It’s said that everything old becomes new again. Just ask Van Cleef & Arpels, who has brought an archival design from almost nine decades ago back to life – the Ludo bracelet. First created in 1934, the Ludo was named after the youngest Arpels brother Louis, and inspired by his wife and longtime muse Hélène, a formidable beauty who was often spotted wearing the bracelet over long black gloves to show off its modern silhouette. Reminiscent of a belt, which was a popular fashion accessory among the bold women of those years, the design illustrated one of the Maison’s key influences: the world of haute couture.
In that same spirit, the famed jewellery house has released four new interpretations of the Ludo, which retain the signature elements of the original, such as the tessellated mesh body and buckle-like clasp, while introducing more graphic lines and fresh combinations of gold and precious stones. As exquisite as lace, three pieces in the quartet feature the traditional hexagon-shaped honeycomb links in white, pink, or yellow gold, embellished with star-set diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Each is crowned with a sparkling buckle of diamonds and onyx, coral, or turquoise and lapis lazuli.
In contrast, the fourth design highlights the classic briquette pattern with geometric rows of dainty links, echoing the supple fluidity of satin ribbons. Crafted from two colours of gold, the graceful curve of the bracelet is tipped with a diamond-set chevron, and matched with a diamond clasp that resembles a belt loop.
Reflecting the Maison’s virtuoso craftsmanship, every piece of the hexagon and briquette motifs is painstakingly assembled by hand, followed by several stages of polishing to bring out the brilliance of the lustrous gold. Each precious stone is carefully selected by expert gemologists to ensure quality and consistency, reiterating the high artistry that is the hallmark of the luxury house.