Van Cleef & Arpels turned their gaze upwards, towards the planets and the sun, with their Midnight Planétarium, and with another piece, they continue their voyage of what they describe as “Poetic Astronomy.” The Lady Arpels Heures Filantes is a 38-mm watch in white gold, with a circular section on the front of the dial that rotates once every year. It is marked with the principal shooting star showers, Léonides, Orionides and so forth, read against a triangle at 12 o’clock. This part of the dial is in deep blue aventurine whose metallic blue flecks makes it perfect as a depiction of the night sky, rotating below a cloud-shaped section in mother-of-pearl. The dark part of the dial are strewn with stars, presumably in white gold, A more exact measurement of the number of shooting stars can be found on the back of the watch, where a white or blue triangular hand indicates the month on a graduated scale, and a window at 6 o’clock shows the average number of shooting stars, with a scale from 0 to 120 shooting stars per hour. And so this tells you how many wishes you can make… or it indicates the right time to head out to some dark place where you can look skywards and watch out for the shooting stars. The white gold case is set on a blue alligator strap, with the central lug system that adds an extra touch of sophistication. Each watch is numbered, but it’s not a limited edition. See more at http://www.vancleefarpels.com/
The watch has a hand-wound mechanical movement, with the yearly complication designed by Agenhor, a Geneva-based company founded by Catherine and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. Agenhor are specialized in designing special complications for leading watch brands, such as their Opus 9 for Harry Winston, the Spacecraft watch for Romain Jérôme, Temps Suspendu for Hermès, and many others. The company name comes from a story about a legendary king, Agenhor, whose lands were fragrant with orange groves, and where priests and prophets erected rows of obelisks dedicated to celestial divinities, which could be used to tell the time, count the months and years, and measure the movements of the stars. A look at the Agenhor website shows you just how many original complications the Wiederrecht family have produced.
Below, the back of the watch, with the monthly calendar and the window indicating shooting star frequency:
Detail of the decoration on the front, with names of the shooting star showers:
Detail of the back, where the design is modern, with black PVD-coated surfaces and movement wheels skeletonized with interesting shapes: