Dutch Brand Christiaan Van Der Klaauw (CVDK) has made quite a name for itself with its astronomy-inspired watches over the years. Just last year, it won the prize for best Calendar and Astronomy Watch at the GPHG with the Planetarium Eise Eisinga. While that watch featured a dial that resembled the blue-painted ceiling of the Eise Eisinga planetarium in Franeker, Netherlands, the oldest working orrery in the world, this latest edition pays tribute to Mars.
The Planetarium Dunes of Mars does so by a dial that is made from red aventurine. This manufactured glass-like material is not uncommonly used in watchmaking, but it is primarily blue. In this color, it resembles the night sky, but in red, it gets a different character. With a grainy look, in which you see flashes of gold as light hits the dial, it resembles red sand. This makes the name of the watch, Dunes of Mars, very appropriate.
A sense of depth is created by the CVDK logo at twelve o’clock, flanked on each side by three roman numerals that all lie on top of the dial. In between, there is a subdial that indicates the date and the month. This also sits on top of the dial, just like the planetarium, which gets center stage at the bottom half of the dial. It is the smallest of its kind in the world and shows the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn around the Sun. As you see Mercury making more than three complete rounds in a year, it takes Saturn 29.46 years to go around just once.
The watch is powered by caliber CVDK7386, which is fitted with two mainspring barrels, giving it a power reserve of 96 hours. The movement can be admired through the sapphire insert in the caseback, and it includes a beautifully decorated oscillating weight. CVDK offers the Planetarium Dunes of Mars in pink gold for €70,000 (approximately $73,500) or white gold for € 75,300 (approximately $79,000). As is traditional for the brand, a steel version is also available, with pricing marked at €49,500 (approximately $52,000). CVDK will make only six pieces in each of the different types of metal.
While I love what the pink gold does to the red aventurine dial, it might be too rich a combination for some. In stainless steel, the Planetarium Dunes of Mars becomes very wearable and can easily be somebodies daily watch. That leaves the white gold version because why would you pay a premium when it looks so similar to stainless steel? Because you know it’s gold and are reminded of it because of the heft, and also because a connoisseur will appreciate the slightly different color and softer reflection of light of the precious metal.
To learn more, visit CVDK, here