Parisian jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels has been delighting its faithful followers with transformable jewellery in whimsical designs such as diamond-dusted fairies, gem-laden butterflies and bejewelled flowers for well over a century. Now, it adds a whole new element of surprise and mystery with jewels that transform, twirl or unfold to reveal their own little precious secret — all at the click of a hidden mechanism.
In the world of Le Secret, nothing is quite as it appears. A ballerina in a shimmering skirt of diamonds and sapphires slips away to reveal a swan. At the click of a secret mechanism, a brooch in the form of a yellow and mauve sapphire flower releases a butterfly. Three rows of pearl ropes form a long Indian-style sautoir necklace ending in a pearl tassel. Inside its shield-shape pink sapphire and diamond-studded locket hides a 2.33 carat Burmese ruby ring.
A resplendent pink coral, yellow and rose sapphire lovebird is surrounded by mystery-set ruby poppies. The proud mother opens her wing to reveal her baby safely nestled in her downy breast. The Dentelle Secréte bracelet, with its articulated rows of rubies and diamonds, borders a line of openwork arabesque sections enclosing changeable mother-of-pearl or onyx sliding shutters.
Then there’s the Séraphîta ring that features an interchangeable centre so that it can be worn with either a Madagascan sapphire or a cluster of diamonds and mauve sapphires between its fanned sapphire sides.
Really, each piece is a unique, one-off creation, crafted entirely by hand from start to finish with every mechanism custom-made for each jewel.