First presented in 2014 by Van Cleef & Arpels as the Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs in an 18K white gold pebble-shaped case measuring 42 mm in diameter —which you can read about it here—, VC&A presented a new iteration of this watch during the SIHH 2018, this time with the more appealing and contemporary 'Midnight' round case in 18K pink gold measuring 42 mm in diameter. The new Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs is equipped with Van Cleef's own dual time zone movement which offers an understated and poetic interpretation of time, suspended between two horizons. Reading the hours becomes an invitation to travel, like a window open on the world.
SIHH 2018: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium. A Fascinating Astronomical Complication for Ladies.
Following the successful release of their Midnight Planétarium in 2014, the watch that we still talk about to date and one of the most read articles here at WCL —you can read it here—; on the occasion of the SIHH 2018, Van Cleef & Arpels has drawn new inspiration to come up with a new interpretation of the watch created in collaboration with Netherlands watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw. The new Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium takes a slightly different approach not only in terms of size —measuring 38 mm instead of 44 mm like the Midnight Planétarium— but also in terms of functionality by centering the watch complication around fewer planets.
SIHH 2014: Van Cleef & Arpels Presents the Pierre Arpels Heure d'ici & Heure d'ailleurs. Live Pictures and Pricing.
Created in 1949, the Pierre Arpels watch has epitomized Van Cleef & Arpels’ vision of masculinity. A perfect blend of sophistication and understatement, it is notable for an exceptionally thin case held by two unobtrusive central strap attachments. In 2012, the Maison reinterpreted this icon of watchmaking and has since enriched the collection with new models that reflect Pierre Arpels’ way of life. An aesthete, designer and businessman, Estelle Arpels’ nephew was also a socialite and a traveler: two facets to which Van Cleef & Arpels pays homage at the SIHH 2014 with this new timepiece the Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs in an 18K white gold case measuring 42 mm in diameter. With this new Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs timepiece, the Maison presents an understated and poetic interpretation of travel —the way that Pierre Arpels appreciated it.
For the first time, the Pierre Arpels collection welcomes a dual time complicated watch, reflecting Van Cleef & Arpels Poetry of Time. Developed in partnership with Agenhor —Atelier Genevois d’Horlogerie—, this exclusive automatic movement is distinguished by its double jumping hour and minute retrograde display on a beautiful white lacquer dial with 'piqué' motif on the center. The hour that acts as the reference —displayed in the aperture at the top of the dial— and the hour of the second time zone that appears in the lower aperture both jump at the same time, thanks to a single sector that synchronizes the two hour discs and the retrograde minute hand. When the latter reaches 60 minutes on the graduated scale, it returns to its starting position at the same instant that the hour display changes.
In order to maintain the thinness of the case —a distinguishing feature of the Pierre Arpels collection— the automatic movement is equipped with a platinum micro-rotor that takes up remarkably little space. By oscillating in two directions, it can supply energy continuously. The movement, which is visible through the display case back, is adorned with a snailed pattern on the bridges, the Van Cleef & Arpels hallmark and a blue lacquered design on the micro-rotor that echoes the 'piqué' motif on the dial.
The watch is fitted with a super glossy black alligator strap with pin buckle. The strap is very comfortable and nicely finished to match the exceptional look of this new timepiece.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and with a very thin profile. The understated elegance of this timepiece is remarkable and the wrist presence incomparable. The Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs is definitely a timepiece that embraces the principles of this Maison and a perfect example of 'haute horlogerie'.
Sticker Price $41,000 USD. For more info on Van Cleef & Arpels click here.
SIHH 2014: Van Cleef & Arpels Presents the Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication. Live Pictures and Pricing.
For the SIHH 2014, Van Cleef & Arpels turns its gaze to the heavens and gives pride of place to a captivating chapter in its watchmaking history: Poetic Astronomy. In keeping with one of the Maison’s cherished sources of inspiration, planets and constellations appear in enchanting guise to evoke voyages and dreams. The mechanics of time and the spheres are united in the Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication timepiece, while unprecedented starry compositions are unveiled in the Extraordinary Dials collection. Chosen according to the inspiration of each piece, traditional craft skills form dazzling combinations, bearing witness to the innovation, creativity and excellence of Van Cleef & Arpels.
This new Poetic Complication timepiece 'Midnight Planétarium' in a robust rose gold case measuring 44mm in diameter provides a miniature representation of the movement of six planets around the sun and their position at any given time. Earth and Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn —all visible from Earth with the naked eye— are set in motion thanks to a self-winding mechanical movement of great complexity: equipped with an exclusive module developed in partnership with the Maison Christiaan van der Klaauw, it contains 396 separate parts. The movement of each planet is true to its genuine length of orbit: it will take Saturn over 29 years to make a complete circuit of the dial, while Jupiter will take almost 12 years, Mars 687 days, Earth 365 days, Venus 224 days and Mercury 88 days. The domed crystal allows for perfect view of the tridimensional planets that appear on the dial, something that is only possible thanks to the overlapping of seven sapphire crystal discs that compose the dial.
The Maison has applied its jewelry-making expertise to depicting the planets with a selection of hard stones: turquoise for the Earth, serpentine for Mercury, chloromelanite for Venus, red jasper for Mars, blue agate for Jupiter and sugilite for Saturn. Intricately sculpted by hand into spheres of different dimensions and colors, they are positioned round a sun in pink gold. Each of these elements, along with the shooting star in pink gold, is fixed on its own aventurine disc. With their scintillating deep blue hue, the latter are arranged around the center in perfectly concentric alignment. Painstaking attention has been given to selecting the stones, then sculpting the discs and spheres in order to give form to this animated tableau, with its combination of jewelry and watchmaking savoir-faire.
Telling the time is a simple question of observing the shooting star, a cherished lucky motif for the Maison. Located at the outer edge of the dial, it completes its circuit in 24 hours. The story continues on the back of the watch, where the oscillating weight is engraved with a starry composition. The day, month and year can be set using two push buttons and viewed through two apertures on the dial. These various functions are accompanied by a poetic invitation to celebrate one’s own lucky day. Using a rotating bezel, the watch’s owner can select the day of his choice by positioning a red triangle against a graduated calendar. On that date, the Earth will move to a position directly below the star engraved on the sapphire crystal, as a sign of good luck.
Don't forget to check the video at the bottom of this post to see how the watch works. Sticker Price $245,000 USD. For more info on Van Cleef & Arpels click here.
Technical Specifications of the VC&A Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication:
Case: 18K Pink gold, 44mm diameter.
Dial: pink gold, aventurine, serpentine, chloromelanite, turquoise, red jasper, blue agate and sugilite.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement with a Christiaan van der Klaauw module developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels.
Strap: Black alligator with pink gold folding buckle.
Also available with bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds and folding buckle set with round diamonds.