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Van Cleef and Arpels Butterfly Timepiece

February 5, 2017 in EH Spy
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Ethical Hedonist Spy

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” John Keats to Fanny Brice.

In nature, the life and showy, painted splendour of a butterfly in flight is wistfully over within a matter of days; whilst in the delicate hands of one of the world’s great jewellers, the beating miracle of a butterfly  might live forever through the art, invention and imagination of time-honoured craftsmanship and a decidedly 21st century approach time  imagined, time passing!

The Art and Skill of the Artisan and Watchmaker

In Van Cleef and Arpels’s ravishing, Lady Automate, Papillon watch, Switzerland’s finest watchmakers and enamellers  come together in glittery, magical concert, to re-imagine a butterfly, perched on a delicate flower, with all the allure, colour and spectacle of the natural world.

A Bucolic Pastoral Scene

But there is more! Then, with the passing of hours, this lustrous, bejewelled butterfly springs to life and beats its wings in a bucolic, charming pastoral scene, for up to a 100 magnificent beats of its shimmering, luminous, mother of pearl wings… Ah the new fangled ingenuity, the charm and grace of such a feminine masterpiece.

As if this wasn’t beguiling enough, this graceful spectacle is also available at the push of a button, which emits five consecutive flutterings of the butterflies’ wings. No surprise that all the innovation is the subject of not one, but four pending patents.

The Details

The Papillon watch features: a white gold case, diamond-set bezel, and diamond-set crown. The dial is composed of round and pear-shaped diamond, blue and mauve sapphires, mother-of-perl, champlevé, paillonne, plique-ajour and curived plique- a-jour enamel. The rear of t he base features engraving on gold and sapphire glass, with a visible, decorated weight. The timepiece features an automatic mechanical movement and random automation mode, and animation on demand. For more information – visit    Van Cleef and Arpels

Fascinating Butterfly Facts

Males drink from mud puddles to extract minerals that aren’t available in flowers. This behaviour is called “puddling.”

There are 165,000 species of butterflies on every continent, except Antarctica

Butterflies smell with their feet!

Despite popular belief, butterfly wings are clear – the colours and patterns we see are made by the reflection of the tiny scales covering them.

Their eyes are made of 6,000 lenses and can see ultraviolet light.

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about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?



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