Up close: Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Dragon Extraordinary Dials (live photos and price)

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The Extraordinary Dials timepieces of Van Cleef & Arpels demonstrate various techniques of lavish dial decoration, most recently depicting dragons in a set of four watches.

Van Cleef & Arpels (VC&A) unveiled a set of four Midnight timepieces at SIHH 2013, each depicting one of the dragons of the Chinese zodiac in the typical lavish style of VC&A. Each of the dials is created using gold, enamel, mother of pearl and precious stones. The result is a dial that is executed in relief, with significant depth and vibrant colours, with an almost sculptural quality. Four of the five dragons of the Chinese zodiac are depicted on the dials: Earth, Water, Fire and Air (the fifth is the Metal Dragon).

Midnight Dragon Terre (Earth)

Midnight Dragon Eau (Water)

Midnight Dragon Feu (Fire)

Midnight Dragon Air

All four watches use the 42 mm Midnight case in white gold, with the automatic Piaget 800P inside. There is also the option of diamonds on the bezel, or on the lugs as well. The retail price for the non-gem set versions are between S$133,000 and S$150,000, including 7% tax (equivalent to about US$108,000 to US$122,000), depending on the complexity of the dial. And the diamond-set versions run from S$177,000 to S$250,000. – SJX

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