Introducing The Van Cleef & Arpels’ Arpels Zodiac Lumineux

Can A Watch Read Your Horoscope? Introducing The Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux

Van Cleef & Arpels’ new astrological watches bring the stars to the wrist.

By Hyla Bauer

It doesn’t get much more romantic that a night under the stars. Infinite possibilities abound in space above us, sparking dreams and fantasies. Long before Coldplay’s song “Sky Full of Stars,” people have romanticized the beauty and mystery of the stratosphere. With its new collection, Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux, Van Cleef & Arpels has captured some of the magic of the celestial bodies and brought it to earth, in the form of a watch.

What’s Your Sign?

Twelve distinct dial designs illustrate each of the astrological signs, from Aries to Pisces. Each watch features a glittering blue enamel dial, accented with enamel beads in the shape of the sign’s unique constellation. The diamond-set case, including the bezel and crown, creates a dazzling effect, even in the daylight. The  brilliant white diamonds magnify the precious feel of the watch and its unique ability to harness a bit of the stars’ magic. There’s more, though: Van Cleef has devised a way to illuminate the some of the “stars” on the dial with just a push of a button.

Trip the Light Fantastic

The watches are powered by a highly accurate self-winding movement, with a special module devoted to power the illumination. The module, developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, utilizes a piezoceramic blade that vibrates with the watch’s movement. The blade’s vibration allows electrical energy to be generated mechanically. Tiny LEDs backlight the back of the dial on demand by the push of a button. The dial’s translucent enamel beads light up as if by magic, and continue to glow for about three seconds. In lay terms, piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure and latent heat, and it was discovered in 1880 by French physicists Jacques and Pierre Curie.

Star Gazing

The dials of the 12 models are masterpieces of detailed decoration, achieving a feeling of depth in the sky “nuanced by an interplay of light and shade,” according to the brand. The symbolic figure of each sign is crafted onto the dial in white or yellow gold, precious stones, and enamel. The effect is truly dazzling, day or night.

Each of the 12 astrological signs has a unique dial depicting both its constellation and its symbol. Aries' ram has an exquisitely curved gold horn with a yellow sapphire head. The Taurus model features a deep green enameled bull. Gemini's twins wear enamel dresses accented with diamonds. The claw and body of Cancer's crab feature gradiated shades of blue enamel. Leo's lion shines in yellow gold enhanced by yellow sapphires and spessartite garnets, with a sparkling sapphire eye. Virgo's maiden is accompanied by a golden unicorn. Libra's delicate balancing scales shine in diamonds and blue enamel. The tail and claw of Scorpio's scorpion are diamond encrusted blue enamel. Sagittarius' bow sparkles in yellow sapphires, with a thin gold arrow. Capricorn's goat features exquisitely curved gold horns and a sapphire blue eye. Water flows out of a precious diamond and enamel jug on Aquarius' dial. Blue-green enamel and diamond fish swim across Pisces' dial in beautiful symmetry. 

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

All of the Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux watches have white gold and diamond cases that are 38mm in diameter. Each watch is fitted with a glittery blue alligator strap and diamond-encrusted buckle. The self-winding mechanical movements not only power the watch, but also its ethereal glow with a mere push of a button.

(Images provided by Van Cleef & Arpels)

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