Good luck charms come in all shapes and sizes around the world, from painted dala horses to waving maneki-neko to fuzzy die. But for Van Cleef & Arpels, felicity is signified by one particular figure: a gracefully curved quatrefoil traced with delicate gold grains, recalling the petals of a four-leaf clover as well as the sculpted arches typical of Moorish architecture. That is, the Alhambra, an evergreen icon (and propitious portent) of the luxury house for over half a century.
This year, Van Cleef & Arpels is pushing its luck even further with a select handful of novelties spanning jewellery and horology, all centred on the talismanic token in different combinations of gold, nacre and semi-precious stones. These include simple but elegant Magic Alhambra sautoirs, showcasing pendants of nuanced blue chalcedony, iridescent grey mother-of-pearl and vivid azure agate complemented by 18-karat white, rose and yellow gold, respectively.
A fourth, fortuitous interpretation spotlights, in contrast, the heritage technique of guilloché, where intricate striations are finely engraved on mirror-polished yellow gold in evocation of the sun’s brilliant rays. Faithful to the concept of transformability perpetuated by the Maison since its founding in the late 1800s, the Magic Alhambra designs can be worn in a variety of ways, whether draped across the clavicle as a long necklace or double-strand choker, wrapped around the wrist as a charm bracelet, or dangled down the back as an uncommon adornment.
Resonating closely with the sautoirs, a new Vintage Alhambra ring in guilloché yellow gold also makes its debut, along with the exquisite, quartz-powered Sweet Alhambra timepiece, which comprises a precious wreath of alternating guilloché rose gold and pink mother-of-pearl motifs (never-before-seen in the collection), linked together in an ethereal halo.