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Best in Beauty at SIHH: Van Cleef & Arpels, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin

Whitewall‘s coverage of SIHH continues with our selection of the most beautifully designed new watches:

Van Cleef & Arpels expanded its Extraordinary Dials collection at SIHH last week. Joining former motifs like constellations, landscapes, and lucky charms, this year’s collection featured butterflies. The brand has a long history of using butterflies in its jewelry design, and the creativity of the maison shines in its use of whimsical themes. The Lady Arpels Papillion Extraordinaire invokes the beauty and hope of new beginnings as the butterfly is often associated with transformation. Shimmering blue and pink hues conjure images of spring. A white gold case is set off with diamonds, yet it doesn’t outshine the mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli background the enameled butterfly wings rest against.

Audemars Piguet‘s SIHH offering was a 648-part timepiece that is the contemporized brother of the original Royal Oak Offshore. A streamlined watch with a husky design, the Royal Oak Offshore is the ultimate in masculine timepieces. Its titanium case and glare-proof sapphire crystals are practical additions, while the sapphire dial and white gold hour markers are for aesthetics. This model, an ultra-sporty and virile extension of the one designed two decades earlier by Gérald Genta, has become an icon within the luxury world. Twenty years on, this watch is now being enriched for the first time ever with an exceptional Grande Complication movement.

In the early 19th-century, Vacheron Constantin made some of the first pocket watches designed for women. In 2013 the brand continues its history of excellence in women’s watchmaking with the introduction of the Patrimony Traditionalle High Jewelry. An astounding 16.2 carat baguette diamond flooring makes up the 35mm face of this stunning watch. Even the case, dial, and clasp have been covered with an assortment of flawless diamonds. The art of fine watchmaking remains uncompromised, and one can view the mechanical-winding movements unimpeded through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

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