Arnold & Son recently released a new model called the “Luna Magna”, a release that’s gotten some decent coverage considering how little mention this great company usually gets. The Lunga Magma follows Arnold & Son’s previous great work with innovative moon phase models within the HM Perpetual Moon range. This new take on a moon phase was originally offered only in a red gold case with a mostly aventurine dial, but now the company is offering a second, and even more special, version that they’re calling the “Lunga Magna Ultimate I”.
The name works pretty well for this watch, because it really is the ultimate version of what it seems this watch can be. There might be plenty of other ways to configure the watch with different materials, but it’s hard to think of any that will top this. Between the bezel and the lugs alone, there are 112 baguette diamonds set in the white gold case. You might be wondering how that’s possible if you’re quickly trying to count the diamonds and coming up short, but Arnold & Son has used a dual-row invisible setting for the baguettes on the bezel, making multiple diamonds flow together so that they appear more similar to one stone. The time display is done in white opal, which looks great set against a sea of blue-treated ruthenium crystals. Partially sunken into that sea is a white gold moon phase indicator that is set with 161 diamonds and 161 blue sapphires. The 44mm case comes on a blue alligator strap with a black alligator backing, although it’s possible to have either blue or black for either part of the strap. The white gold buckle also has 26 baguette diamonds. There’s no denying that this watch is pretty out there, but they’ve managed to somehow also make it feel somewhat tame at the same time… It definitely has all of the characteristics of a “look at me” watch, but takes what could have been fairly boring and typical, and makes it still present as a respectable dress watch.
The watch comes in at 15.9mm thick with its partially domed sapphire crystal (with anti-reflective coating on both sides). The case and crown are also interesting in that they both get narrower towards one side, in the way a wide cone would, helping to further distinguish itself from competitors. Inside the case is Arnold & Son’s calibre A&S1021 manual-wind movement with its 90-hour power reserve. Between the blued screws, chamfered bridges, radiating Côtes de Geneve, circular graining, etc. the finishing on this movement holds up to pretty much any other watch out there. The moon phase on this watch is so exact that, if kept properly wound, it would only require one correction every 122 years. To help with setting the moon phase, there is also a moon phase indicator on the back of the watch, similar to what they do on the HM Perpetual Moon models, albeit in a different location on the movement. Looking at the gem setting again, there are about 7.62 ct worth of diamonds used on this watch and about .85 ct of blue sapphires. All diamonds are D-F in colour and IF-VVS in clarity, while all sapphires are loupe clean. Not that it matters much, but the water resistance on this watch is 30 meters, although I’d bet almost anything that not a single one of these will ever be near more water than that from someone washing their hands.
This is, yet another, great release from Arnold & Son. If certain other companies were to release a watch like this, it would get an endless supply of attention and the price would likely be significantly higher. Because the watch is from Arnold & Son, it’s instead a watch that flies under the radar (somehow, despite its striking appearance), is at a relatively more reasonable price point, and shows off an incredibly high level of watchmaking and execution. Speaking of the execution, it really is incredible from even purely a visual standpoint. We could go on about how interesting the new moon phase is and the movement, but the colour combination and the layout of the watch is just incredible. On top of all of it, you’ll never see anyone else wearing one of these as there are only 8 made. I’ve said it for years, but if anyone still wants a watch from a company that no one else is talking about, yet can take on the likes of Patek and Vacheron any day with a lot of their watches, this is that company. Who knows if Arnold & Son will ever get the push a company like F.P. Journe has from the watch community, but all I know is that Arnold & Son is certainly deserving of it.
The Arnold & Son Luna Magna Ultimate I is limited to 8 pieces and is priced at 169,000 CHF.
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