Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SIHH 2015 Van Cleef & Arpels Unlocks the Cadenas Watch

Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas Sertie Watches- SIHH 2015
Van Cleef & Arpels reintroduces its famed Cadenas watch.  A timepiece first unlocked back in 1935.  The new Cadenas Collection boasts a more modern look and larger case.  Cadenas ,meaning "lock" in French, is a signature Van Cleef & Arpels design with a strong symbolic sentiment. The lock symbolizes a union between two groups or individuals.  Van Cleef  Arpels claims the padlock idea was that of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the same Duchess who commissioned the famous Cartier Panther bracelet.

Photo Credit: Van Cleef & Arpels Archive
Photo Credit: Van Cleef & Arpels Archive Cadenas 1935
Since the 1930's, the Cadenas watch is a permanent feature in Van Cleef & Arpels Collections.  Back in the 1930's , the Cadena's watch took its own stand against women's suffrage.  It was not proper for women to glance at a watch on their wrist, especially during social engagements. It was not proper to even wear one.  Women were not supposed to seem bored or have anywhere else to go to.  So Van Cleef & Arpels set about designing a watch where the watch face could be noticed by no one else but the wearer.

Van Cleef & Arpels designed a fashionable snake chain bracelet to which the  padlock watch case  was attached.   To effectively conceal the watch and its telling indices, the Maison extraordinaire masked the face with the padlock shank and the clasp attachment.

It comes as no surprise that this design became quite popular. During the past 80 years, different Cadenas Models were created with slight changes to suit the current trends of the time.    As women's rights grew, the watch face became less inconspicuous and the padlock shank lowered revealing the dial face to others.

Cadenas Sertie Watch - Yellow or White Gold with Snake Chain Bracelett - SIHH 2015

The Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas timepiece  revealed in a couple days at SIHH 2015, boasts a lowered padlock shank and a streamlined bold look.  To maintain the look of the original Cadenas Watch, Van Cleef & Arpels kept the double snake chain gold bracelet. (or Bracelet Or - Or is gold in French)  The clasp, however, is now equipped with small ceramic spheres to ensure a more secure closure of the clasp. The mother-of-pearl dial is now prominent with a clear unobstructed read out.  The dial,  now larger,  bares a look of open confidence with bold hands and clear baton indices. A diamond encrusted banner decorated in a snow setting  adds to the elegant ensemble of the watch.A snow setting or "serti neige" is the term used to describe diamonds of various sizes set to completely encrust the metal beneath.  As no two diamonds are exactly alike, each snow setting is completely unique.  Each stone is carefully selected to perfectly fit into the setting in order to create a balanced seamless look. Hence the "Sertie" title added to these models of the Cadenas Collection. 

Cadenas Sertie Watch Yellow or White Gold with Alligator Strap 

There are 9 new additions to the Cadenas collection, two white or yellow gold Sertie models are available with alligator leather straps.  The unique leather strap attachment is  also decorated with a band bejeweled  by a snow setting which further enhances the watch as a prized piece of joaillerie. There will also be models without diamonds for those looking for a more elegant yet casual Cadenas timepiece.

Cadenas Pavee Watch Models

Three other additions to the Cadenas collection are the haute -joaillerie Pavee models. A glimpse at these models pre-SIHH 2015 is only in sketch; however, Van Cleef & Arpels may have a Pavee model or two at SIHH 2015.  The Cadenas Pavee Collection is simply smothered in diamonds.  Princess cut diamonds pave the upper surface of the case, while the reminder of the case as well as dial and class are covered with round cut diamonds in a snow setting. The pink Cadenas Pavée Saphirs Roses Bracelet Or watch  is a combination of pink sapphires and diamonds and rose gold.  A wonderful Valentines Day gift.  The Pavee model is also available in white gold either secured by the alligator strap or a gold bracelet.

The Cadenas timepiece is powered by a Quartz movement. Pricing is not available yet.
Van Cleef & Arpels

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