“WE HAVE ALWAYS based our high jewelry collections on a theme, choosing a specifi c stone or source of inspiration. In this case, the unifying element is mechanical,” says Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. Mechanical, yes, but undeniably artistic— a duality that makes “Le Secret” a truly original collection. Each jewel conceals an engraved message, a secret or a treasure hidden behind a panel or under a stone.

The result is a precious game of hide-and-seek, imaginative and extremely technical at the same time. “We wanted the collection to be both fun and substantial,” Bos explains. “For example, when you see a whale whose mouth opens to reveal a ship, it’s amusing. But we mustn’t forget that this clever effect required hundreds of hours of painstaking work to harmonize the cogs and hinges with the gemstones, without compromising on practicality, comfort and solidity.”

The development and production took nearly fi ve years, but it was time well spent: discovering the jewels one by one, the collection takes us from surprise to surprise, from style to style, from era to era. “Le Secret is like a tour of the house’s heritage, from art deco to the 1970s,” Bos adds. And an in-depth tour at that, comprising some 100 pieces. Le Secret is also an extraordinary homage to the talent and skill of the master jewelers who crafted it, artisans whose only goal is to make the most beautiful product possible, no matter how much time or effort it takes. Which after all is the meaning of high jewelry.