Louis Arpels was a great fan of classical ballet, an art that still inspires Van Cleef & Arpels a hundred years later. Among its releases for 2021, the brand lifts the curtain on a trio of watches that join the Poetic Complications collection. They transpose, into watchmaking, Jewels, a work in three parts by the choreographer George Balanchine that premiered in New York in 1967. On this Lady Arpels Ballerine Musicale Rubis, a white gold case sets the stage beneath a diamond chandelier, framed by rich drapery that has been hand-sculpted and hand-painted. At the press of a pusher, the curtains part and the scene comes to life as five miniature-painted ballerinas pirouette across the dial to the delicate notes of a melody composed by Igor Stravinsky, played on a musical box and a carillon. Of course, these beautiful objects also tell the time, discreetly displayed in a curved window in the upper part of the dial, on a 12-hour graduated scale with a star-tipped pointer. Van Cleef & Arpels spent seven years developing the manual-winding mechanical movement that powers this retrograde display.