If you have ever seen a watch by French jewelry maker Van Cleef and Arpels, you know understatement isn’t in the vocabulary.
This week, Van Cleef and Arpels created the ultimate pop up store at South Coast Plaza. While they of course won’t call it a pop up, we will. We were invited to view the “installation” at the private opening yesterday. For Francophiles stuck here at the beach missing a stroll along the Seine would do well to stop by for a taste of Paris.
Divided into several zones, each representing a romantic scene or place in Paris, the installation is a wonder to the eyes. Each zone features a watch or collection that matches the theme. In the theater there is a watch that opens the curtains and ballerinas dance. While this happens is uses two tones to play a song from the ballet represented. This watch represents nearly 10 years of work. It is truly a masterpiece.
It was truly difficult to pick a favorite Van Cleef and Arpels watch. As a man, I don’t wear much jewelry. I’ve not yet learned to wear chap bangles picked up from side shops. I wore those things as a kid when a girl gave them to me. Today watches are about all the jewelry that I wear. The planetarium area featured a watch that is truly spectacular to see. The person who wears it clearly doesn’t care about the time in hours, but the time in life.
For women there was also a butterfly watch that was also a mechanical marvel. With “on demand” movement, the owner can press a button and the butterfly flaps its wings. It also will do it randomly as it is worn. If you want to see some great artwork disguised as watches and jewelry while taking a visual stroll through scenes of romantic Paris, book an appointment soon. The installation is limited to 20 visitors per hour.
If you can’t get a reservation, just in front of the store are some very cool postcards too.