In-keeping with Van Cleef & Arpels’ poetic philosophy, the maison has turned to the cosmos for inspiration, using the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the planets, and the stars for inspiration on Poetic Astronomy. This pays homage to a theme that has been close to the brand since the ‘50s, when the first lucky medals were created.
The twelve feminine Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux perfectly complement the masculine Midnight Zodiac Lumineux watches that were introduced at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève (SIHH) earlier this year. The attention to detail is intricate, and much like the universe, the more you look at each watch face, the more you will notice features that you didn’t see before.
Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux, Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
The light on demand module, which was first seen on the Midnight Nuit Lumineuse watch in 2016, allows the stars in the background to sparkle, as well as illuminating the Zodiac sign.
The mechanism that creates the illumination is pretty special - known as ‘piezoelectricity’, it refers to materials that can acquire an electrical charge due to mechanical constraints, which is an area that has been studied since the 18th century. Van Cleef & Arpels has used a piezoceramic blade that vibrates when the watch moves. Simply put - when you press the watch’s button, it will light up the LEDs on-demand.
As well as the spectacular Zodiac-themed watches, the maison has created a feminine version of Midnight Planétarium as part of Poetic Astronomy. The Lady Arpels Planétarium watch features the sun at the centre, with its orbiting moon and closest planets - Mercury, Venus and Earth. The best part of this special piece, is that each of the planets moves in real time. While Mercury takes 88 days to orbit the watch, Earth will move one rotation in 365.