Diamonds and beads dominate new Van Cleef & Arpels bracelets
In a natural extension of its decade-old Perlée collection, French jewellery house Van Cleef & Arpels has created six diamond bracelets that pay homage to that simple but most effective of embellishments: beads.
Van Cleef’s association with the precious pellets goes back to the 1920s, when the maison began edging stones and motifs with gilded beads, and later pairing them with rubies, diamonds and pearls. By the 1940s, beads broke out of their borders and began to form the very structure of necklaces, rings and bracelets, as in the Couscous necklace of 1948, while in the 1960s, they were employed to define the fluidity of the Twist and Alhambra collections.
The latest Perlée range comprises three beaded bracelets topped on either end with diamonds and colourful cabochons of malachite, turquoise or carnelian, plus a complementary trio made up of a row of round diamonds flanked by two rows of gold beads.
In keeping with the young and joyous theme of the collection as a whole, the idea is to wear the bracelets in twos or threes, or pair them with other Perlée pieces: the bold Between the Finger rings, the colourful variation jewels from the Couleurs collection or the delicately pearled circlets engraved with roundhand letters from the Signature range. Each set is realised in white, yellow and pink gold, so that wearing them stacked reveals a harmonious play of bright, sunny and warm tints.
Savoir faire is a phrase regularly employed by Van Cleef & Arpels to describe its jewellery-making thought process and prowess. From sketches that capture the exact depth, dimensions, shades and facets of the stones – down to the way light will reflect off them – to the hand-reworked settings and hinges, the jeweller prides itself on both its painstaking techniques and flawless selection of materials.
The beads that make up the body of the Perlée bracelets are individually set by hand and then polished to bring out their characteristic gleam. The discreet clasps of the bracelets come in a choice of sizes for all wrist sizes, while the inner surface benefits from the maison’s famed mirror polishing technique. The diamonds are chosen in line with the strictest gemmological criteria – D, E or F for colour, and IF, VVS1 or VVS2 for clarity – while the hard stones are hand-polished to enhance their deep green, opaque blue and red-orange tones.
In jewellery, the circle represents love, trust and fidelity – that which is infinite because it has no beginning and no end; and the beaded Perlée bracelets represent the very best of that everlasting concept.
More stories from Luxury magazine's September issue: