The Poetry of Time – Extraordinary Journeys 2nd episode: Van Cleef & Arpels From the Earth to the Moon watch.
“The moon rose to a firmament of crystal purity, extinguishing the scintillating lights of the stars on its path ‘From the Earth to the Moon’” – Jules Verne, 1865
Van Cleef & Arpels explores the infinite possibilities of dreams and freedom. The Maison creates a new and fascinating collection of rare timepieces: From the Earth to the Moon watches, inspired by Jules Verne, the illustrious French writer of the 19th century. This new step of the Extraordinary Journeys is the follow-up to Five Weeks in a Balloon, presented at the previous SIHH, and reveals the mysteries of outer space. The celestial exploration begins with the High Jewellery watch Timeless From the Earth to the Moon decor; soaring up to the sky it leaves behind a blazing trail of diamonds and orange sapphires. Then, the Poetic Complication From the Earth to the Moon timepiece carries the astronauts to their lunar destination. Finally, four Extraordinary Dials watches visit legendary constellations.
3…2…1…0. Ignition and lift off. The High Jewellery Timeless From the Earth to the Moon watch takes off. It soars up to the sky. The engines leave a trail of diamonds and sapphires behind them. Inside the gold multi-coloured rocket, the awestruck passengers gaze at the earth’s pearly reflections. The star-filled sky, studded with diamonds, sparkles. The exploration of the infinite can begin.
Iridescence of the mother-of-pearl and precious luminosity The High Jewellery Timeless From the Earth to the Moon decor watch pay homage to the faultless expertise of the “Mains d’or” (golden hands). The design’s creative audacity and the unique setting techniques contribute to the conception and creation of this amazing piece. Van Cleef & Arpels master stone setters have rigorously selected the diamonds for their sparkle, purity and carat size before entirely setting the dial’s bezel with them.
Inventing mother-of-pearl inlay
On the lower part of the dial, mother-of-pearl inlay covers the earth’s surface. Its changing reflections make this time-keeping jewel come alive. Craftsmen accomplish amazing feats with mother-of-pearl inlay. During three months they delicately carve out the materials; white, black or grey mother of pearl, jasper, quartz and a variety of hard stones. They assemble the pieces, sometimes thinner than half a millimeter, with incredible precision. Their meticulous savoir-faire creates precious miniatures on which the watch hands will turn. These remarkable masters have the power of breathing life into materials. A slight turn of the wrist changes the mother of pearl’s reflections.
The High Jewellery Timeless From the Earth to the Moon watch adds another story to the Maison’s great book of watchmaking creativity, a tradition started in 1920. It enriches Extraordinary Journeys collection with a glowing aura.
Poetic Complication From the Earth to the Moon: sweeping across the milky way
All on board for the ultimate adventure! The Poetic Complication From the Earth to the Moon watch is proof that human genius can reach up to the moon. A distant star symbolizes the element of luck which is essential in order to accomplish one’s destiny. The rocket, imagined by Jules Verne, races towards the Milky Way, leaving behind it the greens and blues of mountains and oceans which have become tiny. The spaceship continues on its course to the moon, propelled by the energy of the retrograde movement. It even dodges meteorites. The dial and the spaceship are adorned with an inlay of jade, agate, meteorite stone and champlevé enamel. Delicately wrought metal borders
enhance the contours.
A rocket for the minutes, a star for the hours
The Poetic Complication From the Earth to the Moon watch is equipped with the JLC 846 mechanical movement. A unique retrograde module, developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels completes it. The space capsule indicates the retrograde minutes. Positioned on the right of the dial, it sweeps downwards, from zero to sixty. It then returns to its starting point after the sixtieth minute. On the left side of the dial, a star indicates the hours, in an upward movement. It returns to its starting point after the twelfth hour.
Champleve enamel: lighten to enhance
This technique consists in carving small cavities in the metal base of the enamel. The powder is then placed in the cavities before it is fired and polished. The enamel is thus contoured by subtle metallic borders which enhance its delicacy. These skills reveal the beauty of the Poetry of Time by Van Cleef & Arpels. The Poetic Complication From the Earth to the Moon watch gives time an added dimension, that of the quest for adventure and discovery, an essential part of human desire to conquer the unknown.
The Constellations Cabinet: a star-studded dream …
The Earth to the Moon odyssey continues with a visit to several constellations: Peacock, Cassiopeia, Swan and Pegasus. Van Cleef & Arpels has succeeded in the feat of bringing them together in a celestial box. The From the Earth to the Moon Cabinet collection indicates the position of the stars in the sky, once the only way to guide voyagers. Visible at all times or only during certain seasons, these constellations light up the sky and echo the references to Greek mythology. The box cover, made of sycamore wood, replicates the blue-tinted skies, with inlays of mother-of-pearl clouds. The four Extraordinary Dials of the Lady Arpels Pavo decor, Lady Arpels Cassiopeia decor, Lady Arpels Cygnus decor and Lady Arpels Pegasus decor watches are revealed by a magnifying glass.
Crafting the stars
In order to craft this incredible cabinet, 35 artisans carefully selected the most beautiful parts of rare woods. They were then carved, assembled, varnished and polished seven times.
The Four Extraordinary Dials: from Constellation to Constellation
Inspired by the first book ever written on adventure in space, Van Cleef & Arpels offers four spectacular representations of the mythical constellations.
Lady Arpels Pavo decor
Lady Arpels Pavo decor pays tribute to the Peacock constellation, located in the Southern hemisphere and dedicated to Hera. In Greek mythology, the queen of Olympia incarnates the return of spring. The peacock is her emblem. On the Lady Arpels Pavo decor, the exquisite gold sculpture, the diamond plumage, the intense and delicate harmony of blue and white, the subtly tinted mother-of-pearl, all give life to this creature, a symbol of pride and immortality..
Lady Arpels Cassiopeia decor
Cassiopea, queen of Antiquity, dared to defy the Greek goddesses by proclaiming her beauty as being without equal. The deities, stung by this prideful boast, exiled her to the firmament. Her name was given to a constellation in the Northern hemisphere. Cassiopeia now reigns over the skies for eternity. The Lady Arpels Cassiopeia decor dial dazzles with fiery hues of the most fragile and difficult stone to craft: the opal. Combined with a remarkable inlay of precious stones the royal dial evokes an astral storm: a thousand shades of blue, pink and black enamel swirl with diamonds.
Lady Arpels Cygnus decor
Lady Arpels Cygnus decor pays homage to the Swan constellation. Its nine stars harbor the most brilliant of all and honor Zeus, the God of all gods. In order to secretly seduce Leda, a faithful wife, Zeus takes on the appearance of a swan. Helen, born of their union, will be carried off by Paris, causing the Trojan wars. In China, once in the year, the swan constellation creates a bridge uniting the two legendary lovers, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu. The Lady Arpels Cygnus decor dial brings life to the mythical bird. Its pure and graceful plumage catches the eye. Its diamond wings take flight across the Milky Way. The vallonné enamel technique adds to the swan’s movement and gives depth to the star-filled sky on the dial. This meticulous skill results in a remarkable volume effect.
Lady Arpels Pegasus decor
Pegasus is one of the most fantastic creatures of Greek mythology. Zeus chooses this unique animal as his messenger: with his immaculate white coat, Pegasus is the first winged horse in history. To reward him for his loyal services, the Olympian god transforms him into a constellation. Pegasus symbolises agility, independence and elevation. He also brings inspiration to artists. The Lady Arpels Pegasus decor dial captures the power and the poetry of the divine steed. On the enameled dial, the rarest stones and purest
diamonds represent his coat. Their cut and size are selected to enhance the volumes of the horse’s body.
The union of skills creates the incomparable
Watchmakers, stone cutters, enamellers, and jewellers have used their skills for hundreds of hours so as to craft these fabulous timepieces. These four Extraordinary Dials and the cabinet that shelters them could not have been created without hard stone and mother-of-pearl inlay, valloné enamel, diamond setting, gold sculpture and rare wood inlay.
A miniature work of art, each dial demands thousands of hours of execution. The extreme precision of the time they tell takes on an added value of memories and emotions.
Thanks to their expertise, the Extraordinary Dials become tokens of love, of tenderness or of admiration.