This iridescent quartz is not new to the watch world. While found in various shades in nature (the most common is green), the deep navy strand – reminiscent of the night sky with its flecks of mineral inclusions – has somehow been the preferred choice among watchmakers. That is, if they master tempering the fragile material thin enough for dials, or the time-consuming, labour-intensive process of creating the synthetic yet no less inferior version known as goldstone or aventurine glass. It explains why – next to other quartzes like chalcedony and onyx – it’s often a lot more underrated.  The latest crop of luxury timepieces turns the spotlight onto it: from Omega’s signature Constellation bracelet watch, to Van Cleef & Arpels’ first adaptation of its 2015 men’s watch, the Midnight Planetarium, for women. That nearly all of them are inspired by the galaxy begets the response: “About time.”

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planetarium in white gold with diamonds on alligator strap.
Parmigiani Fleurier Kalparisma Nova Galaxy in 18K rose gold on alligator strap, $41,000.
Omega 27mm Constellation in stainless steel. All with aventurine or aventurine glass. Prices unavailable unless stated.

This story first appeared in Female’s April 2018 issue. 

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