Arnold & Son is a brand that is so relatively unknown, yet makes some incredible watches. This is a manufacturer that still likely makes less than 1,000 watches per year, and regardless of how little attention they may get, they hit well above their weight by making watches that compete with some of the best in the industry. The new HM Perpetual Moon in golden obsidian is no exception. Please note, Arnold & Son recently changed the name of this line to the “Perpetual Moon” line, dropping the “HM” (hours and minutes) designation. However, I’m so used to the old name that I’m going to keep referring to it by its original designation. After all, the HM Perpetual Moon has been one of my favourite watches since at least 2016 and it’s always going to be the “HM Perpetual Moon” to me.
The 42mm, 18-carat red gold case of the watch is really well finished and curves a little inwards as it gets closer to your wrist. The case stands at 11.43mm thick and has a water resistance of 30m (a.k.a. “don’t get it near water”). The watch uses a slightly-domed sapphire crystal with dual-sided anti-reflective coating. The dial on this watch is made out of Mexican golden obsidian. I’ve said this before about some of Arnold & Son’s HM Perpetual Moon watches, but while this seems large for what is supposed to be a dressier watch, you really want as much as you can get of the special dials they make. Anything smaller wouldn’t have really done this watch a justice. It also gives an increased surface area for light to play off of, so it really lights up on a sunny day. The moon phase disc has a blue guilloché finishing, the same as the full blue guilloché dial Arnold & Son uses on their steel HM Perpetual Moon model and what they formerly offered on their standard red gold model. The moon itself on this model is an engraved rhodium-plated disc, and it’s surrounded by additional stars and constellations
Inside is the Calibre A&S1512: a well-decorated, manual-wind movement. The movement beats at a rate of 21,600 vph (3 Hz). As a result of its dual barrels, the watch has a power reserve of 90 hours. The main plate is rhodium-plated and is finished with Geneva stripes radiating outward in a sunburst fashion, which really makes for a beautiful movement to look at. The bridges are polished and chamfered, and the wheels all receive a circular satin finish. Blued screws adorn the movement as well. What makes this watch even more unique is the second moon phase indicator, viewable through the sapphire case back, which really serves almost as a “quick-set” moon phase function, giving the wearer the ability to more quickly set the moon phase. On that note, the moon phase on this watch will stay accurate for a period of 122 years as long as it’s kept wound. The watch comes on a hand-stitched blue alligator strap with contrasting silver stitching. The strap’s buckle matches the rest of the case, as it too is made out of matching red gold.
They were a little quiet for a few years, but Arnold & Son continues to impress me when they really decide to create something different from what many other companies usually go for. It started off with releases like the blue and black guilloché HM Perpetual Moon models, the Time Pyramid collection, and the Golden Wheel. The noteworthy releases continued with models like the aventurine dial HM Perpetual Moon and the Globetrotter. Releases that interested me slowed down for a while until a few months back when we got models like the Globetrotter “Day”, the Eight-Day Steel models on bracelet, and this Obsidian “Perpetual Moon”. Like the aventurine dial version, Arnold & Son has created another watch here where the dial’s appearance is heavily dependent on the light hitting it. The dial of this watch ranges from a sort of brownish-gold to a bright metallic silver. Similar to the aventurine, it gives the wearer a watch that stands out a little more during the day while also letting it be more subtle and appropriate for formal wear at night. I really like this watch… it deserves much more attention then it’s currently getting, which is almost none. For those who get this watch, you’re really getting one of the last few hidden gems in the watch industry.
The Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon Obsidian is limited to 28 individually-numbered pieces and is priced at 31,700 CHF.