Van Cleef & Arpels’ ticket to the pre-SIHH train this year is the Lady Arpels Planétarium. If the name and the watch looks kinda familiar, it’s because this is the maison’s Midnight Planétarium™, reimagined as something more befitting of their female audience.
Held within a 38mm white gold case, decorated with diamonds around its bezel, the watch’s aventurine dial sets the stage for the cosmic ballet performed inside of the Lady Arpels Planétarium.
With the sun in the middle, forged in pink gold, you have its three closest planets orbiting around, at rates that everyone tends to be familiar with. For instance, the Earth on the dial makes one complete rotation in 365 days (rather than the slightly more accurate 365.256 days). Mercury, being the closest to the sun, takes 88 days and Venus takes 224 days.
Now, the planets themselves showcase different forms of expertise in crafts held within Van, Cleef & Arpels. Earth and Mercury, for instance, are hand cut into their spherical shapes from turquoise and pink mother-of-pearl, respectively. Venus is created from a green enamel bead, coming from the maison’s enamel workshops in Meyrin, Switzerland. Lastly, the Moon is white gold with serti neige style diamonds, which orbits Earth every 29.5 days in celestial bondage.
All of this animation is thanks to Christiaan van der Klaauw and a module he developed, exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, based directly on the Midnight Planétarium™. The complete automatic movement holds 40 hours of power reserve and, curiously enough, also has a calendar indication that is displayed through apertures on the caseback.
While it’s not mentioned whether the timepiece will be produced as a limited edition, it’s not hard to imagine that a watch that encompasses such a variety of craft and technical complexity , will not be made in a large volume. The watches, will however, be produced in a numbered series.
Technical Specifications: Lady Arpels™ Planétarium Poetic Complications Watch
Self-winding movement; time given by shooting star; movement of Mercury, Venus and Earth, along with Moon around the central Sun; calendar indication on caseback; 40-hour power reserve
38mm, case in white gold set with diamonds, bezel set with diamonds and crown set with a diamond
Blue glitter alligator strap with a white gold pin buckle set with diamonds or white gold bracelet set with diamonds