It makes perfect sense for Arnold & Son to dedicate its spectacular moon phase models to honour the Chinese New Year. After all, the moon plays a vital role in determining the Chinese New Year. According to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, the New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, between 21 January and 20 February. For 2024, the Chinese New Year commences on 10 February, heralding the Year of the Dragon, a highly revered symbol in China equated with imperial power, intelligence and good luck. Arnold & Son has selected two high-end models – the Luna Magna and the Perpetual Moon – with exquisite hand-sculpted dragons destined to oversee the eternal waxing and waning of our neighbouring satellite.
In 2015, Arnold & Son’s Perpetual Moon freed the moon from its traditional position on the dial at 6 o’clock, staging its phases in a large 29mm window spanning the dial from 10 to 2 o’clock with a realistic 11.2mm hand-engraved moon. Available in 38mm and 41.5mm case sizes, the tricky issue of setting the precise phase of the moon was solved with an ingenious display on the caseback indicating the moon’s age with a hand on a graduated track.
The Perpetual Moon Year of the Dragon comes in a 41.5mm polished red gold case with a height of 11.67mm, including the domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial. Available with a black aventurine or a blue aventurine dial, each limited to eight pieces, the dial showcases a range of artistic crafts. Depicted in a nocturnal garden, complete with gnarled pine trees and illuminated by the large panoramic moon, is a majestic hand-sculpted rose gold dragon. The black or blue aventurine glass sparkling in the background evokes the night sky. The details of the writhing dragon’s anatomy – scales, claws and whiskers – are impressive.
Floating in an aventurine night sky with hand-painted constellations of the Great Bear and Cassiopeia, the large realistic moon is crafted in mother-of-pearl with hand-painted shadows. The constellations and the moon are overlaid with Super-LumiNova to glow in the dark. The precision moon phase complication is fully integrated into the movement and will only deviate by one day every 122 years. Equipped with the manual-winding A&S1512 calibre, the double barrels provide a hearty 90-hour power reserve.
The black aventurine model comes with a spangled black alligator strap while the blue aventurine dial comes with an ink-blue alligator strap, both with a red alligator lining and a pin buckle in red gold. Limited to eight pieces in each variant, the Perpetual Moon 41.5 Red Gold Year of the Dragon retails for CHF 57,000 (incl. VAT).
Quick facts: 41.5mm x 11.67mm -18k red gold, polished – domed sapphire crystal with AR coating, sapphire caseback – 30m water-resistance – blue or black aventurine dial with hand-sculpted rose gold dragon – mother-of-pearl moon and hand-painted constellations treated with Super-LumiNova in large aperture at noon – applied indices and hour and minute hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre A&S1512, in-house, manual-winding – 21,600vph / 3Hz – 90h power reserve – hours, minutes, phases of the moon, age of the moon indicator on the back – black or blue alligator leather strap with red gold pin buckle – black aventurine ref. 1GLBR.Z07A.C263A limited to 8 pieces – blue aventurine ref. 1GLBR.Z08A.C264A limited to 8 pieces – CHF 57,000 (incl. VAT)
Following the success of the Perpetual Moon, Arnold & Son launched the captivating Luna Magna in 2021 with one of the largest spherical moon phase displays ever to appear on a wristwatch.
Reverting to the more traditional position, the large three-dimensional 12mm moon revolves on its axis in a round aperture at 6 o’clock. The hours and minutes are indicated on an opal disc at noon that is joined to the lower aperture, forming an elegant, inverted figure-eight. Appearing with meteorite dials and even a mesmerising high jewellery version with neon Paraiba tourmalines and opals, the Luna Magna is undoubtedly a hypnotic piece. The polished red gold case chosen for the Year of the Dragon is 44mm across with a thickness of 15.90mm. You have to consider that the thickness is due to the 12mm spherical moon and the two box sapphire crystals on either side of the case.
This limited edition dedicated to the Chinese Zodiac takes the concept of three-dimensionality to new heights with an impressive hand-sculpted red gold dragon that might well spring from the dial. Coiling around the dial, the lower part of the dragon’s body squeezes under the opal hour disc and its head and torso emerge on the right. Beautifully detailed, the dragon’s claws rest on the opal dial as it chases the mythical pearl of wisdom represented by the large 3D moon.
Like the Perpetual Moon, there are two versions of the Luna Magna, limited to eight pieces each. One features a moon crafted from polished red gold and pietersite, a rare variety of chalcedony, in this case with purply-blue chatoyancy (a phenomenon seen in tiger’s eye stones). The second version has a red gold and black onyx moon. The pietersite and black onyx are also used to create the background dial area surrounding the time and moon phase indications.
The reverse offers a view of the A&S1021 calibre, a hand-wound movement beating at 21,600vph with a robust 90h power reserve and a view of the spherical moon. Like the Perpetual Moon, the Luna Magna is astronomically precise, requiring a 1-day adjustment in 122 years and features a secondary display of the moon’s age on the back.
The pietersite model comes on an ink-blue alligator strap, while the onyx is fitted with a black alligator strap, both with red alligator lining and an 18k red gold folding clasp. Limited to eight pieces in each variant, the Luna Magna Red Gold Year of the Dragon retails for CHF 79,600 (incl. VAT).
Quick facts: 4.00mm x 15.90mm – 18k red gold, polished – box sapphire crystal with double-sided AR coating front and back – water-resistant to 30m – pietersite or black onyx dial with hand-sculpted red gold dragon – 12mm spherical moon in pietersite/red gold or black onyx/red gold – opal sub-dial at noon for hours and minutes with Roman numerals and blued openworked hands – calibre A&S1021, in-house – manual-winding – 21,600vph / 3Hz frequency – 90-hour power reserve – hours, minutes, astronomical three-dimensional moon phase indication, age of the moon indication – black or blue alligator leather strap with red gold folding clasp – ref. 1LMAR.Z03A.C262R pietersite limited to 8 pieces – ref. 1LMAR.Z02A.C266R onyx limited to 8 pieces – CHF 79,600 (incl. VAT)
For more information, please visit arnoldandson.com.