A high-end, creative watchmaker owned by the Citizen Group and sharing facilities with movement maker La Joux-Perret, Arnold & Son has made over the years some pretty impressive watches. Not counting the crazy Double Tourbillon or the Constant Force, the one watch that might best represent the work of the brand is the Nebula. Originally presented in 2016, this watch is a true lesson of watchmaking on the wrist but also has been developed with great symmetry in mind. Ahead of Watches & Wonders Geneva, the brand is giving this watch a sporty feel, with the new Arnold & Son Nebula 41.5 Steel.
The Nebula is a watch that always spoke to me, not only because I’m a maniac of symmetry but also because of how well the watch and the movement have been conceived. This is especially true with the smaller 38mm edition, which is all about a big movement in a small case. Based on the design conceived for the Constant Force Tourbillon, the brand has created a simple, time-only watch that feels uber-complex, with a movement that is truly architectural, a sort of mechanical sculpture where all the elements radiate from the centre of the watch.
After several classic editions, Arnold & Son is today releasing the Nebula 41.5 Steel, which is, as you’ve guessed from its name, a 41.5mm model in stainless steel. But in addition to that, the watchmaker has decided to give it some additional character, as well as a sporty feel. Or at least, a more casual attire.
The case, measuring 41.5mm in diameter, remains fairly thin at 8.73mm in height. The design, with an almost absent bezel, is meant to give a large view on the movement – clearly the most important part of this model. It reutilizes the classic shape seen on previous editions, with nicely designed lugs equipped with a brushed plaquette on top. The 30m water-resistant certainly isn’t the best, but diving isn’t its vocation anyway. Most importantly, in addition to a blue rubber strap, Arnold & Son now offers a 3-link stainless steel bracelet with brushed and polished surfaces to the Nebula 41.5 Steel, giving it a far more casual style.
Being an entirely openworked watch, the Nebula barely has elements for the dial. Only a blue-coloured inner flange with applied markers and minute track, and faceted hands are there to remind that this is actually a time instrument. What matters most is the movement. For this edition, it has been largely PVD-coated in bright blue, for the main plate, the bridges and even the barrel drums. All moving elements and the radiating bridges attached to the periphery of the watch are rhodium-plated, giving depth and contrast with the blue background.
The beauty of this in-house (well, made by La Joux-Perret, a sister company sharing the same facilities) Calibre A&S5201 lies in the clever arrangement of all technical elements. On top are the two barrels, which offer 90 hours of power reserve. On the lower part and balancing the barrels are the regulating organ on one side and the small seconds on the other. The back of the watch is also pretty satisfying, with a movement decorated to high standards. The finishing includes “Rayons de la Gloire” stripes (sunray-brushing in a wave shape), jewels inserted in chatons, bevelled edges and circular-grained/bevelled wheels.
The Arnold & Son Nebula 41.5 Steel is released as part of the permanent collection. The model on rubber strap will retail for CHF 15,700 and the version on steel bracelet will retail for CHF 16,900. For more details, please visit Arnold & Son’s website.