October 1, 2022

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier: a perpetually blooming microcosm of floral gears

Anyone who has dabbled in horticulture probably knows how difficult it can be to cultivate a thriving garden. Whether your goal is edible fruits and vegetables, colorfully flowering annuals, or hardy shrubs and perennials, a garden always exists in tentative balance with its surroundings. Success and failure can come from various directions and we often have limited control over them.

There are green thumbs that are one with nature and seem to have an almost magical ability to grow anything. But the rest of us have to accept that tasty food or beautiful flowers is a combination of luck, patience, and extensive Googling of what’s killing my pepper plants (or lilies, hostas, lilacs, raspberries, etc. ). It can be too little or too much water, sun, shade, acidic soil, pests or the fact that the temperature is simply not optimal for this species of plant.

There are reasons why different types of plants may need to be grown indoors, outdoors, in a greenhouse, under growing light, hydroponically, or separated to prevent disease or pests. My current outdoor garden is a bit sad, though still alive, but the best luck I’ve had with a plant is the Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides) that a friend gave me. It’s the only thing that didn’t indicate how terrible I am at watering and caring for it while spreading it out enough that I can probably divide it into a handful of new pots to put in any the House.

But this plant does not flower, so I know that if I want flowers, I have to learn a lot more than I know now. The engineer in me wishes plant care was a little easier, like caring for a motorcycle or equipment.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Cherry Floral Hours

Luckily for me, Van Cleef & Arpels has created a mechanical garden of gorgeous flowers that bloom perpetually on the wrist: the Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales and Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier are a pair of mechanical marvels that channel the natural world in an ever-changing display for the wrist.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Cherry Floral Hours

The Heures Florales Cerisier are one of the least traditional pieces ever made for the Lady Arpels collection, which is saying something. The collection has been home to several award-winning timepieces that have seen unique horological mechanics designed with a feminine sensibility in mind. Yet where previously the dial usually maintained clear hour markings (however poetic), the Heures Florales Cerisier uses miniature flowers to indicate the hours that flourish in various patterns at the top of the hour.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Cherry Floral Hours

This dance seems random to the casual observer, but the flowers open in a programmed pattern, similar to how a perpetual calendar works, and have three cycle variations before starting again. Since the dial is entirely geared towards this performance, Van Cleef & Arpels has decided not to clutter it by moving the minute indication to the edge of the case. Using a window and a vertical hand, the minutes are tracked on a scale that starts at zero and increases clockwise to 60, where the animation is renewed.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Cherry Floral Hours

The Heures Florales comes in two variations, the first – Heures Florales Cerisier – features hand-painted mother-of-pearl, blue, pink and red enamel flowers and butterflies in a rose gold case featuring white and yellow diamonds and polished pink sapphires.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Floral Hours

The other edition, Heures Florales, is housed in a white gold case and features a mother-of-pearl dial with green and light blue and dark blue flowers and leaves with white and yellow diamonds in the center of the flowers. Both models have tiny arms sculpted in rose gold and a case entirely set with diamonds.

The back of each watch features an engraved case back imitating the front as well as a sculpted sapphire crystal disc with a painted butterfly or dragonfly (depending on the model) that rests on a decorated gold oscillating weight that completely fills the case. window. This weight rotates as you play with the watch, giving a secondary animation to the back for your viewing pleasure.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Floral Hours

Les Heures Florales is above all to be a mechanical work of art, à la MB&F, entirely produced solely for lovers of nature, precious stones and poetry. Telling the time is somewhat secondary, but don’t think that makes it any less horologically prodigious, as this movement is a stunner in its own right.

Hand enamel of a blue butterfly for the back of the Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier

Mechanical flowering

Flowers are clearly the centerpiece of the Floral Hours. There are 12 different flowers, each comprising five individual enamel painted petals that spin on pinions, all driven by intricate gear trains linked to program wheels below the dial. The flowers open when the program wheel allows a cam finger to drop into a slot as it rotates. It’s basically a simple on/off switch for a gear train, and it looks like the calendar wheels of a perpetual calendar with “programming” notches.

The cam finger causes the sets of petals to snap as each finger has a rack driving the gears of each flower. Each flower has its own mini gear train and cam finger, and each program wheel has three flowers running simultaneously, requiring four different program wheels. These sets are separated on four individual bridges which are all mounted together on a central main plate, each driven by a cog from the main movement.

Close-up of the petals on the dial of the Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier

The basic move – if you can call it that – drives the automata nested in a larger module. Mounted on the crown side, it is smaller than the total diameter and is offset to make room on the left side of the case for the lateral minute display and the centrifugal regulating mechanism for animating the flowers mounted in a rear plate, the set of which connects to the central main plate.

The flowers use this regulation system to slowly close before moving on to the next set of opening flowers, which takes about four seconds for nature’s little miracle. The whole idea was inspired by Carl von Linné’s 1751 book Botanical Philosophy, in which he imagines a garden that uses flowers to tell the time. Turns out it’s not exactly a crazy idea if you know a watchmaker or two.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Floral Hours

poetry or nature

The animation is a marvel to behold, though it reminds me that my garden will never look as good as this micro grow. But that’s not what you should take; the idea is the wonder and beauty of nature and the skill of artisans. Various artists and craftsmen worked patiently to design and sculpt the dials and set the stones, while watchmakers and engineers spent five years developing this incredible movement. The result is definitely worth the wait, and the move has become one of my favorite new attempts to create drama and excitement on a micro scale while sweetening it with lavish nature.

The flowers and stones set in their center are beautiful even if they didn’t dance for us, but seeing them open and close is an added bonus. I prefer the blue and green Floral Hours, but the Cherry Floral Hours have a very delicate spring quality that cannot be overlooked. I also love that Van Cleef and Arpels have continued to develop incredible automaton movements for the Lady Arpels collection, as they are one of the few brands that invest a lot of time, money and efforts in the creation of new complications and unique purpose-designed mechanisms. with women in mind.

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Cherry Floral Hours on the wrist

The Heures Florales are not a complication recycled from a men’s or unisex watch; it is made with the firm intention of ending up on a feminine wrist. Though I have to admit, if the green and blue version of the Heures Florales didn’t have a diamond-set case, I’d be happy to rock this watch at a dinner party. If it were to be set with gemstones, I might prefer it to be set with emeralds and sapphires instead of diamonds to add even more vibrancy and color to the watch.

Either way, this watch is an amazing piece of horological craftsmanship and creativity. It’s got a price tag that sadly keeps it out of my reach, but for well-funded aficionados, it’s a pretty unique display that just can’t be replicated anywhere else.

Congratulations, Van Cleef & Arpels, keep dreaming these horological dreams and beautifying my garden with your micro mechanics!

At the risk of withering the flowers, let’s decompose them!

  • Wowza factor * 9.85 All you have to do is watch a video of this work to understand why it ranks so high in the wow factor!
  • Call of Late Night Lust * 98.5″ 965.955 m/s2 Few flowers bloom at night, but these do!
  • MGR*71 The incredible complexity and yet the visual simplicity of the automatons of this movement is worthy of an almost perfect note!
  • Feature Added * Lightweight I’m going to go against my usual standards and say that an automaton to show the times counts as an extra function because you’ll definitely need at least the strength of the kids I must have this cream for this amazing piece!
  • Ouch Outline * 12.4 Bad accidental sunburn! Always wear sunscreen, kids, because getting half of your face peeled off after a sea kayaking trip is no fun. But if I had this watch, I could make it again!
  • Siren Moment * Just look! You fall head over heels when you see the garden come to life!
  • Total impressive * 866 Add up all the diamonds (424 + 430), sapphires (10) and mother-of-pearl pieces (2) between the two versions and the result is an impressive total that comes to life!

For more information, visit www.vancleefarpels.com/us/en/collections/watches/poetic-complications/vcarlady-arpels-heures-florales-cerisier-watch.

In brief Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Cherry Floral Hours
Case: 38 x 14.64 mm, white or pink gold set with diamonds
Movement: automatic Valfleurier calibre, 36-hour power reserve, 28,800 vibrations/hour/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes; animation of automatons with flowers
Price: CHF 247,000

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