Van Cleef & Arpel’s Astronomy-Inspired Zodiac Lumineux Collection

By Paul Joseph

French luxury jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels have followed up on the launch of their Midnight Zodiac Lumineux - a men’s line available in 12 different versions for each zodiac sign – with the unveiling of a new ladies’ version.

Debuted recently at the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences in the United Arab Emirates, the Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux timepiece features the brand’s patented light-on-demand module, which illuminates each zodiac sign’s “stars” made from enamel beads on the dial using a pusher button.

Perhaps the highlight of the collection is an electro-mechanical complication that lights up the dials using piezoelectricity, which made its debut in the company’s 2016 Midnight Nuit Lumineuse.

The light-on-demand module is not battery operated and doesn’t eat up the watch’s power reserve. A ceramic strip inside the timepiece lights up the four to six LEDs within for three or four seconds.

The enamel bead stars are shaped by hand and mounted on the dial. They light up against a midnight-blue pailleté background that highlights the constellations. The case is 38mm, with diamonds on the bezel and case side.

The Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux is priced at $148,000 apiece.

Founded by Charles Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef in 1896, Van Cleef & Arpels has grown to become one of the world’s most renowned luxury jewellery brands.

By Paul Joseph