In an interview with L'Officiel Malaysia, Van Cleef & Arpels managing director of Southeast Asia and Australia Hugues de Pins discusses the newest Poetry of Time exhibition in Marina Bay Sands, and more.
When de Pins was asked if there was a watch that inspired a collection piece of jewelry in the Poetry of Time exhibition, he said, "There are a lot of similarities between the jewelry or high jewelry collections and the watch collections. The watch collection is a continuation of our jewelry collection. We consider our watches as nothing different to our jewelry — the watches are actually jewelry, in the sense that they tell stories. It goes beyond just telling the time. (As for watches influencing the jewelry), I think you have seen (in the exhibition) secret watches in the high jewelry collections, and they inspired some of these collections, whether they are hidden in the pompom (or the pendant) at the end of a long necklace or on the wrist as part of a bracelet.
"In the current collection, we recently launched the Alhambra watch pendant, and you know of course that the Alhambra already existed as a wristwatch. Now we choose to express the watch as a pendant and therefore as a piece of jewelry."
When asked how he ensures these beautiful pieces are appreciated, since these Van Cleef & Arpels' pieces can't be tried on, he de Pins said, "I think we can only do this by educating our clients on the exclusivity (aspect) because, like some other jewelers and watchmakers, we have very limited production on certain references — and they might even be unique.
"This is something watch collectors in particular appreciate, and it is part of a dream, in a way — to one day get to see and try on the watch (and then perhaps owning it). Selling dreams is what we do. Van Cleef & Arpels is not about mass production, after all… we don’t aim to increase our quantity sky-high. And this exclusivity is not a marketing trick. It is related to the resources required to produce the watches (and jewelry too) in Europe. Take the example of the Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux (otherwise known as the Lovers on the Bridge) watch, which has become an icon over the last 10 years and inspired the decor of the exhibition, by the way. We are not able to make more than 200 pieces a year, for the whole world. And they are all sold out; we could sell much more than 200 a year."
Information originally sourced from L'Officiel Malaysia.