Van Cleef & Arpels – Midnight Planetarium

We’re not denying that smartwatches are nifty little creations that harness the power of modern technology and also look kind of sleek on your wrist.

However, the timepiece you’re about to see is a different kind of cool. Behold — Midnight Planétarium.

Created by Van Cleef & Arpels in partnership with Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, this exquisite wristwatch goes beyond indicating time or serving as a fashionable accessory.

What’s so special about this watch, you may wonder? Well …

According to the creators, it ‘offers the fascinating possibility of wearing the universe on your wrist.’ Let us elaborate.

The pink gold watch consists of 396 tiny pieces and features a miniature replica of our solar system: Sun, shooting star and six bejeweled planets.

Each planet is represented by a precious or semiprecious stone.

Mercury is made from serpentine. Venus — chloromelanite. Red planet Mars — from red jasper. Jupiter — from blue agate. Saturn — from sugilite. And finally, Earth — from the beautiful turquoise.

Each planet moves on its own disc at its genuine speed, accurately depicting the movement of planets as they orbit the Sun.

The self-winding mechanism took Christiaan van der Klaauw three years to develop. The fascinating module accurately represents the planets’ movement and position at any given time.

Based on astronomical calculations, they all rotate as follows:

Mercury: every 88 days
Venus: every 224 days
Earth: every 365 days
Mars: every 687 days
Jupiter: every 12 years
Saturn: every 29 years

But about the time? That’s what the shooting star is for — it indicates hours and minutes.

There’s one more poetic detail that makes this watch more of an artistic spectacle than everyday commodity.

A red arrow placed along the outer rim of the watch can be aligned with a desired date — a birthday, anniversary or any other occasion.

On that special day, the stone representing Earth will align right under a star that’s engraved on the sapphire crystal. Not only is it a technical wonder, but gives this timepiece a more personal touch.

But just how much would such an finely crafted and extravagant item cost? A cool £150,000 apparently, which is more than a few lightyears worth of savings.

Midnight Planetarium
Midnight Planetarium


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