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Robb Design Portfolio: Starry, Starry Night

Laurie Kahle

"Is there anything more inspiring to man than the sky?" asks Louis de Meckenheim, who manages the development of Van Cleef & Arpels’ (212.644.9500, www.vancleef.com) watch collection. He poses the question—rhetorically—in reference to Midnight in Paris, the $61,000 men’s watch shown here, which represents a collaboration between the Paris jewelry house and Geneva complication specialist Agenhor. The watch’s dial is a rotating disk made of luminous aventurine glass that has been handpainted with all of the constellations. An elliptical aperture frames the portion of the dial corresponding to the view of the stars from Paris at any given moment. The watch movement was 18 months in the making.

Van Cleef & Arpels plans to produce only about 100 examples of the watch per year. The company also will create custom dials that display the cosmos over other locales.

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Photo by René Gaens
Copyright by IWC