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?
All photos by Van Cleef & Arpels and via Twisted Sifter and Tendance Horlogerie. Thanks to Sarah for sending me this article!
The Watcher. says
How on earth do you set the damn thing AND will it time a soft boiled egg just right.
รับจำนำ iphone says
Can you tell us more about this? I’d want to find out more details.
I’d look to the brand for more info – this is everything my research turned up.
Corey Leithauser says
While it is quite lovely to look at, I just can’t justify 245,000 and 333,000 for a watch. I’m sure there is someone out there that will feel the need to have it!
I see the value of this as a celebration of the magnificence of our universe. As an educator, I would take any opportunity that wearing this timepiece to capture the curiosity spark in my students. Interested in astronony? Interested in time and physics? Interested in the inner workings of time pieces? Interested in the glamour of the stone and fashion? So many sparks here to ignite that love of learning
Where can I buy this??
Isn’t it magnificent? You should contact Van Cleef and Arpels, they’ll point you in the right direction. Their website has contact information: http://www.vancleefarpels.com/us/en/
lydia lepic says
I can’t believe I never saw this post! What a fantastic watch! I’ll take the diamond accented one, please. 🙂 ♡
Isn’t it crazy amazing?? I still don’t know much about watches, but I know I love this one.
THAT is *Amazing*! I’m not a watch wearer, but I’d totally wear that!
Becky Cole says
Right?? It’s just so cool!!