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Mid­night Plané­tar­ium watch by Van Cleef & Ar­pels; Christo­pher Bai­ley’s last show for Burberry; and Chanel’s am­bi­tious plans for the Grand Palais

Asun made of pink gold sits in the cen­tre of the dial. Around it re­volve a moth­erof-pearl Mer­cury and turquoise Earth, which have been metic­u­lously hand-cut into per­fect spheres. Venus, mean­while, is rep­re­sented by a green enamel bead, and the moon is a bril­liant-cut di­a­mond. “An in­vi­ta­tion to plunge into the cos­mos and ob­serve the dance of the plan­ets” is how Van Cleef & Ar­pels de­scribes its Po­etic Astron­omy fam­ily of watches. And in the in­stance of its new Mid­night Plané­tar­ium, the flowery pose is more than war­ranted.

The be­jew­elled plan­ets are set against a mid­night blue back­ground that is granted depth through the use of seven aven­turine discs, which are placed in con­cen­tric cir­cles and ro­tate in­di­vid­u­ally. As a re­sult, each ce­les­tial body moves at its ac­tual speed, or­bit­ing the dial in 88 days in the case of Mer­cury, 224 days for Venus and 365 days for Earth. The moon, mean­while, ro­tates around the Earth in 29.5 days. Should you also wish to use your watch for some­thing as pedes­trian as telling the time, a rhodium-plated gold shoot­ing star on the outer edge of the dial will do the job.

The case of the watch mea­sures 38 mil­lime­tres in di­am­e­ter and is set with di­a­monds on the bezel and sides. A new self-wind­ing me­chan­i­cal move­ment was specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for this smaller case size, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Chris­ti­aan van der Klaauw. There are two op­tions when it comes to the strap: a blue-glit­ter al­li­ga­tor op­tion with a white gold pin buckle, or a white gold bracelet set with di­a­monds. The back of the case fea­tures a turquoise cir­cle that sits snug within a half-moon picked out in di­a­monds. This lady’s watch comes four years a er the un­veil­ing of the Mid­night Plané­tar­ium for men, which has been care­fully restyled for its new au­di­ence. It was launched at the SIHH watch fair in Jan­uary, but made a trip to Dubai last month, so it could be pre­sented to se­lect clients and mem­bers of the press. Con­tin­u­ing with the ce­les­tial theme, Van Cleef & Ar­pels also un­veiled the Mid­night Zo­diac Lu­mineux Po­etic Com­pli­ca­tions watches for men – a se­ries of 12 time­pieces that take their in­spi­ra­tion from the signs of the zo­diac. The sym­bols for Aquar­ius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Can­cer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn are il­lu­mi­nated on the dial via an elec­tri­cal charge. This is gen­er­ated by the watch it­self and cre­ated via the vi­bra­tion of a ce­ramic blade – a highly com­plex process de­vel­oped ex­clu­sively for Van Cleef & Ar­pels.

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