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5 Mesmerizing Astronomical Watches: The True Art of Horology
Astronomical watches refer to a wonderful combination of astronomy and watchmaking industry. They are exquisitely made to represent the happenings beyond the Earth in the form of miniatures. Astronomy itself is the study of everything beyond the Earth: the sun, planetary systems, stars, comets, moons, and more. Combined with the art of watchmaking craftsmanship, it creates an observable universe within our grasp.
Astronomical watches are one of the most complex watch complications. As it combines the mechanism of time telling and the science of astronomy, it needs intense detail and works to make both functions work precisely. No wonder, it sits at the front liner of the most sought-after watches among zealous watch collectors.
Working like a wonder, there is more to explore in an astronomical timepiece. In this article, we’re going to dig deeper into what it is and how it works. As usual, we also lay out some recommendations to consider for your collection.
What are Astronomical Watches?
The astronomical watch is a representation that exemplifies the complex horological craftsmanship. It presents the mesmerizing universe, from planets to the sun on a single dial. Not only that it tells the time but also brings closer the celestial scenery into plain sight on a timepiece.
The essence of astronomy and horology have been intertwined since a long time ago, such as the collaboration of NASA and Omega in the expedition to the Moon. Indeed, the whole history of astronomy gives much influence and inspiration to many watchmakers. It inspires them to create a piece of astronomical art.
As an example, a famous Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw took inspiration from Christiaan Huygens, an outstanding astronomer and inventor of a pendulum clock, to make the first astronomical watches. In addition to that, he also created a Planetarium watch after looking at the planetarium building built by Eise Eisinga.
5 Marvelous Astronomical Watches that Make a Wonder
In these present days, astronomical watches remain the most iconic, sought-after, rarest, and poetic complication among other complications. Below, we have compiled some of the mesmerizing ones that might pick your interest.
Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planétarium
A planetarium is a sky theatre. It expresses the scenes of celestial objects and the night sky. To create a replica of such scenes is no small feat. Yet, Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planétarium successfully brought the said scenes into a tiny space of a watch in 2014. This astronomical watch was a work of collaboration between Van Cleef and Arpel and Christiaan van der Klaauw, who is the king when it comes to astronomical watchmaking.
This breathtaking horological timepiece depicts the universe with near-complete solar systems. The replica puts the sun, six planets’ orbit, and stars on display. The starry night sky of the dial further brings out the beauty of the tiny celestial objects.
To tell the time, there is a pinkish shooting star that will slowly fly around the small universe. The six planets orbit the sun based on their real-life rotation time. In other words, you can see the six planets move in line with the day of a specific date.
A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna
Taking a step further, A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange’s Perpetual Calendar Terraluna gives us a whole view of the orbital moon phase on the case back. Now, that’s an interesting idea. On the watch dial, it has 3 subdials of hours, minutes, and seconds. While the minutes and seconds marker uses Arabic numerals, we can see the classic Roman numerals of its hour markers.
It doesn’t stop there. The dial is busy yet it shows the information within cleanliness. It divides the complication of a perpetual calendar with each is in the subdials. Plus, there is a power reserve indicator at the bottom of the dial. With how packed the watch’s dial is, the graphic orbital moon phase complication is seen through the sapphire crystal on the case back, right on the watch’s movement.
IWC Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia
It takes ten years for IWC to realize the grand idea of astronomical watches. After such a long journey and intense craftsmanship, IWC introduces the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia system with a splendid view. There is more to look at in this timepiece as it offers more than just celestial scenery.
The watch comes with a tourbillon feature that carries along a surprising dead-second system. As a result, the tourbillon seconds hand runs in one moment. In addition to that, the hands and outline give information about the sun-based time, dusk/dawn, day/night indicator, and date book.
Montblanc Star Legacy Metamorphosis
Appears as one of the finest astronomical watches, the Montblanc Star Legacy does bring a breathtaking view into plain sight. At the bottom-center of the watch, lies a three-dimensional moon that shows the Northern Hemisphere of the watch. Thanks to the dimension, it brings quite a real representation of the original view.
Moving on the top side of the dial, the watch also comes with the patent of Exo Tourbillon at 12 o’clock. The main highlight of the watch is represented through the name of metamorphosis. It refers to the two-faced feature that allows the wearer to flip between dial sides with different backgrounds of the tourbillon.
Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar Planets Jewelry
The timepiece comes with intricate complications of the solar systems, the Chinese zodiac calendar, and the flying tourbillon. The Astronomia JCAM19 movement makes the four planets’ orbit possible to be as close as the real rotation.
The Earth’s globe is made of blue magnesium while the other three planets are from gemstones. The dial background is the aventurine Skylayer that rotates widdershins contrary to the planet’s orbit. The view of these moving objects gives another pleasure to the eyes.
An astronomical watch is, without a doubt, pleasing to one’s mind and eyes. It offers the artistic beauty of the moon, planets, stars, and the rest, with the basic function of telling the time. If you’re one of the celestial lovers, this type of watch is worth being in your personal collection.
You might also like: 10 Most Magnificent Moon Phase Watches for Men and Women