Parmigiani - Le Jour et La Nuit Project
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Soleil de Gaïa clock

In 2015, Parmigiani Fleurier and Lalique joined forces to create the Soleil de Gaïa Clock. This work of art embodies the fusion of Haute Horlogerie with crystal and jewellery work of the highest quality and pays homage to the many jewellery pieces René Lalique created to illustrate the theme of Day and Night. With its Lalique crystal casing and dial created by Parmigiani Fleurier’s craftsmen, completed by a proprietary movement, the Soleil de Gaïa recreates an aesthetic that is rich in symbolism and history, paying homage to the master jewellers and watchmakers that are the foundations of our heritage.

PRODUCTION TIME INVESTED BY PARMIGIANI FLEURIER AND LALIQUE

Creation/Design: 150 hours
Development/Technical aspects: 100 hours
Craftsmanship/Production: 750 hours
= 1,000 hours of work

Lalique timepieces inspired by mythology
Poetic allegories of darkest night and brightest day, which both oppose and complete each other, were one of the favourite themes of master jeweller René Lalique (1860-1945).

Lalique and Parmigiani Fleurier returned to this theme once more with the creation of a table clock based on the Gaïa Sun concept. In mythology, it is Gaïa, Goddess of the Earth and the seasons, who is said to have produced the world and the life of chaos. She is associated with the Sun as her light and radiance is a source of life.

The clock’s design is based on a crystal mount depicting the opposing allegorical figurines which symbolise Day and Night. To mirror these contrasting figures, the clock’s dial has two different faces:
the front shines with yellow gold and coral like the Sun, while the reverse of the dial is in mysterious white gold and black to symbolise the Night.

 
Lalique crystal, imbued with history and light
The casing in repolished satin-finished crystal has been reproduced using the same model as the original glass version created in 1926 by René Lalique. To mark the dichotomy of the pairing of Day and Night, the crystal used for the man has been given a satin finish, whereas the woman features a high-polish finish. The transparency of the material allows this dance to be admired from every angle, revealing the time on one side of the clock, and its mechanism on the other.

As a tribute to the expertise and history of Lalique, the crystal used is completely colourless, possessing an iconic transparency and purity. The figures are illustrated in an opposing interplay whereby the man who symbolises day has a matt finish and the woman who represents night has a polished finish.

Design of the dial with mother-of-pearl marquetry
The Soleil de Gaïa clock owes its decorative richness to its mother-of-pearl marquetry, which illuminates the dial and the reverse of the movement.

Reminiscent of the warm shades of the sun, the face of the dial is a disc of orange carnelian, onto which mother-of-pearl segments shaped like petals are placed. Each segment is unique and cut to measure, then arranged to comprise a harmonious series of corollas that concentrically link the centre of the dial in guilloché gold with the external case middle.

The reverse of the clock adopts the exact same marquetry process, but the carnelian disc is replaced by black onyx stone, to create the highest contrast with the white mother-of-pearl. The movement's bridges are hand-engraved and then rhodium-plated with the concentric marquetry pattern.