Jewelry & Watches

Van Cleef & Arpels at Dubai Watch Week – A Conversation with Pascal Narbeburu, Timepieces Director

In order to celebrate its iconic sources of inspiration at Dubai Watch Week for the very first time, Van Cleef & Arpels is bringing its Poetry of Time exhibition to the city – taking its visitors on a journey through the universe of the Maison. Van Cleef & Arpel’s contemporary fine jewelry and high jewelry creations will be displayed alongside the patrimonial collection, while watches take center stage.

With this in mind, Azyaamode got the opportunity to run a short interview with Timepieces Director Pascal Narbeburu who joined Van Cleef & Arpels in 2016 after his long experience at Richemont Group.  

When it comes to creating a Van Cleef & Arpels timepiece, many challenges come into play. How does the process of transforming a dreamy idea into a real creation go?

Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations always begin with a story and our work is at the service of these. For Van Cleef & Arpels, the time is not just a metric value, it's an emotion. The movement of an arm, a very precise gradation, requires in-depth research to finally combine technical and aesthetic solutions to serve the story the Maison wishes to tell. These are the efforts of our studio, our craftsmen and workshops brought together to bring these creations to life.

We offer the expression of time through the development of our creations and our unique poetic vision of time.

Tell us about the most intricate creation displayed at this exhibition.

I really appreciate the Ballerines Musicales collection, inspired by choreographer George Balanchine's ballet in 3 acts, created in 1960, following his meeting with Claude Arpels, who was passionate about dance. The three melodies have been adapted to be played by two instruments within the watch, a carillon and timbres, a world premiere. These watches are a real enchantment of ballet on the wrist and a veritable experience of sight and sound.

As the Timepieces Director at Van Cleef & Arpels, how do your knowledge and expertise help you orchestrate the creation of innovative mechanisms that make the Maison’s timepieces so special, and how do you make sure that every watch presents a new take on time-telling?

From the infinitely small to the infinitely large, attention to detail and rigor are essential to the success of any project. Curious about everything, I can't help thinking about all kinds of improvements in every area. Each new development is a real challenge, which makes each member of the team want to surpass themselves.

Article Written by Mirella Haddad

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