However you measure it, our solar system is so vast that comprehending its size can be rather difficult. But now, jewelry company Van Cleef & Arpels has done something that's also difficult to comprehend – they've reduced the solar system to the size of a wrist.
The watch has a miniature representation of six planets — Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The planets were chosen because they're all visible from Earth. (Unfortunately, you're out of luck if you're a fan of Neptune or Uranus.)
Each planet is represented by a different precious stone. Mercury is serpentine, Venus is chloromelanite, Earth is turquoise, Mars is red jasper, Jupiter is blue agate, and Saturn is sugilite. The sun is represented in pink gold.
And each stone moves in real time in orbit around the pink gold sun. Which means the earth stone takes a full year to go around the sun in the watch. Meanwhile Mercury takes 88 days, Venus 224 days, Mars 687 days, Jupiter about 12 years, and over 29 years for Saturn.
So how does this all work? According to their website, “Planets are set in motion thanks to a self-winding mechanical movement of great complexity.” In other words, it's probably too difficult to explain here. But we do know that the watch contains 396 separate parts.
To create the watch, the company enlisted designer Christiaan van der Klaauw, who specializes in astronomical timepieces. He's made watches featuring the orbit of Earth, the moon, Venus and more, but this watch took things to a new level.
If you want to have most of the solar system located on your wrist, you'll have to fork over a fair amount of cash. To get one of these for your very own, it costs $245,000. Or for a version set with baguette-cut diamonds, the price is $330,000.
As you might expect, Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos is extremely excited about the new product. “Everyone loves the heavens, the moon and sun," he said. "Having it in reality on the wrist is like a dream come true.”
13. A Closer Look
Want to see more? Then watch the video above to get a 3-D view of the Midnight Planétarium timepiece. Then perhaps consider buying one for yourself...if you happen to have some spare hundreds of thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket.