Encased in a 44 mm pink gold case is a magnificent work of complicated celestial watchmaking. Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication created with the help of Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, features a miniature solar system with all six planets displayed. The Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, they all orbit the Sun at the center of the dial.
This unusual but gorgeous blue starry night dial features no hands, in its place a gold shooting-star makes rounds around the dial’s edge indicating the time. Instead of a 12 hour scale, watch uses a 24 hour scale. A small matter that needs highlighting, because of the graduations on the dial, time is accurate only to the nearest 15 minutes.
Planet rotation on the dial works exactly same way as in their actual orbits. So, Earth takes its own sweet time of 365 days, Mercury just 88 days, Mars 687 days and Jupiter full 12 years. Don’t expect to see a full Saturn rotation on the watch anytime soon as it takes 30 years for Saturn to orbit the sun. All the planets on the watch are made from precious materials and stones with the Sun king in pink gold and the Earth in turquoise. As for the other planets – Jupiter in blue agate, Venus in chloromelanite, Mars in red jasper, Mercury in serpentine and Saturn in sugilite. The deep blue dial disk is made of aventurine, a quartz crystal and sprinkled with dazzling minerals.
Van Cleef is a company that believes in luck and they made sure to include a lucky charm for this watch too. Charm mechanic works in conjunction with the calendar located on the edge of the dial. The red arrow on the rotating bezel can be used to set the date and month. A date can be set as wearer’s lucky day, on the set day the Earth on the dial will come directly below the lucky star engraved on the sapphire crystal. The twin pushes on the left of the case are to set the day, month and year on the calendar.
Movement for the complicated planetarium module was developed by van der Klaauw, it consists 396 components in total. The base movement RD821 came from the stables of Roger Dubuis. Movements that make all these out-of-this-world complications a possibility and its workings are visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
The Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication comes fitted with a black leather strap. Announced retail price is $258,000 and the diamond studded version $330,000.
Source: Watches by SJX