Indie watchmaker Arnold & Son introduced its Ultrathin Tourbillon Escapement (UTTE) in 2013. With a height of just 2.97mm, the UTTE was one of the thinnest tourbillon movements on the market until Bvlgari smashed all records with its 1.95mm thin Octo Finissimo Tourbillon in 2014. Revisited with different dial textures and a remarkable skeletonised version in 2016, the Ultrathin Tourbillon is back in 2022 with on-trend grained dials. Offered in platinum with a green dial and red gold with a blue dial, the latest models benefit from an upgraded movement with an even longer power reserve and a redesigned case with a slimmer profile.
The offset layout of the dial, with the hours and minutes counter at noon mirrored by the large tourbillon aperture at 6 o’clock, is familiar and designed to echo the way information was relayed on John Arnold’s historical marine chronometers.
Although it is almost impossible to appreciate that the case size has shrunk from 42mm to 41.5mm and that the case height has been reduced from 8.34mm to 8.30mm (including the domed sapphire crystal), you can see that the bezel has been whittled down to a fine metal band and looks slimmer than in previous editions.
The finely granulated dials produce a delicate sparkle that you could be mistaken for aventurine, a sparkling glass used on other models at Arnold & Son, like this Luna Magna model. However, the sparkle is more subtle (less glassy) on these new models and is achieved using a technique known as Cosmic Grené. A mixture of gold powder and aluminium sparkles, which is then coloured either blue or green, produces the attractive lightly sandblasted texture of the dial with its subtle scintillation. Matching the dial colour, the green or blue flange displays a circular satin finishing. The domed hours and minutes sub-dial at noon is crafted from white mother-of-pearl and features classical Roman numerals and openworked blued hands. The time and indications and flying tourbillon are framed by a rhodium-plated ring for the platinum version and a red gold-plated ring for the red gold model.
Occupying a large amount of space on the lower half of the dial is the one-minute flying tourbillon. Significantly different from its predecessors, the tourbillon carriage has been redesigned; its new triangular shape evokes a sextant and the double-arrow counterpoise represents an anchor, instruments that hark back to John Arnold’s role in marine exploration. Finishings include the Côtes de Genève stripes on the mainplate, hand-polished and chamfered bridges and a sunray motif on the rear tourbillon bridge.
The Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon is limited to 28 timepieces in each metal. The platinum watch with a green dial comes with a green alligator leather strap handstitched with platinum thread; the red gold with blue dial comes with a blue alligator leather strap handstitched with 18k red gold thread. The platinum model retails for CHF 85,100 (incl. tax); the red gold for CHF 73,300 (incl.tax),.
For more information, please consult Arnold & Son.com.