This morning Haute Time had the chance to sit down with Denis Giguet, the Worldwide Director of Watchmaking at Van Cleef & Arpels, in New York City.
During a private viewing at the manufacture’s flagship on Fifth Avenue, Mr. Giguet personally introduced Van Cleef & Arpels’ new novelties, which were first unveiled earlier this year at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie.
One of the most outstanding pieces we saw was the Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs, which is part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Pierre Arpels collection. Since Mr. Giguet tests each new model himself, we got to see this piece right on his wrist!
The name Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs, French for ‘the time here and the time elsewhere’, hints at this piece’s main feature: double jumping hours for two time zones.
The aperture at 11 o’clock features the local time, while the aperture at 5 o’clock features the second time zone. Between the two apertures is a retrograde minute display.
The two hours, as well as the retrograde minute function, jump at exactly the same time. It is housed in a 42mm white gold case and features a pristine white lacquer face with a honeycomb pattern at the center of the dial.
The Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs also features the first open caseback in the Pierre Arpels collection, which showcases the movement’s finishing.
Next up we saw the latest edition of the Pierre Arpels watch. This piece, which will land in stores this summer, casts this classic 42mm model in a new material: platinum.
It also features a rich black lacquer dial, which complements the platinum case beautifully and highlights the honeycomb pattern at the center of the dial. Functions include hours and minutes.
And last, but certainly not least, we saw the Midnight Planétarium, the latest addition to Van Cleef & Arpels’ Poetic Complication collection.
Unlike a traditional watch, the Midnight Planétarium does not have any hands. Instead, the starry blue dial puts our solar system in perspective, depicting the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun, which is featured at the center of the dial.
Their positions on the dial are relative to each planet’s true distance from the sun, and each planet’s movement around the dial is calibrated to reflect the true amount of time it really takes it to orbit the Sun. (So for example Earth every 365.2564 days, Mars every 687 days, Saturn every 10,759 Earth days (approximately 29 years), etc.)
The dial also features a chapter ring for the months of the year, and another ring for the date, which is indicated by a red triangle marker. And, of course, it features the hours, which are indicated by the journey of a shooting star around a 24-hour ring.
Photo credit: Haute Time.