Van Cleef & Arpel have showcased the stunning new astronomical watch at Geneva’s annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie.
The 44mm Midnight Planétarium displays the numerical time along with the rotation of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, all of which are visible from Earth. The sun sits at the heart of the watch. The planets, all made from semi-precious and precious stones, rotate the central stone in the same amount of time that it takes for the real planets to orbit the sun. So for example, the stone representing Mercury will complete a full rotation in 88 days. Saturn, however takes a little while longer at 29 years.
Another pretty highlight of this beautiful watch is the “Lucky Day” feature. The bezel can be used to select a special day of the year, at which point the Earth will fall underneath the painted star on the watch’s crystal on the day that is selected.
Van Cleef & Arpel joined up with Dutch designer Christiaan van der Klaauw, who is renowned for his astronomic expertise because it wanted to add a special watch to its Poetic Astronomy series. Denis Giguet, master watchmaker for the company, said that the most difficult thing was to make the planets rotate properly on the thin, small frame.
Such a stunning timepiece obviously doesn’t come cheap. Yet at $245,000, it would be worth every penny to have this on your wrist.
[Image via Luxois]