American Marketer


Van Cleef & Arpels teaches ins and outs of watchmaking at branded school

May 11, 2015

Student at a L’École Van Cleef & Arpels course Student at a L’École Van Cleef & Arpels course


French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels is educating New York-based consumers on watchmaking through a course led by the brand’s school.

L’École Van Cleef & Arpels will visit New York June 4-18 to delve into watchmaking with consumers of all ages. Hosting interactive events for consumers helps to show the dedication and care involved in designing and building complex timepieces, and will likely help justify Van Cleef & Arpels’ high price point.

Learning curve
Courses organized by L’École Van Cleef & Arpels are guided by 18 art and jewelry historians, jewelers, designers and mock-up artists, watchmakers and gemologists. The knowledge held by these individuals allows them to “transmit their passion and expertise through dialogue and hands-on experience” with consumer students.

While in New York consumers can take L’École Van Cleef & Arpels’ “Dive into the Heart of a Mechanical Watch” course, held at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. During the four and half-hour course students will take apart and reconstruct a mechanical timepiece.

With the help of instructors, participants will gain a deeper understand of a watch's gear wheels, springs, escapement and balance staff and how these pieces come together to create a “living” mechanism.

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Student and instructor at L’École Van Cleef & Arpels

This course is available June 12-17, with June 12 already being fully booked. Seats for the course are $720.

For consumers with small children and teens, L’École Van Cleef & Arpels is also offering a free family workshop on two Sundays in June, both of which are closed.

The family workshop “Create Your Clock” is for children 5 to 12 and teens 13 to 17 and allows young attendees to “unlock their imaginations and create their own bejeweled accessories.”

During Create Your Clock, attendees will hear stories to learn about what inspired others to design a clock or a watch. In the second hour of the two-hour course, children will have the opportunity to design a clock based on their own story.

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Clockmaking craft at L’École Van Cleef & Arpels

Information about L’École Van Cleef & Arpels’ courses can be found here.

Interacting with children through watchmaking crafts is likely to help a brand stay in the minds of young consumers as they form memories and associations.

For example, during this year’s Madison Avenue Watch Week April 20-25, Vacheron Constantin hosted a Children’s Watchmaking Workshop led by an instructor from the North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking and explored the world of horology to teach how watches operate and included a craft that let children build their own take-home clock (see story).