Setting sail on the Seven Seas with Van Cleef & Arpels

Marianne Riou

The “Seven Seas”, the latest fine jewellery collection from Van Cleef & Arpels, invites you to travel across the oceans, an unending source of inspiration that undulates as far as the eye can see. Photographs and videos by Sonia Sieff depict and sublimate these magnificent creations.


The seas in all their splendor, in all their forms and everything that they mean to each of us: shores, waves, an infinite number of blues and greens in a palette with many nuances, calm, enchantment, a gaze forever turned to the horizon… Everybody will find in the collection the story that the seas and oceans tell to them. The term the Seven Seas evokes all the seas and oceans of the world. It refers to literature, journeys filled with extraordinary adventures and tales of the great migrations.
The fine jewellery collection The Seven Seas invites us to cross the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Arabian, the Red, the Black, the Caspian, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Seas. Van Cleef & Arpels offers a vision and interpretation of the beauty of each of the “seas”.

Clear lagoons with lush banks in the calm of a summer day“, is the Adriatic Sea as seen by Van Cleef & Arpels. Exceptional emerald, sapphires and translucent Paraiba tourmalines dress the Adria ring with originality, playing with audacious associations of volumes and colors in the tradition of “cocktail” rings from the sixties. The Brume sapphire bracelet is a variation on Palmyre bracelets. Diamonds and sapphires run through your fingers or drip off like the drops of water they represent.

So, naturally, turquoises, sapphires, diamonds, tourmalines, emeralds, aquamarines, chalcedonies and lapis-lazuli all find their place in evoking the changing nuances of the oceans, the transparency and the intensity of water and the lightness of spume. But, for the Black Sea, engraved onyx and black spinels are combined with diamonds to represent an extraordinary fish with scales and fins that you can almost see undulating. For the Red Sea, shells are made from shimmering rubies. For the Mediterranean Sea, the elegant silhouette of a pink flamingo is brought out in coral…

Although the creations are original, some of the models and patterns are also, often, those of the House, presented in its fine jewellery collections (Palmyre or Précieuse for example). Van Cleef & Arpels has used its “House” culture and exceptional expertise, playing with the codes of fine jewellery and using all the techniques at its disposal to illustrate this majestic theme, without being overly sentimental. On this subject, take a look at the Seven Seas collection website that is in itself a marketing success (it is beautiful!): we sail across the seas and oceans, but also discover Van Cleef & Arpels’ mastery of fine jewellery techniques and knowledge (The association of stones, secrets of the Senior Jewelers, Invisible Connection). Take a moment to admire the Vagues Mystérieuses clip that gives grace to the House’s own Serti MystérieuxTM technique, and which allows us to truly see waves undulating and the richness of the colorful palette of which it is composed.

And I hope that everybody will, like me, dip into the pleasure of reading the quotations from the great names in literature (Loti, Chateaubriand, Hugo, Du Fu, Homer, etc.), that are littered throughout the tale of this magnificent voyage across the Seven Seas.

“Maint diamant d’imperceptible écume,

(…) Quand sur l’abîme un soleil se repose,

(…) le temps scintille et le songe est savoir.” 

[Those diamond points of viewless spray and spume,
When the noon sun reposes on the depth
Scintillant moment when the dream is truth.]

Paul Valéry









VCA -sept-mers-poisson







Pictures Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels.