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. A clear invitation to plunge into the cosmos and observe the dance of the planets, presented in a precious setting.
About the Watch
The new VC&A Lady Arpels Planétarium comes in a 38 mm 18K white gold case set with diamonds throughout the case, bezel and crown. The case is exquisitely finished and it's a watch that will for sure be a huge success with all the ladies that are fans of Van Cleef & Arpels.
The watch is delivered on a blue glitter alligator strap with a white gold pin buckle set with diamonds. Alternatively, the watch is also sold on an 18K white gold bracelet fully set with diamonds.
The Lady Arpels Planétarium is fitted with an Aventurine dial composed of seven aventurine discs placed in concentric circles within the dial, several rotating individually with the watch movement. The planets and the shooting star thus move at actual speed through their sparkling environment. At the center of the dial one can appreciate the gleaming Sun in 18K pink gold, a shooting star in white gold around the periphery to mark the time in hours and quarter hours and which completes its circuit every 24 hours; Mercury in pink mother-of-pearl, Venus in green enamel, the Earth in turquoise and the Moon with a brilliant-cut diamond. All stones were hand cut in spherical shapes for this horological creation. While the first astronomical creation from Van Cleef & Arpels the Midnight Planétarium centered around six planets —Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—, the new Lady Arpels Planétarium only features three planets. The dial also features 18K rose gold appllied Arabic numerals and dot markers.
The new Lady Arpels Planétarium illustrates our solar system with the Sun and its closest planets: Mercury, Venus and Earth, along with its natural satellite, the Moon. Each heavenly body moves at its actual real time speed. Mercury orbits the dial in 88 days, Venus in 224 days and the Earth in 365 days. In a key innovation for this piece, the Moon itself rotates around the Earth in 29.5 days, performing a visible celestial ballet on the dial, day after day. The choice of planets, imbued with feminine symbolism in the case of Venus and the Moon, goes hand in hand with craftsmanship to adapt the dimensions of the timepiece to a woman’s wrist.
Turning the watch around reveals a little bit more of Van Cleef's magic. The display case back —also made out of 18K white gold— allows for view of yet another interesting surprise. With an aventurine and 18K pink gold ring, the oscillating weight in white gold and black PVD takes the center stage with a crescent Moon in white gold with 'serti neige' style diamonds and an Earth in an oversized turquoise. Along the aventurine ring one can find ornamental stones echoing the planets. The movement provides a power reserve of 40-hours when fully wound.
Additionally, on the back of the watch, two apertures display the date, month and year information. The first aperture —with integrated magnification— located by the crown, displays the year while the second one by the 12 o'clock lug displays the month and date.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and with incredible wrist presence. A conversation piece that would make any lady happy whether they are into watches or not. A fascinating astronomical complication that makes one enjoy the passing of time even more. The new Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium is priced exactly like its predecessor the Midnight Planétarium.
Sticker Price $245,000 USD. For more info on Van Cleef & Arpels click here.