Talk about being moonstruck! Introduced just over a year ago, Arnold & Son has given its spectacular Luna Magna the red carpet treatment. Featuring one of the largest spherical moon phases ever incorporated into a wristwatch, the Luna Magna has starred in gold and platinum cases with sparkling blue aventurine and marble, in a jewellery model decked with sapphires, diamonds, ruthenium chips and opal, and just recently in a spellbinding Luna Magna Ultimate II version glowing with the neon-turquoise light of exotic Paraiba tourmalines and a generous splash of diamonds. Today, the sixth version of the Luna Magna spins into the solar system with a more subtle palette created with a fragment of meteorite and glowing opal in a limited edition of 28 pieces.
Arnold & Son’s obsession with the Moon manifested itself in the past with models like the 2016 Perpetual Moon and Double Hemisphere Perpetual Moon equipped with generous apertures for the display and realistically engraved lunar surfaces. However, the unveiling of the Luna Magna during Watches & Wonders 2021 cast the Moon in a whole new light. To capture the three-dimensionality of our satellite, the Luna Magna (large moon) incorporates a 12mm spherical moon on the dial in a large aperture at 6 o’clock.
The sixth rendition of the Luna Magna Platinum shares case size, layout and movement with earlier models but comes with a more understated and subtle colour scheme. Using a combination of meteorite and opal, the latest version is closer to the more muted tonalities of the Moon we perceive from Earth.
Octahedrites, the most common class of iron meteorites, are renowned for the Widmanstätten pattern revealed when a cut and polished surface of the meteorite is etched with dilute acid. The classic metal crisscrossing patterns of the meteorite have also been treated with a sandy shade of PVD to suggest the texture of Moondust. When exposed to light, the meteorite flashes a subtle iridescence, giving the dial a cosmic allure.
Rotating in the large aperture at 6 o’clock is the 12mm three-dimensional moon carved from meteorite on one side and milky white Cacholong opal on the other, again suggesting the different faces and phases of the Moon; the darker meteorite half represents the dark side of the Moon, while the glowing opal is the near side of the Moon (the side facing us). To enhance legibility in the dark, the sphere is treated with Super-LumiNova that is invisible by day but glows a cool blue-green at night. Time is indicated in the opal sub-dial at noon with classical black Roman numerals and blued openworked hands. Like the moon, the opal dial glows in the dark.
Astronomical accuracy is guaranteed by the precision moon phase complication developed by Arnold & Son. Taking into account the 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds of a complete lunar cycle, Arnold & Son’s precision complication ensures that if the watch were kept wound, it would only need a one-day adjustment in 122 years. However, there is a practical way to correct the moon phases directly at the crown.
The cold shine of the polished platinum case gives the watch a more Moon-like aura and shares dimensions with the earlier models. Measuring 44mm across, the 15.90mm height includes the two box sapphire crystals protecting the dial and the movement.
The reverse side of the case offers a view of the manual-winding A&S1021 calibre and the other side of the spherical meteorite and opal moon (hence the domed sapphire crystal). Just above the sphere is a more accurate indicator of the eight phases of the Moon (New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent). The movement has a diameter of 37.6mm and, including the 3D moon, the height is 12mm; without the moon, it measures a slim 4.75mm. Like all A&S movements (which are made by La Joux-Perret, part of the Citizen Group and sister company of Arnold & Son), the finishing is traditional with Geneva stripes radiating from the centre of the movement, blued, chamfered screws with polished heads and circular graining with a satin finish on the wheels.
Availability & Price
The Luna Magna Platinum and Meteorite comes with a matching hand-stitched grey alligator leather strap, an orange alligator lining, and a platinum pin buckle. It is a limited edition of 28 pieces and retails for CHF 70,900 (incl. tax). For more information, please visit arnoldandson.com.