Drawing inspiration from whether nature, couture or the imagination, Van Cleef & Arpels creates masterpieces imbued with jewelry and watchmaking excellence. Its latest creation debuted at SIHH 2014 is an incredible feat of engineering, design and artistic craftsmanship. The Midnight Planetarium Poetic Complication replicates the movement of six planets in our solar system and their rotation around the sun in real time. That means some of them move very slowly indeed. For example, Mercury goes around the dial in 88 days, Jupiter about 12 years, while Saturn will take 29 years. The two other planets in our solar system were excluded because the lengths of their orbits would make their movements on the watch imperceptible and impractical – Uranus orbits the sun in 84 Earth years and Neptune makes the trip in 164.
Each of those 6 planets are represented by a precious or semiprecious stones selected to represent that planet’s color, including turquoise for Earth, serpentine for Mercury, chloromelanite for venus, red jasper for Mars, blue agate for Jupiter and sugilite for Saturn. The sun, at the center, is rendered in pink gold.
The planet module was designed by Christian van der Klaauw, renowned for his movements featuring astronomical indications. The watch took 396 pieces and 3 whole years of work to complete so, along with the precious stones dotting its surface, so the $245,000 price tag ($330,000 for a diamond-set version) comes as no surprise.