Van Cleef & Arpels: Midnight Nuit Lumineuse watch

Photo courtesy of Hodinkee

Van Cleef & Arpels' innovative Midnight Nuit Lumineuse was inspired by the glittering of of the stars. The scene depicted in the watch unfolds against a background of aventurine glass and diamond stars, and various constellations are traced out in the white miniature painting. Then, as if by magic, it lights up in a remarkable way.

While the scene is inspired by the wonders of nature, the watch itself is a marvel of human ingenuity. The illumination is thanks to the use of the piezoelectricity phenomenon. The phenomenon of piezoelectricity has been studied since the 18th century. The term refers to the ability of certain materials to accumulate an electric charge when they are subjected to mechanical stress. This is the first Poetic Complications™ watch that creates a luminous motif illuminating the dial. The Midnight Nuit Lumineuse watch contains a strip of ceramic which, when caused to vibrate by the movement, mechanically generates electrical energy. This is used to power six electroluminescent diodes which – on demand – back-light the six diamonds visible on the dial. I think we can all agree that the effect is magical!

Sotheby's Breaks Record with 9.75 carat Blue Diamond

                         © Sothebys

                       © Sothebys

On Nov. 20 a 9.75 ct fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond hit the auction block at Sotheby's New York. A frenzied 20 minute bidding war between seven people ensued ending with the stone fetching $3.3 million a carat ($32.6 million total), setting a new record for any diamond's per-carat price sold at auction. 
The price tops the 14.82 carat vivid orange sold by Christie's in Geneva which sold at $2.3 million a carat ($35.5 million total). The diamond has also set a record as the most expensive diamond ever, a spot previously held by the Wittlesbach-Gaff  sold in 2008.
The blue has been dubbed "The Zoe" by its current owner, A Hong Kong collector who remains anonymous.