Van Cleef & Arpels takes a same romantic approach towards timepieces as it does for high jewellery. The latest Lady Arpels Papillon Automate watch launching at this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) yet again paints a beautiful fairy tale on the dial.

Designed with an exclusive automaton module, the piece captures the fluttering of a butterfly and brings it to life on the delicate dial. As an iconic house motif, the butterfly has been a recurring theme for Van Cleef & Arpel’s timepieces and high jewellery pieces alike. The automaton movement allows the butterfly to flutter its wings – two to five times in a row as the hours and minutes flow by. The movement is also available on demand via a push-button that triggers five beats of the butterfly’s wings.

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The floral scene is portrayed by pavé diamonds, mother of pearl and enamel on the dial. A variety of decorative techniques is applied to achieve the beautiful effect. While the butterfly’s wings are adorned with two shades of plique-à-jour enamel, the Champleve enamel is applied to the flowers for a soft bluish hue. The result is a dial that boasts three-dimensional depth. The transparent sapphire crystal glass case back reveals the painstakingly decorated movement.

Created exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, the movement features four pending patent applications.

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