SIHH 2018: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium Watch

By Carl Scutt

This year Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium timepiece is their SIHH offering and although we have seen this before, it never fails to turn heads.

For those of you in ‘the know’ it maybe something of a rerun but why should that be a bad thing after all in a world where nothing is new only repackaged, a reimagining of a piece of art is always a beautiful thing.

While the Lady Arpels Planétarium Poetic Complications Watch is a reimagining of the Maison’s Midnight Planétarium but that doesn’t detract from the wonder that comes with a Planétarium movement.

Lady Arpels Planétarium Poetic

If you are anything like me you may find yourself captivated like a cat with a ball of string. The detail, the craft, the fun, it’s all there in front of you.

For example, looking past the ‘bling’ of the diamond encrusted bezel we can see the rich blue dial with the Sun centre fashioned from pink gold surrounded by Earth and our closest neighbors, Earth and Mercury fashions from turquoise and pink mother-of-pearl respectively.

Venus is represented by a bead of green enamel and the Moon white gold with serti neige style diamonds.

The rotation of the celestial bodies is brought to you by Christiaan van der Klaauw and a module developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, based directly on the Midnight Planétarium.

I know you will be happy to know the Earth makes one complete rotation in 365 days, Mercury 88 days, and Venus 224 days, while the Moon orbits the Earth every 29.5 days.

What’s The Time?

If you want to look past the shiny fun side of this piece and actually use it to tell you the time you can. It may take a little time to get use to it but the time given by the shooting star that gives a minute hand and Mercury the hour hand, so by my reckoning the image above is offering a time of 5 past 6. Interestingly, the calendar indication is on the caseback, go figure, right?

Technical Stuff

The case is a 38mm white gold set with diamonds, bezel set with diamonds and crown set with a diamond, the Movement is Self-winding with40-hour power reserve.

The Bracelet or Strap is blue glitter alligator strap with a white gold pin buckle set with diamonds or white gold bracelet set with diamonds.

Final Word

All too often in this space, and I am no exception, the focus is usually on men’s watches and we only think about women’s watches when it comes to those special days. It’s certainly nice to see this trend being challenged and this fascinating piece being shown at SIHH this year. Perhaps this is the start of something new where both men and women are equally represented in this space. As they say, “Watch this space”.