The Van Cleef & Arpels Extraordinary Dials collection is a proof of fine watchmaking. Every detail of its intricate design is a true work of art. Every single one of these pieces is the result of the extensive work of a very skilled team of artists- the engraver, the enameler, the lapidary, the stone-setter and the miniature painter are just a few of those who have invested their artistic touch into crafting these exquisite watches.
At the SIHH 2014, the brand unveiled one of the most fascinating designs that evoke the theme of Poetic Astronomy. The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Nuit Australe is a very rare luxury watch that was manufactured in a limited number of 22 pieces. This timepiece has a remarkable dial that was created just like a miniature picture, just that its complexity is astonishing. A wide range of traditional crafts and inspirations were combined to depict the excellence and creativity of the Van Cleef & Arpels house. Every dial illustrates a beautiful astronomic poetry through the use of very complex techniques like engraving on a gold mother of pearl dial, hard stone marquetry, stone-setting, hamplevé, vallonné and grisaille enamel.
The constellations are the inspiration for the Van Cleef & Arpel Midnight Nuit Australe. The midnight sky was the object of fascination and curiosity since ancient times, and its symbolism is still a sensitive theme for the brand’s creativity. By using unique watchmaking skills, Van Cleef & Arpel transcends through the limits of time and space and constructs this timeless design which reflects the evolution of the way mankind has seen and understood the midnight sky.
The Midnight Nuit Australe is the model that is dedicated to the Southern hemisphere and evokes the discoveries of explorers and scientists from the 16th to the 18th century. The Argo and the Telescope constellations as well as the Vela and Puppis constellations are reminiscent to the work of French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille whereas the Toucan and Swordfish constellations are the result of the observations of the Amsterdam cartographer and astronomer Petrus Placius.
This Extraordinary Dial watch is decorated with the masterful use of a very rare process that is usually applied for depicting constellations and maps of the sky. This unique technique is called grisaille enameling. The result is a subtle gradation that imitates beautifully the mysterious nocturnal glow. The astronomic theme is continued beyond the dial. On the back of the case there is the engraving of Acrux which represents the brightest star in the Southern Cross constellation.
The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Nuit Australe is available in a 42 mm pink gold case with a pink gold bezel and pink gold crown decorated with a midnight blue enamel cabochon. The timepiece comes with an automatic mechanical movement that features a 72 hours power reserve. Furthermore, it has a matte dark brown alligator strap and a pink gold folding clasp.
A poetic interpretation of the mysterious midnight sky and its amazing constellations, the Midnight Nuit Asutrale is a fascinating timepiece that was designed to enrich the wrists of the wealthiest and most prestigious people on the planet. It is a truly extraordinary design dedicated to the most beautiful astronomical discoveries.