Is this the best Christmas window display of 2015?

Selfridges teams up with special-effects stars Artem to create a window display that's totally cosmic, man.

A stunning mechanical model of the solar system forms the centrepiece of the display

Every Christmas, the big department stores of the world compete to create the most eye-catching, talked-about window display designs. And iconic London store Selfridges – one of the few retailers to get its own TV drama series – is no exception.

This year Selfridges has tried to get the edge on the competition by bringing in SFX company Artem. With 27 years of experience, Artem have an impeccable pedigree; most recently working on Macbeth and In the Heart of the Sea, and creating 3D printed props for Ex-Machina and Halo 4.

For this year's Selfridges display, Artem has created a stunning mechanical model of the solar system, which forms the centrepiece of a cosmos-themed window display. The 2.8m gold and chrome model will rotate all day, every day until the New Year, with each of the planets orbiting independently.

Can other UK retailers beat this?

Artem's computer-aided design (CAD) software enabled the mechanics and components of the model to be designed alongside each other, explains Ritchie Beacham-Paterson, Artem supervisor on the project.

"Aside from the narrow timeframes, one of the biggest challenges was to create a model of such size and scale that could work reliably and smoothly without compromising its visual impact.

"It was therefore crucial that we had all aspects of, not just the aesthetics, but also the precise workings of this, locked off at a very early stage."

The project was completed in just eight weeks from the first designs to the final installation.

Selfridges arranged for a film crew to record each stage of the construction by installing a series of time-lapse cameras within Artem’s workshop and during the installation itself – you can watch the video below.

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Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.