Fine watchmaker designs unique Poetic Complication watch for auction.

Van Cleef has unveiled the watch it has designed as part of this year’s Only Watch auction, which takes place on September 22.

The one-of-a-kind timepiece, called De la Terre a la Lune, is based on Van Cleef’s Poetic Complication collection, and is designed to mirror the company’s philosophy, that each watch tells a story and inspires a dream.


Following the success of Van Cleef’s high jewellery collection based on Les Voyages Extraordinaires by Jules Verne, its Only Watch timepiece takes inspiration from Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, which he wrote in 1865, anticipating space travel.

The Only Watch design features an imaginary sky dotted with stars and planets made up by fine gems and champlevé enamel. A rocket and moon have been hand engraved on to the dial.

The timepiece has a retrograde movement, which Van Cleef has chosen as “a marvel of high precision watchmaking”, which enables two hands to travel 120° arcs of a circle on the dial and then immediately return to their starting point. On the right-hand side of the dial the space rocket imagined by Jules Verne travels towards the Moon from top to bottom, indicating the minutes from zero to sixty; on the left-hand side a star shows the hours from zero to twelve, from bottom to top.

This is the third time the luxury jewellery and watchmaker has taken part in the auction, held every two years, by Prince Albert II of Monaco. The proceeds go to the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophies in aid of research into this disease. The auction will be held by Antiquorum at on 22 September 2011 at the Monaco Yacht Show.