I don’t feature many watches for the simple reason that I don’t really know all that much about them. I can say “look! this watch is pretty!” as well as the next lady, but I don’t know enough about the movements inside to comment on them intelligently. I’m working on it, though! And in the meantime: Look! This watch is REALLY pretty.
This magnificent thing is the Van Cleef and Arpels Midnight Planetarium watch, created by the design house in partnership with Christiaan van der Klaauw. It’s not your average Timex. This timepiece – in addition to being an object of incredible beauty – keeps track of the Earth and its 5 closest planetary cousins’ rotation around the Sun.
Those little orbs represent the planets, and they travel around the watch’s face at the same speed that they revolve around the sun. How long does that take? The tiny Mercury completes its rotation every 88 days. Venus takes 224 days; Earth 365 days (but you knew that one, right?); Mars, 687 days; Jupiter, 12 years; and Saturn, 29 years.
The watch also has a “lucky day” feature: you can pick one day a year to be your “lucky day,” and then watch as the watch face’s tiny planet earth lines up with the outline of a star on the day every year.
As you might imagine, no average watch movement could do what this watch can do. The exceptional mechanical movement behind this piece was specially developed by boutique designer Christiaan van der Klaauw, who specializes in astronomic design, in partnership with Van Cleef and Arpels. The movement comprises 396 individual parts; remarkable for something so small.
The Midnight Planetarium watch is also – as you’d expect for a piece by VC&A – very beautiful. The planets themselves are made from precious and semi-precious stones, from red jasper to serpentine, and turquoise, and gold. You can also order a fancier (!) version of the Midnight Planetarium watch that comes with baguette diamonds set into its rose gold bezel.
I can’t imagine what practical purpose such a watch would serve, but who cares?
What do you think of the Midnight Planetarium watch? Pointless, or unbelievably cool and gorgeous?