The Midnight Planetarium – This is far from your average watch. Van Cleef & Arpels‘ new astronomical watch is an incredible piece of design and craftsmanship. Besides the flying star that indicates the hours and the minutes, the Complication Poétique Midnight Planétarium watch incorporates the sun and its 6 closest planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – each represented by precious and semi-precious stones.
The movement of the planets in our Solar System is precisely represented – Mercury will orbit the sun every 88 days, Venus every 225 days, Earth every year, Mars every 687 days, Jupiter every 12 years and Saturn every 29 years. Uranus and Neptune were omitted since they would require 84 and 165 years respectively to make a single rotation on the watch face. At near a quarter of a million dollars, the price tag is no surprise when you consider the gemstones and the 396 parts that make this unique timepiece.
The Midnight Planétarium is an extraordinary accomplishment of engineering, design and artistic craftsmanship. Besides showing the time, this wrist watch as well accurately displays the motion of 6 planets in our solar system as they orbit the Sun.
Every one of the six planets are represented by a precious or semiprecious natural stone selected to symbolize that planet’s color – serpentine for Mercury, chloromelanite for Venus, turquoise for Earth, red jasper for Mars, blue agate for Jupiter and sugilite for Saturn.
The two other planets in our solar system were left out, simply because the sizes 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.
The Midnight Planetarium watch took 396 pieces and three entire years of work to complete so, along with the valuable stones dotting its surface, the $245,000 selling price comes as no real surprise.
Nevertheless , one can always dream !
The watch was introduced to the public in Geneva at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogeri by the Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry and perfume company in partnership with Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, who has been creating wrist watches and clocks since the 1970s.