Van Cleef & Arpels

a man in a white shirt and a mask working on a piece of wood

Originating in France, Van Cleef & Arpels is a renowned brand specializing in the creation of fine jewelry, wristwatches, and fragrances. The company was established in the year 1896 through the collaborative efforts of Salomon Arpels and his son-in-law, Alfred Van Cleef. The duo inaugurated their inaugural retail outlet in 1906, situated at 22 Place Vendôme in Paris.

Founders and Early Beginnings

Salomon Arpels

Salomon Arpels was one of the key individuals responsible for the inception of the Van Cleef & Arpels brand. Although limited information is available about his early life and career, his business acumen and keen eye for luxury were vital in laying the foundations of the company.

Alfred Van Cleef

Alfred Van Cleef, Salomon’s son-in-law, played an equally significant role in the establishment of the brand. He was deeply involved in the operational aspects of the business, overseeing everything from the design to the retail processes.

Location of First Store

22 Place Vendôme, Paris

Longitude: 2.328634
Latitude: 48.869167
Climate: Oceanic
Population of Paris: Approximately 2.14 million (as of 2021)
GDP of Paris: €709 billion (as of 2019)
Official Languages: French
Currency: Euro (€)
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic
Continent: Europe

The inaugural store was strategically located at 22 Place Vendôme in Paris, a hub of luxury and culture. Place Vendôme is often considered a significant landmark, not just in Paris, but in the world of high-end fashion and jewelry.

Product Offerings


Van Cleef & Arpels specializes in crafting exceptional pieces of jewelry that often feature intricate designs and use of rare materials. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are some of the gems commonly used.


The brand also offers a range of luxurious wristwatches that stand as a testament to their expertise in fine craftsmanship. Each piece is meticulously designed and assembled to ensure longevity and functionality, along with aesthetic appeal.


In addition to jewelry and watches, Van Cleef & Arpels has an exquisite line of perfumes. They employ some of the best perfumers in the industry to create fragrances that epitomize elegance and sophistication.

Historical Significance and Contributions

Van Cleef & Arpels has made numerous contributions to the world of luxury. They were pioneers in using the “Mystery Setting,” a technique wherein the prongs holding the gemstones are not visible. This has often been imitated but rarely equaled in quality.

Industry Recognition

The brand has received multiple awards for its unparalleled craftsmanship. The intricate detailing and high-quality materials used in each piece have made it a go-to choice for those seeking opulent luxury.

Current Ownership

Van Cleef & Arpels is now a subsidiary of Richemont, a Swiss-based luxury goods holding company. Richemont owns several other prestigious brands, making it one of the leading players in the luxury goods market.


Founded in 1896 by Salomon Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef, Van Cleef & Arpels has grown to be a symbol of luxury and elegance. With its first store at the prestigious 22 Place Vendôme in Paris, the brand has consistently showcased a range of high-quality products, from intricate jewelry to meticulously crafted watches and sophisticated perfumes. Its historical contributions, particularly the “Mystery Setting,” have left an indelible mark on the luxury goods industry. Currently a subsidiary of Richemont, the brand continues to be a leader in its domain.

While this extensive exploration into the history and current standing of Van Cleef & Arpels is thorough, it only scratches the surface of the brand’s rich heritage and contributions to the luxury sector. Nevertheless, it serves as a comprehensive introduction for those interested in learning more about this iconic brand.

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