The presentation of the new high jewellery collection ‘Emeraude en majesté’ provided the perfect setting for a conversation with Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. Amidst the stunning pieces, our first thought was for the vast heritage of technique involved in its creation.
Tell us more about the creation process for the ‘Emeraude en majesté’ collection.
Most of these exceptional pieces took from three to four years to make. Some of these emeralds have been in our collection for over 50 years. We wanted to be sure that there would be enough emeralds to create a complete collection. Designers, gemstone specialists and buyers worked together from day one in order to get the best result. Once enough stones of different sizes and quality had been collected, the design team started on the drawings. Each single design had to be approved before production could start. Depending on the piece, actually making it can take between 12 and 24 months. For this collection we started looking for the gemstones ten years ago.
Which is your favourite piece in this new collection?
The ‘Grand Opus necklace’, which showcases three engraved Colombian ‘old mine’ emeralds, weighing a total of 127.88 carats, has a special allure. The finesse of their engraved gadroon motifs, typical of maharaja’s costumes, gives them the charm of antique stones. The set include earrings, a brooch and detachable pendants. Grand Opus.
How do you explain the brand’s success?
We are very faithful to our core values. People from all over the world can identify with our collections as they are ageless and timeless. Combining ‘pierres de caractère’ with the art of metamorphosis can be particularly appealing, as the pieces can be worn in different ways. Our products always combine elegance, quality, poetry, technical expertise, innovation and sensuality. Most importantly, we – and our customers – want to fall in love with the stones, for their quality, based on colour, consistency, cut and clarity.
Could you tell us something about L'École Van Cleef and Arpels?
L'École is an unique institution. It gives participants an insight into the history of jewellery, therefore not just about us. Another important objective is to preserve crafts techniques and expertise, as these are fundamental for our creations. So L'École helps us to share our knowledge and gain inspiration through theory and practice.