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Compass T im epiece s STAR TIME It’s easy to describe a timepiece as “breathtaking” — but in the case of the stunningly unique Midnight Planétarium by Van Cleef & Arpels, it’s actually an understatement. TEXT BY BILL LINDSEY A number of world-class watchmakers offer models utilizing complex mechanisms, but they all pale in comparison to the Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planétarium Watch. Living up to its name, this timepiece is literally a sky full of stars and planets majestically residing on the owner’s wrist. The poetic self-winding mechanical complication crafted by Christiaan Van Der Klaauw exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels has a 48-hour power reserve, is set in a 44 mm pink-gold housing and is comprised of 396 separate pieces. The aventurine dial full of tiny stars features a miniscule reproduction of the sun, around which revolve Mercury, Mars, Earth, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, each at a rate equivalent to each planet’s actual speed of rotation. A shooting star indicates the time in hour and minutes. While each individual unit bears its own unique serial number, the collection, like the universe, is unlimited in number; VanCleefArpels.com. 32