The latest addition to the Arnold & Son Instrument Collection is the new Arnold & Son Métiers d’Art TB Dragon Limited Edition ref. 1ARAP.B04A.C120P/121P which combines the marine precision of the true beat —TB— movement with aesthetic perfection. Featuring one of the instantly recognizable design cues of the Instrument Collection, the off-centered positioning of the time display at 9 o’clock leaves a generous open area and creates a perfect setting for the exquisite engraved and hand-painted depiction of a dragon. To underline its exclusivity, this fabulous example is available in a limited edition of just 28 pieces cased in a 44 mm 18K rose gold case with a hand-stitched black or brown alligator leather.
In Chinese mythology the dragon is a divine creature signifying power and good fortune, and is the free spirit of the zodiac. The model comprising the new Arnold & Son Métiers d’Art TB Dragon Limited Edition was created to celebrate this divine creature. The dominant feature of this fine-quality wristwatch is a hand-engraved appliqué of a dragon executed by Arnold & Son’s master engraver, which is then duplicated for the series.
Hand engraving is a traditional art form that makes use of hardened steel tools called burins and other special implements. They create cuts, lines and texturing that build up entire images or, as in the case of the TB Dragon, a perfectly sculpted figure of a dragon in solid 22-karat rose gold. The breathtaking richness of detail is then duplicated in rose gold for the rest of the series. Once the appliqué is in place on the dial, the dragon’s textures and shades are emphasized by hand-painting, a process that accentuates its three-dimensional nature. Hand engraving and miniature painting both call for infinite patience and expertise and take many years of concentrated practice to fully master.
The true beat is a rare complication these days, and combining it with an automatic winding system calls for enormous technical expertise. This was made possible by a patented system comprising a sophisticated double wheel, an oscillating pinion and a pallet mechanism. A solution of this complexity calls for microscopic precision —to tolerances of a micron, or one thousandth of a millimeter— and the key components are made using state-of-the-art LIGA manufacturing technology. LIGA, a German acronym, stands for Lithographie, Galvanoformung, Abformung —lithography, electroplating and molding— and describes the sequence of processes used to produce metal parts made of nickel and nickel-phosphorus. The Arnold & Son automatic calibre A&S6103 is equipped with 30 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph to provide a power reserve of 45 hours. Of course, the movement is fully visible via the display case back and is a real treat for the eyes.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and quite elegantly. Its hand engraved dragon will keep you mesmerized for hours. A perfect companion for that next business trip to Shanghai or Beijing. And for the price, you get a lot of watch and a true piece of art for your wrist.
Sticker Price $36,750 USD. For more info on Arnold & Son click here.