A journey through the cosmos with Van Cleef & Arpels

Each of the 150 pieces in the collection is not only an ode to astronomy and astrology, but a testament to the maison’s creativity and expertise in elevating jewellery to a true art form

Wondrous comets, majestic planets, dazzling stars and expansive galaxies – these celestial figures serve as the latest inspiration for Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest high jewellery collection, Sous les étoiles or “Beneath the Stars,” which allows the wearer to abandon their earthly trepidations, at least momentarily, and get lost in more cosmic aspirations.

The new collection is a culmination of collaborative work between Van Cleef & Arpels’ designers, jewellers, gemmologists, and craftsmen, all working towards realising a cosmic vision that has enthralled astronomers for centuries. “The maison has always been interested in the instant, where observing nature encounters poetry and the imagination,” says Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of the brand.

Photo: Van Cleefs and Arpels

He added “For this new collection, we wanted to prolong the adventure that began with Jules Verne, by exploring the literary and scientific tradition of which his work forms a part.” This led his artisans to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring work of the seminal L’Astronomie Populaire by Camille Flammarion, and phenomenal photographs captured by NASA. It also continues on Van Cleef & Arpels’ endless fascination with the night sky, revisiting their Pylônes and Météore collections more than 70 years back.

Nothing epitomises this dance with the cosmos more than the Halley necklace. Inspired by the eponymous comet, which is visible from Earth only every 75 years, this necklace is resplendent with an interplay of white and yellow diamonds that evoke the comet’s tail. It culminates with an 11.29-carat Fancy vivid yellow diamond that symbolises the head of the comet and further lends an aura of dynamism. In keeping with the maison’s tradition of transformable pieces, the central diamond can be removed and placed on a complementary ring.

Photo: Van Cleef and Arpels

Not to be missed as well is the Helios necklace, which features links adorned with diamonds and cultured pearls, and headlined by an over 50-carat oval-cut yellow sapphire from Sri Lanka to represent the sun. Suspended from this gleaming orb is a tassel of white cultured pearls, while a 1-carat, pear-shaped DIF diamond is positioned at the nape.

Photo: Van Cleef and Arpels

An ode to interplanetary travel is the Saturne clip, depicting the second largest planet in our solar system and its distinctive rings. What you’ll see is a half-sphere of hammered yellow gold with sparkling strands of diamonds surrounding it, just like the famed ringed planet. The edge of the rings is further accentuated by fine threads of yellow gold, giving it a greater sense of intricacy and first-class craftsmanship.

Photo: Van Cleef and Arpels

And to cap this interstellar journey, Van Cleef & Arpels’ artisans pays homage to the Milky Way with the stunning Ciel de Minuit necklace. It depicts our astronomical place in the universe through plaques of hand-sculpted lapis lazuli that’s been hollowed, polished, and set with diamonds, punctuated by sapphires and more diamonds that ripple around it like stardust.

See also: #legendloves: Hortus Deliciarum, Gucci’s new high jewellery collection

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