Many of you will no doubt recall the 2014 release by Van Cleef & Arpels of the stunning Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication, made in collaboration with astronomical watch specialist extraordinaire Christiaan van der Klaauw. A miniature representation of the movement of Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the sun and their position at any given time, it was one of the horological highlights of that year.
At the SIHH 2018 Van Cleef & Arpels will bring a women’s version to their Poetry of Time collection in the form of the Lady Arpels Planétarium timepiece.
This will be a ‘reduced’ version, with just Mercury, Venus and Earth, and Earth’s moon depicted as a diamond. These planets orbit in correct time i.e. 88 days for Mercury, 224 days for Venus, and 365 days for Earth, and the moon rotates around the Earth in 29.5 days. As a rather big admirer of the first one, I admit wishing that there had not been a reduction in planets for this new model, but they share the same design beauty.
The dial is made from seven aventurine discs placed in concentric circles, while the plants of different volumes are made of different materials. The sun is pink gold, Mercury is mother-of-pearl, Earth is turquoise, Venus is green enamel, and our moon is a diamond. The time-telling shooting star is rhodium-plated gold.
Looking at the back, we see the materials and colour codes on the dial reflected through the case back. The planetary movements powered by a new automatic Calibre created for Van Cleef & Arpels. Its base is the same in-house movement as the Midnight Planétarium, but reduced in size and with an additional module, and an oscillating weight with a depiction of our moon. It has a power reserve of forty hours. There are some additional functions beyond that of the time – day, month, and year. These are also here on the case back, depicted in two apertures.
All of this comes in a 38mm white gold diamond-set case with diamonds in the bezel in the crown. Each numbered watch is offered in one of two variants, a blue glitter alligator strap with a white gold pin buckle set with diamonds or white gold bracelet set with diamonds.