Pre-Baselworld 2016 – Introducing the Arnold and Son Nebula, a lesson of watchmaking architecture (with price)
If you look back at 2015, Arnold and Son introduced a superlative watch, the Constant Force Tourbillon. Not only was this watch impressive because of the complications it came with (all focused on a single goal: improving chronometry, with a tourbillon regulator, a constant force remontoire and a double barrel) but it was also remarkable because of the superb architecture of the movement, dictated by a rigorous symmetry. However, considering the technology it came with, it was quite expensive (to say the least). If you want to experience the look of this movement in a more affordable way, the solution might be in the new Arnold and Son Nebula.
The new Arnold and Son Nebula is a lesson of watchmaking architecture, with a movement developed and designed to be as pleasant and opened as possible. It offers views into the very heart of the in-house manufacture calibre, which shows, like the Constant Force Tourbillon, an almost perfect mirror-like symmetry. However, it also brings something different – don’t see it as a poor’s man copy – with technical elements arranged in a radiating style. Clearly, this movement has been conceived with beauty in mind.
This movement is indeed surprising because, starting from the central axis of the hands, all the elements that compose a watch are positioned in a radiating way. On top, we found the two mainspring barrels. These two are giving echo to the regulating organ (here a traditional balance wheel, not a tourbillon) and the small second indicator, on the lower side. 4 round elements are thus perfectly positioned on each corner of the dial. All of them are also held in place by triangular and opened bridges, all of them equally designed. It is said that the human brain finds beauty in symmetry. In this case at least, there’s no doubt to have.
As usual with Arnold and Son, we’re talking in-house movement, and this one has been developed from scratch to be opened. It is still a rather simple movement that only displays the time (via central hands for the minutes and the hours, and a small second indicator at 7). However, it features a comfortable 90-hour power reserve (due to the double barrel). The interest of the Arnold and Son Nebula isn’t to explore chronometry and to compile complications but rather to enjoy the beauty of mechanics. All the parts of the movement are meticulously finished – bridges are chamfered by hand, then polished, flat surfaces are brushed, wheels are also chamfered, main jewels are inserted in gold chatons and screws are bevelled and have mirror-polished heads.
The Arnold and Son Nebula has a reasonable diameter (41.5mm) and a rather slim profile (8.7mm). It will be available in two editions. The first one has a stainless case, a movement plated in black ADLC, bridges plated in anthracite NAC and a hand-aged anthracite calf leather strap. The second edition of the Arnold and Son Nebula is encased in 18k red gold, with a movement grey-NAC plated, bridges palladium-plated and a brown alligator strap.
Price and availability of the Arnold and Son Nebula will be confirmed during Baselworld 2016. More details on www.arnoldandson.com.
Update: Prices will be CHF 13,500 Swiss Francs / 14,500 USD for the stainless steel edition and CHF 24,800 Swiss Francs / 25,750 USD for the red gold edition.
I think a watch at this price with this complex construction is admirable. For some reason the perfect symetry is off putting. I think perhaps it is almost juvenile in design. I admire this company for not over pricing there watches. I wish them continued success.