Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Van Cleef & Arpels Extraordinary Dials Midnight Nuit: Starstruck

Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, has always said that every Van Cleef & Arpels watch tells a story, and with the Extraordinary Dials Midnight Nuit watches, the Maison regaled watch connoisseurs with the celestial allegories passed down for generations. Where the Midnight Nuit Boréale is dedicated to the constellations of the Northern […]

May 14, 2014 | By Staff Writer

Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, has always said that every Van Cleef & Arpels watch tells a story, and with the Extraordinary Dials Midnight Nuit watches, the Maison regaled watch connoisseurs with the celestial allegories passed down for generations. Where the Midnight Nuit Boréale is dedicated to the constellations of the Northern hemisphere (borealis) depicting the gods and creatures of Greek mythology, the Midnight Nuit Australe devoted itself to the Southern hemisphere (australis) which pays homage to the observations of scientists and explorers of the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Van Cleef Arpels Extraordinary Dials Midnight Nuit 

As if it’s not enough to present these fascinating scenes, Van Cleef & Arpels chose the most traditional and rarest of crafts to depict them, along with new techniques mastered only at the Maison. The grisaille enamelling technique, first used by Van Cleef & Arpels on the 2010 Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux watch, makes an appearance once again. Developed in Limoges, France, in the 16th century, grisaille enamel is done using only two shades of enamel. Its brilliance lies in the way the artisan creates colour gradations, intense shadows and dramatic plays of light simply by blending light and dark tones. Put the dials under a loupe to witness the excruciating details captured by the artisans.

No fewer than 70 hours of handcrafting went into every dial, which is then finished with a new technique where the artisan embellishes the sky with polished dots of yellow gold representing the stars. On the case back, an engraving of Polaris (the brightest star of the Little Bear constellation) appears on the Midnight Nuit Boréale, and on the Midnight Nuit Australe, there is an engraving of Acrux (brightest star of the Southern Cross constellation). Both watches are priced at S$127,000.


 
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