The case is 33mm, the calibre features jumping hours and retrograde minutes.

And last, but obviously not least – the famous Van Cleef Extraordinary objects: this year, the lovely, lovely Floraison du Nenuphar and Éveil du Cyclamen. Plus a new Planetarium.

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