A million-dollar secret. The creations of luxury French jewelry, watch and perfume house Van Cleef & Arpels, founded back in 1896, have been known to grace the world’s most famous style icons: Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Nazli of Egypt and the Duchess of Windsor, to name a few. Its pieces are crafted with unparalleled savoir-faire and are known for incorporating playful motifs with flowers, animals and fairies.
A favorite design of the brand is a “secret” (or “hidden”) watch. One such creation that truly needs to be seen to be believed is one it calls the “Rubis.” This timepiece, which masquerades as a bracelet, was created with 115 different-sized Mozambique rubies, famously precious and brilliant stones, collected over several years. Over 150 carats are outlined by a row of white diamonds and set in 18-karat gold for an Art Deco effect; the watch dial is only revealed by a hidden hinge and secret side compartment, should one press on the right rubies. This painstakingly stunning design took Van Cleef & Arpels’ artisans a whopping 1,500 hours of work to complete, but the result is truly illuminating – from the inside out.
Hear from the brand’s Stones Expert and High Jewelry Production Director, who further explain how this truly magnificent accessory was created in the video below!