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Van Cleef & Arpels

An iconic Cadenas watch designed as a padlock and crafted in 18ct yellow gold, wood and leather.

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Please use this enquiry form to ask any questions about this piece and we will be in touch with you shortly. If you prefer to contact us by telephone please call us on 0044 (0) 207 4938904. Please note we guarantee that all of our jewels, silver objects d’art are authentic and of execptional quality.



An iconic Cadenas watch by Van Cleef & Arpels 1972, designed as an elegant stylised padlock in 18ct yellow gold inlaid with polished fine-grained dark wood panels and with a double cord leather strap.
  • OriginFrench
  • Condition ReportVery fine
  • Setting18ct yellow gold signed Van Cleef & Arpels and numbered H2361 and with the Verger Frères workshop mark and French assay marks
  • Weight description42 grams
  • DimensionsInner circumference 6"
Directors notes
The original idea for the iconic Cadenas watch (meaning ‘padlock’ in French) is believed to have been suggested to the Maison by the Duchess of Windsor. In the early 20th Century it was considered inelegant for a lady to consult her watch in public, a gesture that could be perceived as suggesting that she wanted to leave the occasion she was attending or the company she was keeping. In order to overcome this etiquette dilemma, Van Cleef & Arpels’ artistic director Renée Puissant designed a watch that looked like a bracelet with a face hidden from general view but able to be discreetly observed by the wearer. It was first made in 1935 and proved instantly successful; fans including the Duchess of Windsor, The Maharani Sita Devi Sahib of Baroda and the actress Paulette Goddard were all photographed wearing the watch. The Cadenas has had many incarnations over the last 80 or so years involving a variety of different materials and gemstones, yet the strikingly avant-garde features are unchanging and look as effortlessly sleek and modern now as they did then.

Van Cleef & Arpels

On June 16th 1906 Van Cleef & Arpels opened the doors to their first boutique at number 22, Place Vendôme. Next door to Lalique, opposite the Ritz and a stones throw from Boucheron, this would prove to be the first of many boutiques that the highly successful Maison would open around the world during the 20th Century.

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