Continuing with our coverage of the novelties presented at Baselworld 2015, here we bring you the impressive horological feat by Arnold & Son called the Golden Wheel. The new Arnold & Son Golden Wheel is the world’s first wandering hours and true beat seconds watch. With a rich British watchmaking heritage that dates back to the 18th century, Arnold & Son masterfully reinterprets history with a visionary eye to the future. Underscoring its watchmaking prowess, Arnold & Son regularly unveils complicated watches with a unique twist. The patented Golden Wheel deftly reflects the brand’s ingenuity and commitment to Haute Horlogerie. The Golden Wheel timepiece is a unique three-dimensional interpretation of the ancient wandering hours complication that has roots in table clocks of the mid-17th century. In fact, the first implementation of the wandering hours complication in pocket watches was most likely made in England at the beginning of the 18th century. Thus, it is a fitting complication for the Arnold & Son watchmakers to reinvent anew, perpetuating the long tradition of wandering hour watches. The Golden Wheel comes in a superb 44 mm 18K red gold case and is available in a limited edition of 125 timepieces.
The Arnold & Son Golden Wheel ref. 1HVAR.M01A.C120A combines the first-ever wandering hours function with the true beat seconds complication and it took three years for its movement to be made all the way from concept to development. The wandering hours function, also known as a jumping digital hours indication, occupies the top arc of the watch dial from 10 to 2 o’clock. Beneath it, Arnold & Son fills the time-carrousel of the Golden Wheel with a true beat seconds hand from the central axis —adding visual complexity and elegant motion.
The true beat seconds —sometimes referred to as dead beat seconds— is a specialty of Arnold & Son. The precision function enables the seconds to beat incrementally as opposed to sweeping along the dial allowing for more accurate reading. The superlative technology and watchmaking expertise inherent in this movement is further enhanced by the fact that Arnold & Son has made the mechanism visible from the dial side in spectacular glory. Not only does the brand use three separate transparent sapphire disks —that seem to float above the dial— for the time indication, but also it elevates many of the other movement parts for an incredible three-dimensional allure. This creative and visionary spirit transforms the Golden Wheel into a thoroughly modern interpretation of the wandering hours.
Arnold & Son crafts the central time-carrousel in solid 18-carat red gold, thereby giving the masterpiece its Golden Wheel name. The mother-of-pearl arc displays the current hour, as the sapphire disks with the hour numerals on them float over the arc. Gold arrows on the hour disks point to the minutes dial-frame located above the hours arc. Finally, the true beat seconds indication is displayed via a large graduated outer ring on the dial and read via the central golden hand. The dial plate is treated NAC grey with Côtes de Genève finishing.
The beating heart powering this watch is the Arnold & Son in-house calibre A&S6018 which is an automatic movement with 29 jewels and 232 components. It beats at 28,800 vph and offers 50 hours of power reserve. In typical Arnold & Son style, the movement is treated in palladium and is meticulously decorated with Haute Horlogerie finishing, including hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining, Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, circular satin-finished wheels and blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. The oscillating weight is skeletonized with brushed surfaces and palladium treated. Considering the treat for the eyes that a movement like this represents, the watch is fitted with a display case back that allows for full view of the calibre.
Fitted with a hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather strap, the watch wears very comfortably and with exceptional wrist presence. This is the type of watch that can entertain you for hours and mesmerize you as you contemplate the dial with its wandering hours and dead beat seconds.
Sticker Price $49,950 USD. For more info on Arnold & Son click here.