A Timeless Investment feat. Van Cleef & Arpels
October 8th, 2012
There comes a time in a stylish man’s life when he wants to make a long-term investment in a timepiece. After all, few material possesions represent and define a man’s life like his wrist watch.
Women have jewelry and precious stones, but men, we have our trusted watch. The watch that we saved for, the watch that kept us on time, the watch that lived life via our wrist, and the watch that we will pass down to carry on our legend long after we pass.
Guys often ask our advice on purchasing a timepiece as a long-term investment. Here’s my two cents: do your research. There’s a market full of options, and you want to make sure you make the right choice. Similar to choosing a spouse, a house or a car, it’s an important decision that should last the test of time and develop a relationship that grows stronger with age.
Don’t choose a brand or design simply because it’s popular, your boss owns it, or it’s commonly regarded as “expensive”. The trick to luxury is subtlety and a personal connection that accurately represents who you are – your style, your tone, your aspirations, etc.
With the help of the Articles of Style team I put together this editorial featuring the Pierre Arpels watch to show how an investment at this level should identify with the wearer and ultimately last the test of time, even as styles change through generations.
I hope you find it insightful and inspirational.
For over a century Van Cleef & Arpels has been hand-crafting some of the world’s finest jewelry and timepieces. The Parisian boutique is known all over the world for their unparalleled craftsmanship, technical prowess, and creative innovation.
The house design aesthetic is summarized as “understated elegance, refinement, grace and a taste for innovation”. All things that I aspire to, and I hope represent the aesthetic of Articles of Style as well.
For a watch that will never go out of style look for something simple in design that is neutral in color and easy to read. It should be pleasing to the eye without being distracting or attention-grabbing.
The size should be in proportion to your wrist. Not too large or thick that it looks clunky with a formal look, and not to small or thin that it looks overly dressy with casual wear.
I typically wear a 42mm. Any smaller begins to feel dainty and feminine on my wrist. Find the size that is the best fit for your wrist and you’ll be wearing it every day no matter what you have planned.
Your watch should represent who you are, as well as hint at who you aspire to be.
I love tailored clothing and typically dress with an aspect of formality. For me, the watch has to be slim, elegant and refined.
According to it’s originator Pierre Arpels, this model was originally designed to symbolize harmony and elegance.
“Rigorously simple. A reflection of the man for whom beauty is what remains once the superfluous has been striped away.”
The inner white lacquer dial has a honeycomb motif that is meant to symbolize the texture of a man’s tuxedo shirt – a subtle nod to man at his most elegant.
Get to know what your investing in. What is it made of?
The Pierre Arpels is pink gold (also comes in white gold) and white lacquer with one subtly inset diamond on the crown. The band is genuine alligator.
Don’t forget to check under the hood too. Where was it made? And how does it work?
Make sure the movement is one you can trust and it’s craftsmanship is guaranteed by the manufacturer. Is it a movement that will still be in production, and thus can potentially be adjusted, 50 years from now?
Also, find out it’s recommended maintenance schedule and resale potential. How do I care for it? Will it appreciate or depreciate over time?
Part of the reason I’m drawn to this timepiece is the spirit of its creator and what it represents.
Described as a “bon vivant” and “playboy”, Pierre Arpels was a passionate innovator, businessman, seasoned traveler and a sportsman at heart.
He set the world record for parasailing in 1963 and spent his time yachting between Monaco and Cannes to manage the Maison’s boutiques and high-end clientele.
The watch was designed to represent his lifestyle.
Now that’s something that I can aspire to.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.