SINGAPORE – If not for its dreamy Parisian setting and absence of scimitar-wielding bandits, one would probably mistake the Van Cleef & Arpels’ A Journey Through The Poetry Of Time exhibition for the cave from Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves.
Staged at Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall B, the travelling exhibition features 198 watches and high jewellery, including some of the rarest and most expensive heritage pieces that have been flown in from around the world, and is the first of its kind – at least in scale and grandeur – in South-east Asia.
“Singapore is the most sophisticated watch market in Asia with numerous very important watch collectors. Before Covid-19, our clients usually travelled to our boutiques in New York and Paris, but now that they’ve stopped travelling, we’re hoping to bring Paris to them instead,” said Van Cleef & Arpels’ president of Asia-Pacific, Mr Nicolas Luchsinger.
Clients, he added, can also discover new models and meet watch specialists who have travelled here from Switzerland at the exhibition.
Born out of the marriage between Estelle Arpels, daughter of a precious stone dealer, and Alfred Van Cleef, son of a stonecutter, Van Cleef & Arpels has been paying tribute to love stories through fine watches and jewellery since its first creation in 1906.
Today, the maison’s most iconic watch, the Pont des Amoureux (French for Lovers Bridge), is also the exhibition’s piece de resistance.
It is easy to see why: When the hour and minute hands meet on the watch – either at noon or midnight – a pair of lovers lean in for a kiss atop a Parisian bridge.