Contemplating the Seas
From peaceful shores to the open sea, from foaming breakers to crystalline expanses, Van Cleef & Arpels has let its gaze drift to the far horizon. The ever-changing spectacle of the waves and the grace of the sea’s denizens have captivated its senses to inspire a new collection of High Jewelry: Seven Seas®.
Like a travel memoir, it brings together treasures and impressions, transposed into jewelryby the language of gems. In a cascade of blues, the distinctive sparkles of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean stand alongside those of the Caspian and Arabian Seas. The far reaches of the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean have inspired streams of light, while dazzling associations of materials evoke the Red and Black Seas. During this contemplative voyage, the Maison explores the sea’s multiple shades: from gradations of turquoise and emerald green to sparkling sunlight in the heat of the afternoon or moonbeams glittering on its mirrored waters.
Across the seven seas
Nature, which has always occupied a central place in the world of Van Cleef & Arpels, is represented in all its richness and diversity. The theme of the sea—fascinating for its flora and fauna as much as for the legends attached to it—has provided the Maison with an infinite source of inspiration for its High Jewelry creations. Today, the Seven Seas collection pays tribute to this universe with a vision that is both cultural and dreamlike. It invites us to embark on a dual voyage: across the world and to the origins of the expression “the seven seas”.
Dating from ancient times, it was used in medieval European literature to refer to a specific set of waters, known to sailors of the time. Its meaning shifted in the wake of great discoveries, until it came to evoke all the world’s oceans, like a vast expanse to be explored. Chosen by Rudyard Kipling as the title for his collection of poems The Seven Seas (1896), the words now echo like a call to escape and discovery, a metaphor for that Elsewhere that so fully corresponds to the boundless imagination of Van Cleef & Arpels.
The undulation of gems
Drifting with the currents, the Maison has steeped itself in the sea’s varied faces. Limpid, shimmering or profound, punctuated by spurting foam or the gentle lapping of the waves, it has lent itself to exquisitely fluid and nuanced interpretations. The constant movement of the waters has inspired diamond volutes, glittering spirals and braids of precious bubbles. Magnified by a play of ever-changing lights, the aquatic palette is brought to life by a selection of Pierres de Caractère™, exceptional gems that elicit a unique emotion. Together with historic sapphires and crystalline emeralds, turquoises, aquamarines and Paraíba-like tourmalines evoke gentle shores. The seabed teems with rubies, coral and red spinels, while evening brings a backwash of cultured pearls and onyx. Harmonious gradations of blues, pinks or oranges are carefully composed to recreate the richness of these inviting worlds. They are inhabited by extraordinary creatures: turtles and seahorses, alongside mermaids and princesses of the waves that renew the tradition of feminine figures. Adorned with the Mystery Set™, a flamboyant seashell opens to reveal the treasure within. The guardian of a virtuoso savoir-faire, it symbolizes the taste for rarity and beauty that inspires the Maison each and every day.