If you’ve ever wondered when Jupiter will next be aligned with Mars, Van Cleef & Arpels has a watch that will tell you. Its new Midnight Planetarium Poetic Complication watch, introduced at SIHH 2014, has six rotating disks, each bearing a tiny sphere representing one of the six planets visible with the naked eye.
The disks rotate at different speeds so that each sphere makes one revolution around the dial in the time it takes the actual planet it represents – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn – to orbit the sun. Saturn’s revolution takes the longest of the six, 29 years; Mercury’s the shortest, 88 days. Time is indicated by a shooting-star symbol rotating around the dial’s circumference. The watch has a whimsical feature: you can choose a day as your lucky day and then rotate the bezel until the red pointer is aligned with that day on the graduated calendar. When the day arrives, the Earth symbol (the blue sphere) will be directly underneath the star that is outlined on the watch’s crystal.
The planet module was designed by Christian van der Klaauw, renowned for his movements featuring astronomical indications. The movement is self-winding and contains 396 components. The case is 44 mm in diameter and made of rose gold. The dial is made of aventurine and the planets of semiprecious stones. Price: about $245,000; a diamond-set version (below) will be about $330,000.
This article was originally published on January 22, 2014, and has been updated.