The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs Watch is one of those special watches that comes along only every now and then. It’s the ultimate example of fine craftsmanship with careful attention to details. The finest quality of materials has gone into the creation of this watch, from the precious platinum used in the making of the high-end movement to the pink gold that makes up the case, the strap buckle, and the bezel. This particular incarnation is a refresh which made its reappearance at SIHH in 2018. It has immediate eye appeal and allure that draws you in for a much closer look.
When you can draw your eyes away from the magnificent glow of the brightly contrasting vibrant material to take an objective look at the specifications, you’ll see that the case is crafted of pink gold which has been made in a round shape measuring 42mm in diameter, the same as its predecessor. When you turn the watch over, you find the case back is made of the same material and is beautifully detailed with a screw down rim style and fine engraving around the bottom, in the same polished finish as the front. What’s so extraordinary is the flat sapphire crystal covering that displays every detail of the mechanical intricacies of the movement within full view with no obscuring details. It’s much like looking through a window.
The bezel is neither thin nor wide but rather understated although it shines brightly with its highly polished finish. The long lugs curve gracefully downward to hold the black leather strap with a wonderful contrasting effect that sets each of in a positive light. This small detail points to the fact that the watch is in a higher class than the average timepiece.
The dial is unique in its design if not a bit over the top when it comes to mega luxury. It makes the statement that tells the world this is a formal watch bearing the marks of high-end luxury and classic elegance. Beneath its sapphire crystal is the textured black background of the dial with an impressive application of pink gold indicators and markers along with the numerals and the signature taking up the right side of the dial in an unusual yet charming stylization. The dual time zone and jumping hours along with retrograde minutes encased in pink gold against the black backdrop are simple and add a wonderful minimalist effect.
The movement is platinum with a bi-directional winding rotor which is easily observed from the see-through case back. It has a 48-hour power reserve. The brand chose a caliber that is fitting for such a high-end example of horological magnificence and design genius.
The pricing and availability
One would expect the price for the Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs Watch to be equal to or more than its predecessor in white gold, which was offered for $40,000 in 2014. This isn’t the case for the reimagined version. It retails for $27,500, which is far less than expected but is a delightful gesture by the brand for a mega luxury watch that is suitable for formal wear.
The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs Watch has a minimalist dial that has been beautifully executed with high legibility. It’s one of those special watches that gets your attention and holds it n an almost magical way. It’s highly functional and is made with a quality movement befitting a watch of this extraordinary class. It’s sophisticated and uses the elements of color and darkness artfully.
This isn’t a watch that one would wear every day unless your life is attending formal events or high-level executive meetings. It’s as much a symbol of status as it is an elegant and practical timepiece with the capacity for keeping you on your schedule. It’s been referred to as an over the top watch because of the fact that it is dripping with elegance and luxury. Even the buckle used to fasten the black genuine leather strap is a perfect match for the watch case and bezel.