Since 2006 Van Cleef & Arpels has enchanted connoisseurs with its Poetic Complications in which watchmaking creativity, the decorative arts, miniature painting and engraving are interwoven to create subtle narrative animations. The Lady Arpels Ronde des Papillons features three colourful butterflies that emerge from behind the clouds to indicate the minutes, while a white gold swallow sweeps around the dial, pointing to the hour with the tip of its wing. At the press of a button the dial bursts into life for 13 seconds, during which the butterflies complete their dance at a more nimble pace, before settling down once more to count off the minutes. The animation is driven by a sophisticated retrograde movement designed to allow the mechanism to vary the speed of this poetical ballet.
Source: Europa Star December/January 2016 Magazine Issue