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Pre Baselworld 2015: Arnold & Son Golden Wheel

by Robin Lim on January 17, 2015

When it comes to haute horlogerie, Arnold & Son is often a brand that is overlooked by many purveyors. There is little wonder, since the British watchmaker is often overshadowed by their more illustrious counterparts like Patek Philippe. However, that does not stop them from making wonderful pieces, such as the Time Pyramid and DBS. This time round, they have managed to create yet another wonderful timepiece once again- the Golden Wheel. 

The Arnold & Son Golden Wheel. This seemingly complicated looking timepiece was inspired by the "wandering hours" complication in the mid-17th century.

The Arnold & Son Golden Wheel. This seemingly complicated looking timepiece was inspired by the “wandering hours” complication in the mid-17th century.

The Golden Wheel was inspired by a complication in the mid-17th century, which is known as the “wandering hours”. The use of this complication dates back to the 18th century, when the British incorporated it into their pocket watches. Arnold & Sons thought that it would be befitting to follow their roots and bring the complication to life, albeit some tweaks were made to improve it.

The Golden Wheel features several complications, such as the wandering hours, true beat seconds, as well as the time-carrousel. In terms of mechanics and complexity, the Golden Wheel is rather amazing. Well, the entire project took 3 years to complete after all.

An exploded view of the movement featured in the Golden Wheel.

An exploded view of the movement featured in the Golden Wheel.

Initially, it may be difficult to comprehend the on-goings in the watch itself. This is not surprising, considering the fact that the watch is rather “messy” at the first glance. The secret to unraveling the puzzle lies in the mother-of-pearl arc between the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position on the dial. The numerals on the disc that intersects the arc displays the hour, while the arrow above the numerals display the minutes. In the first picture, the time indicated is 10:30. It is admittedly an interesting concept, but it takes time to get used to it.

The true beat seconds, also known as the dead beat seconds, is also worth noting. The true beat seconds is a complication that is featured in several Arnold & Sons pieces, such as the TBR and the Chronograph True Beat. The idea behind the complication is to allow for more precise reading, as compared to the sweeping second hand.

The watch derived its name from the central time-carrousel, in which it is made from solid 18-carat gold. Gold seems to be a recurring theme here: the case, numerals, and the second hand features the same precious metal as well. This gives the watch a more rustic look, which compliments the classic complication really well.

The Golden Wheel will be powered by Arnold & Son’s A&S6018 movement, which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and featuring a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. The movement is treated in palladium, and it is finishing is excellent. Several techniques used include hand-chamfering, circular graining, Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, circular satin-finished wheels, and blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. The final result is simply sublime.

Only 125 pieces of the Golden Wheel will be produced by Arnold & Sons though, and they come in only one variant- 44mm in 18-carat red gold casing.

 

Specifications from Press Release

Calibre: A&S6018
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, 29 jewels, diameter 37.20 mm, thickness 8.00 mm, power reserve 50 h, 28,800 vibrations/h

Functions: jumping digital hours, minutes and true beat seconds

Movement decoration: palladium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: hand- chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, dial plate NAC grey treated with Côtes de Genève, circular satin-finished wheels, blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads.

Central time-carrousel: solid 18-carat red gold, satin-finished
with hand-chamfered and polished edges.

Oscillating weight: palladium treated, skeletonised with brushed
surfaces

Dial: silvery and white mother-of-pearl

Case: 18-carat red gold, diameter 44 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, see-through sapphire case back, water-resistant to 30 m

Strap: hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather

Limited edition: 125 timepieces

Reference: 1HVAR.M01A.C120A

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