Astronomical Watch Gorgeously Depicts the Real-Time Orbits of Planets
Most watches can tell time, but how many keep track of the planetary orbits? Luxury watch maker Van Cleef & Arpels created the Midnight Planétarium timepiece, which does just that. The wristwear is encased in 18-carat gold and sports a variety of different semi-precious gems. As the watchmakers explain on their website, the company has "achieved its dream of reducing the scale of the heavens to the dimensions of a wristwatch." Pretty fancy stuff.
Each planet is represented with a different colored stone: Earth is turquoise, Mercury is serpentine, Venus is chloromelanite, Mars is red jasper, Jupiter is blue agate, and Saturn is sugilite. Other celestial objects on the watch include a pink gold shooting star and sun.
This watch isn't just for looks: The planets actually move in time with their real-life depictions. A self-winding mechanism containing 396 separate parts moves each miniature planet in true time to its actual orbit length. That means it will take your tiny Saturn 29 years to make its way around the watch's dial, with Jupiter taking about 12 years, Mars 687 days, Earth 365 days, and Mercury 88 days. (Neptune and Uranus aren't included as their orbits are longer than most human lifetimes at 165 years and 84 years respectively.)
The back of the watch features an engraving of the starry night sky. You can set the date and view it through two apertures on the dial. You can also tell the time thanks to the shooting star which completes a revolution around the dial in 24 hours. Adorably, the owner can choose a specific day as their "lucky day" and on that date the Earth will move directly underneath the star engraved on sapphire crystal to symbolize good fortunes.
The watch retails for $225,000, which really isn't so much to have the entire solar system adorning your arm.
[h/t Lost at E Minor]