Robb Design Portfolio: Starry, Starry Night

"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.

The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...