Jewellery unveiled Featured

L'École Van Cleef & Arpels reveals the secrets of jewellery and watchmaking



24 September 2013

If you have wondered what a diamond has in common with coal, or have tried to figure out the magic behind the hands of the latest fine mechanical watch, or if you have been fascinated by the beauty of the pearl earring worn by Vermeer´s girl, you are in luck. Van Cleef & Arpels have opened an école for all those who love beauty and have a naturally inquisitive mind. These classes, like an initiation into the world of fine jewellery and watches, shed light upon a sector that has been shrouded with mystery and secrets for generations, enabling you to share the savoir-faire developed over centuries of craftsmanship.

While most jewellers prefer to keep their techniques under wrap, Van Cleef & Arpels have taken a different route, welcoming people into their fascinating universe, bringing them into first-hand contact with the technical and emotional implications of fine jewellery. Founded in Paris in 2012, the school was been created as a travelling institution that will take its teachings around the world. Its central offices are in a beautiful Hôtel Particulier at Place Vendôme in Paris, at the very heart of the fine jewellery world. There could be no finer place in which to study! Everything, from the views over the square to the exquisite interior décor, contributes to creating an inspiring and refined atmosphere in which to explore this art.

The École made its first trip outside Paris in July 2013, and it operated in Tokyo for two weeks. With a curriculum that includes a variety of topics, from art history classes to gemology and design, students will learn the theory and practice of distinguishing fake stones from real gems, or rebuilding the movement of a fine mechanical watch. They will also learn about historical jewels that have been symbols of power and beauty, and discover the mechanisms behind iconic designs such as the Zip necklace. Being able to touch these precious stones, to observe the hands of the crafts experts working on them, and to have the opportunity of creating your own designs, are things that make L' École a truly unique experience. With those teachers and those exams, who would not want to go back to school?