Van Cleef & Arpels unveils its new high jewellery collection, Le Grand Tour

Parisian maison Van Cleef & Arpels has launched its Le Grand Tour high jewellery collection in Rome, celebrating the great artistic voyages of young nobility across the European continent

By Felix Bischof

To unveil its latest collection of high jewellery, Van Cleef & Arpels chose Rome for a location. And the Parisian maison had reason to do so: entitled Le Grand Tour, this new offering is a precious interpretation of the journeys through Europe that young aristocrats undertook from around the late 17th century onwards. Planned and mapped out as an add-on to an academic education, grand tours would typically take in sites from centuries past, ancient cities (particularly around Italy) and even snake through remote mountain passes. 

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Grand Tour high jewellery collection

As it often did back then, the Grand Tour by Van Cleef & Arpels begins in London. The capital city inspired a necklace in a colour palette of white and blue. It’s a nod to Wedgwood porcelain. In white gold, the Josiah necklace is bedecked in white diamonds. Then, there are two deep blue oval sapphires, both from Sri Lanka. In between sits a round diamond of 1.5 carats. 

From its London departure point, this Grand Tour then takes in sites across Europe, each inspiring remarkable pieces of high jewellery. Chandeliers from the 18th century and life at royal court near Paris inspired a pair of rose and white gold earrings set with mauve sapphires, diamonds and a duo of oval rubellites. 

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Grand Tour high jewellery collection

Mountains cloaked in snow – perhaps in Switzerland – gave design cues to the Regina Montium necklace. In white gold, the dramatic collier suggest ice and snowflakes with white diamonds, sapphires, aquamarines and tanzanites. At the heart of the necklace, an oval blue-green tourmaline or 27.70 carats and one cushion-cut tourmaline (also blue and green in tone) sparkle. 

Another hero necklace is called Villanova. This is Van Cleef & Arpels’ take on antique Etruscan jewellery, worked in white and rose gold and adorned with nine cabochon rubelites. 

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Grand Tour high jewellery collection

There are bracelets and rings too. A quartet of bracelets paints views of Italian cities in precious gems and metals. A Van Cleef & Arpels postcard, of sorts. 

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Grand Tour high jewellery collection

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