Arnold & Son celebrates the traditional Chinese New Year with a limited edition moon phase watch that beautifully illustrates the Year of the Water Tiger, which begins on February 1.
The watchmaker’s Year of the Tiger Perpetual Moon sports a stunning dial depicting a golden tiger standing near a river and lit by a brilliant mother-of-pearl moon. Hematite and aventurine sparkle as the tiger and a luminous, hand-painted waterfall set the scene.
Arnold & Son’s large moonphase display, already one of the most impressive such displays available from a Swiss watchmaker, here brilliantly reveals the waxing and waning of our satellite with hand-painted relief and a generous coating of SuperLuminova.
During the daytime, the moon takes on a grey tint, while in the dark it glows from the center, contrasting nicely with the adjacent deep black aventurine glass.
Arnold & Son artisans sculpted a rose gold tiger with hand-engraved and hand-burnished fur to highlight the remaining portion of the dial. The nearby bamboo is painted in gold powder on a hematite disc, which displays with glittering inclusions.
Inside Arnold & Son places its own A&S1512 manual-wind caliber, created with two barrels, a frequency of 3 Hz and a terrific ninety-hour power reserve.
Finally, Arnold & Son fits a black alligator strap backed with red alligator leather and stitched with platinum thread to the 42mm red-gold “Year of the Tiger” Perpetual Moon. A limited edition of eight, the watch is priced at CHF 52,900 (approximately $57,695).
After debuting its impressive Luna Magna earlier this year, Arnold & Son immediately started working on a high-carat version of the orb-set lunar phase watch.
You may recall that the premiere design features an eye-catching, extra-large 12mm spherical moon, with aventurine representing the moon’s ‘dark’ side with marble standing in for the illuminated side.
Where that first model was crafted using a 44mm rose gold case, this new model, the Luna Magna Ultimate I, bases its jeweled interpretation in a white gold case of the same size. Instead a time-only dial of white lacquer, this jeweled edition features a white opal subdial the 12 o’clock position.
To represent the vastness of space Arnold & Son replaces the premiere edition’s aventurine with ruthenium crystals. Arnold & Son explains that ruthenium is an extremely hard metal that belongs to the platinum group. The Swiss watchmaker’s artisans reshape the ruthenium crystals, place them into the faceplate and then blue the plate–all to stunning effect.
Arnold & Son frames the light-refracting dial with a hefty row of 112 baguette diamonds (weighing nearly six carats), which also trail onto the watch’s lugs for extra effect.
Finally, on this Luna Magna Arnold & Son creates a new moon. Rather than the marble and aventurine lunar orb we’ve seen previously, this model glows with a three-dimensional moon paved with blue sapphires and diamonds set atop the same-sized white gold orb.
Underneath the newly jeweled Luna Magna Ultimate I is Arnold & Son’s own manual-wind A&S1021 caliber. Designed to propel the lunar globe, the movement has an impressive 90-hour power reserve. And luckily, all of the eight owners of this watch will be able to view the movement through a sapphire caseback, which also offers a second lunar phase display with easy-to-read graduations for correcting the globe setting.
Price: CHF 169,000, or about $184,000. The Arnold & Son Luna Magna Ultimate I is a limited edition of eight pieces.
Arnold & Son has dressed one of its most impressive watches, the Globetrotter, in red gold, to create the Globetrotter Gold, effectively underscoring the luxury of this model’s world-time functionality.
Previously available cased in steel, the 45mm Globetrotter takes on a new golden glow, especially with its massive openworked bridge now so richly polished in the same gold used to case the watch.
That arched bridge does more that catch the eye. It holds a functional ruby atop the domed Northern Hemisphere dial. Reading world times starts at the ruby, where the eye imagines the start of a longitude line that extends to the 24-hour sapphire ring that surrounds the dial. The wearer identifies local time simply by reading the red hands pointing to the gold indexes.
With this Globetrotter Gold, Arnold & Son enhanced the elegance of the Globetrotter with new accents of both gold and deep blue. The dial’s appliqué indexes are faceted in red gold (and also painted in SuperLuminova). Artisans have also painted the oceans with several coats of blue-pigmented lacquer enriched with pearlescent powder, which means their glow is richer than you might expect for such a small detail. Also, note that Arnold & Son has lightened the coastlines, adding more SuperLuminova to enhance their visiblity in the dark. In contrast, all the mountain ranges are matte finished.
Look for equally fine finishing on the in-house automatic caliber A&S6022, which is visible through the sapphire back. The movement’s 22-karat gold oscillating weight is skeletonized and features the Clou de Paris guilloché pattern. For an added touch of elegance, the brand’s finishers have matched the high-quality anthracite movement plating to the red gold case.
Arnold & Son will make twenty-eight editions of the Globetrotter Gold. Price: CHF 41,900, or about $45,800.
Arnold & Son offers a spectacular eight-piece limited edition of its Perpetual Moon watch in celebration of the traditional Chinese calendar New Year. As the Year of the Ox (or Buffalo) begins on February 12, the 42mm red gold Perpetual Moon Year of the Ox watch displays its extra-large mother-of-pearl moon at the top of its dial shining on an ox with large horns standing at 6 o’clock.
The ox appears as a miniature 18-karat gold sculpture placed in front of several multi-story pagodas, hand-painted with gold powder. Arnold & Son has generously painted the moon and the pagoda windows with SuperLuminova. Thus, in a dark setting the wearer views a pleasing, miniature evening scene.
In its unusually large aperture, the watch’s moon disc turns as the moon progresses from new to full and back each month. During the day, the moon appears nearly white amid hand-painted constellations, nicely contrasting with the dial’s textured and speckled black background.
Arnold & Son creates that darkness with specular hematite, a mineral the company laminates and layers to heighten its natural glossy appearance. The hematite’s iron composition creates iron, which appear as silvery flakes in a black mass.
Arnold & Son has also incorporated those glittering specks into the double-sided alligator-skin strap. On the strap’s outer face you’ll see them sparkle, embellished with platinum-thread stitching.
The La Chaux-de-Fonds-based manufacture fits the watch with its own Caliber A&S1512, a single-barrel manual-wind movement with an oscillation frequency of 3 Hz, offering an outstanding ninety-hour power reserve. Arnold & Son says that the caliber’s moon-phase display and rotation will remain accurate for 122 years before deviating by one day from the actual appearance of the moon in the night-sky.
The new Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi is a beautiful reminder that this Swiss watchmaker with English roots can create stunning artistic dials on demand. This bespoke watchmaking service supplements Arnold & Son’s ongoing offerings, which include iW favorites like the Perpetual Moon, the Globetrotter and Nebula collections, all of which offer technically edgy watchmaking with distinctive designs.
Arnold & Son says customers can work with its watchmakers and artisans to make a bespoke watchcase, within which the customer can then request any movement or dial using engraving, gem setting, miniature painting or sculpted elements.
This latest one-off, the Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi, highlights Arnold & Son’s already interesting Ultrathin Tourbillon. The watch is particularly suited for personalized activity in part because of its off-center dial at 12 o’clock, which provides an empty canvas of sorts for Arnold & Son’s artisans.
In this example, Arnold & Son artists started with a mother-of-pearl dial and created a hand-painted carp, adding sculpted lotuses around the thin flying tourbillon. Two carp can be seen swimming between lotus blossoms. One type, the Tancho carp (with its red mark on its head) swims on the right while the other swims along the left side.
Arnold & son explains that the three lotus blossoms feature petals cut from silver that has been shaped, engraved, polished and painted in white lacquer. The artist makes the each flower’s pistil in the same manner.
Then the artisan paints the carp and lotus leaves by hand, using thin brushes, depicting scales and striped fins.
Technically, the Arnold & Son Caliber A&S8200 is exceedingly thin (a mere 2.97 mm), creating a workspace not too much thicker than a traditional canvas. The caliber’s flying tourbillon (with only a lower carriage bridge) allows unfettered views of the mechanism. Additionally, the balance bridge is domed and extends slightly from the dial, which makes the tourbillon’s rotation even more interesting to watch.
Finally, note the skeletonized tourbillon main plate. With this nearly transparent component, Arnold & Son retains the piece’s overall fine attributes, or its lightness.
But don’t let that thin, airy appearance fool you to think that the caliber itself is also a lightweight. If the flying tourbillon doesn’t convince you of the high technical level at which Arnold & Son operates here, consider that this ultra-thin manual-wind movement boasts an extremely impressive ninety-hour power reserve.
None of this high-end artistic and technical work comes at a bargain however, but given the bespoke nature of the final product, its $96,700 price tag is comparable to other high-end Swiss works – and many of those are far from unique.
Specifications: Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi (Unique piece Ref. 1UTAR.M99A.)
Movement: Caliber A&S8200, one-minute flying tourbillon, manual winding, 2.97mm thick, 90-hour power reserve, frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 vph). Finishes are as follows:
Mainplate: Côtes de Genève stripes radiating from the center and hand-engraved tourbillon bridge,
Bridges: polished and chamfered by hand,
Wheels: circular satin-finished,
Screws: blued and chamfered, mirror-polished heads,
Tourbillon carriage: satin-finished, polished and chamfered.
Dial: Miniature painting on black mother-of-pearl,silver lotus flowers, engraved and painted by hand.
Case: 42mm x 12.23 5N gold, domed sapphire crystal, water resistant to 100 feet.
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather with gold pin buckle.