Because the director of analysis and improvement of watches for Van Cleef & Arpels, Rainer Bernard oversees manufacturing of the model’s timepieces. However when he’s engaged on a brand new addition to the model’s assortment, his focus goes nicely past horology.
“It’s by no means a watch by itself — it’s at all times a bit of jewellery, or a bit of excessive jewellery, on the identical time,” Mr. Bernard mentioned in a cellphone interview from his workplace on the model’s watchmaking atelier in Meyrin, Switzerland, about 5 miles northwest of Geneva’s metropolis heart.
“Right here, we don’t even speak about watchmaking,” he mentioned, with a 42-millimeter rose gold wristwatch, first designed by Pierre Arpels in 1949 and issued in 2012, on his wrist. “We speak about good tales that we need to convey right into a product.”
That mind-set comes throughout most clearly in Van Cleef’s excessive jewellery watches, which steadily characteristic dials with elaborate motifs like transferring figures or flowers rendered in enamel, diamonds and different gems.