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Spotlight on: Van Cleef and Arpels Poetic Wish

Literature fans know that the myth of Paris as the City of Love is tres, tres, overrated.

The symbolic heart of France has been portrayed as downright cruel and uncaring, and the setting for all sorts of lost loves and eventual lost lives. Remember the high body counts in “Les Miserables” or “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” or all the mayhem and bloodshed in everything from “The Phantom of the Opera” to “The Da Vinci Code.”

But thanks to fine jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris doesn’t have to be that bad after all.

The century-old company recently created Poetic Wish, a set of his and hers elegant timepieces that also tell a beautiful, timeless story of love and hope.

Poetic Wish continues the magic which began in 2007 with Lady Arpels Faerie, a timepiece depicting a beautiful fairy that uses her wand to guide owners through the hours. The beautiful yet functional watch was bordered by precious stones.

Through a series of masterfully-created watches over the years, we see the fairy granting a wish to a baby girl in a cradle, who later grows up, falls in love and shares a kiss on a bridge over the River Seine in Paris. Each watch contains so many intricate mechanical and sculpted pieces and required hundreds of hours to lovingly create.

The Lady Arpels Poetic Wish shows the young woman waiting atop the Eiffel Tower for her love. When the bells chime, she moves toward the center of the face, and looks across the skyline to Notre Dame Cathedral, where her lover is sending up a kite. The white gold border is set with diamonds of DEF color and VVS clarity, and the bracelet is made of pearl gray silk and calfskin leather.

The companion piece is the Midnight Poetic Wish, which shows him searching for her atop of the cathedral. As night falls, the church’s windows light up, and he watches a diamond-tipped shooting star fly overhead toward the white gold Eiffel Tower. This watch chimes as well, which draw his attention toward his true love. The case is white gold, and the bracelet is made of calf suede and alligator “clair de lune” skin.

Each Master timepiece has the highest attention to detail, from the detailed movement of tiny automatons to the pure, organic sound of the chimes. The animations can be done on demand, and each watch includes a five-minute repeater.

The same acoustic technology used in violins was used for these watches. Purchasers also receive a cabinet crafted out of precious woods with mother-of-pearl inlays.

Van Cleef & Arpels has been known for elegance since opening the Maison in Paris in 1906, directly across from the Hotel Ritz. The location soon became symbolic of more than just fine jewelry and classy adornments. Instead, the pieces are innovative and elegant with unparalleled craftsmanship.

World Tempus, a Swiss watch site, said the company makes watches “that are full of emotion, that tell a story and invite us into a dreamlike world.” calls Poetic Wish “a superb combination of high watch making and high jewelry.”

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