Secret wristwatch

Ludo wristwatch with flaps

1949

Yellow gold, Mystery Set sapphires, diamonds

Van Cleef & Arpels Collection

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. 

archive

Drawing featuring a Ludo secret wristwatch, 1949

Van Cleef & Arpels Archives 

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