Poetic Complication Five Weeks in A Balloon
«How beautiful it all is' cried Joe, as the balloon flew over the straits of Zanzibar. Kennedy was also looking and didn't have enough eyes to see it all.»
«Five Weeks in a Balloon», Jules Verne
It is on board a balloon that we invite you to take place. It is a dirigible balloon identical to the one in which Samuel Fergusson, Dick Kennedy and their servant, Joe, the imaginary heroes of Jules Verne, flew in 1863, the year in which the novel «Five Weeks in a Balloon» was published.
The case of this exceptional watch is in white gold which can be set with brilliant- or baguette-cut diamonds. The dial is decorated with champlevé enamel and mother-of-pearl inlays. At its centre, a balloon has just lifted off from the island of Zanzibar. It is rising slowly into the air above the narrow strip of sea that separates this island in the Indian Ocean from the coast of Africa.
The mechanical movement JLC 846 is equipped with a unique retrograde module specially developed for Van Cleef & Arpels. A retrograde minute is indicated by the balloon's anchor. Positioned on the right of the dial, it descends from zero at the top to sixty at the bottom, then returns to its starting point at the end of the sixtieth minute. The hours are indicated on the left of the dial by a bird in flight that moves upwards, returning to start again after twelve hours.
Beyond the technical feat, this special use of complications gives meaning to Van Cleef & Arpels time. The anchor is a symbol of stability, retaining the memory of a precious moment fixed in The Poetry of Time. The flying bird is a symbol of hope: hope that this precious moment will arrive, or hope for renewal in permanent movement.