Tonight, May 10, 2017, those of us under clear skies will have the pleasure of admiring the Full Moon. Captivating and romantic, golden, pale, or harvest red, the Moon and its phases have inspired us since the beginning of time. Scholars believe that, amid the animal paintings made by cavemen 15,000 years ago at Lascaux in France, 29 dots, from full to crescent-like shapes, depict the 29-day cycle of the Earth’s satellite. Since then, poets, painters, and watchmakers have tried to capture the essence of the celestial wonder above. Here are three of the finest Moon Phase timepieces from 2017:
In a 36 mm case, the Bulgari LVCEA Moon Phases timepiece shows off its heavenly moon and sky in an arc-shaped aperture stretching across the upper part of the luminous mother-of-pearl dial. The shade of the sky on the lunar cycle disc, in aventurine glass or pigeon’s blood ruby, is intense blue, bright red or plum purple, complemented with a matching alligator leather strap.
Three versions of the LVCEA Moon Phases exist: in steel with an 18K pink gold bezel, or in 18K pink gold or 18K white gold interpretations featuring strap lugs and bezel set with 45 brilliant-cut diamonds. The crown on all versions is set with a cabochon-cut pink stone and brilliant-cut diamond, and all dials are punctuated by brilliant-cut diamond hour-markers.
Equipped with the bidirectional mechanical automatic movement, Calibre BVL 210, driving a moon-phase display and indications of the hours, minutes and seconds, the LVCEA Moon Phases has a power reserve of 42 hours. The movement is decorated with Côtes de Genève, bevelling and snailing, visible through the sapphire case back.
Priced from EUR15,600 to EUR29,900, these beauties will be in stores from July 2017.
It has been 13 years now since Girard-Perregaux created the Cat’s Eye – an haute horlogerie timepiece designed especially for ladies. Many different versions have been presented since its launch; the distinctive horizontal oval shape and sublime elegance remain.
This year the brand brings us the outstanding Cat’s Eye Celestial. The generous moon phase, slightly domed for a depth effect, occupies almost the entire dial space of the radiant face. Crafted in pink gold and set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds, the oval case measuring 35.44 x 30.44 mm frames a guilloché hand-polished white mother-of-pearl dial. The guilloché motif, along with the gem-set drop-shaped hour-markers, point towards the breathtaking moon phase whose broad 8.9 mm-diameter disc with 2 moons performs a full rotation in 59 days. The moon phase is depicted in mother-of-pearl marquetry and hand-polished aventurine glass.
The device driving the display of this complication is not linked to the arbour of the hour’s wheel, but is instead connected to the barrel and therefore moves smoothly without any jerking. The mechanical self-winding Manufacture movement GP03300-0125 with functions of hours, minutes and large moon-phase indicator has a power reserve of 46 hours, with a moon phase correction required only once every 360 years. Superbly finished with Côtes de Genève and circular-graining adorning the main plate, blued steel screws, and an oscillating weight bearing a “GP” tapestry-style motif, it is visible through the sapphire case back.
The Cat’s Eye Celestial is fitted with a pink gold bracelet matching the case, priced at EUR44,700, or with a midnight blue alligator leather strap, priced at EUR30,900. Both models will be in stores by June 2017.
In 2017, Jaeger-LeCoultre enlarges its Rendez-Vous collection to include a moon phase timepiece, until now reserved for the finest jewellery pieces of the collection introduced in 2012. The Rendez-Vous Moon Medium bears all the hallmarks of the brand’s excellence in timekeeping accuracy and craftsmanship.
The model shown here is presented in a 34 mm round steel case with sapphire case back. The bezel is set with 60 diamonds to brilliantly highlight the silvered guilloché and grained dial. The moon phases disc, with guilloché and sand-blasted finishing, is revealed by a wide aperture at 6 o’clock. Floral hands indicate the hours and minutes; a function of seconds is also displayed on the dial.
The automatic mechanical movement Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 935A, produced, assembled, and decorated by hand has a power reserve of 40 hours. The moon phase function, boasting ultimate precision, will have a time lag of only one day every 972 years. Complemented with a blue alligator leather strap with folding buckle, the Rendez-Vous Moon Medium in steel with diamonds is priced at EUR15,300. A model in 18K pink gold will also be available, with both models in stores from June/July 2017.