In 1934, the Maison created the first Ludo bracelet. The name was in reference to Louis Arpels, known to friends as “Ludo.” Designed to suggest the form of a leather belt, this remarkably flexible piece features a gold brick-link band that calls to mind fancy fabric patterns. In 1935, Van Cleef & Arpels created another version of the Ludo bracelet, introducing a mesh made up of hexagonal links.
This Ludo watch bracelet from 1949 presents a mechanical movement and encloses a rectangular dial concealed beneath two spring-loaded flaps. A mechanism to open the flaps, themselves engraved in a brick pattern to match the band, is contained in two horizontal motifs on either side of the face, embellished with six pavé-set diamonds. The time of day thus appears with a touch from the wearer in another example of Van Cleef & Arpels’ tradition of creating discreet timekeeping devices. Two round arches in Mystery Set sapphires complete the design, accentuating the warmth of the yellow gold with their gentle, velvety radiance.
Drawing featuring a Ludo secret wristwatch, 1949
Van Cleef & Arpels Archives