Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Arnold & Son Golden Wheel: World’s First Wandering Hours and True Beat Seconds Watch

Swiss luxury watch maker Arnold & Son has announced the launch of the Golden Wheel: the World’s First Wandering Hours and True Beat Seconds Watch. This world premiere timepiece from the brand’s Instrument collection will be unveiled at Baselworld jewellery and watch fair 2015.

With a rich British watchmaking heritage that dates back to the 18thcentury, Arnold & Son masterfully reinterprets history with a visionary eye to the future. Underscoring its watchmaking prowess, Arnold & Son regularly unveils complicated watches with a unique twist. The patented Golden Wheel deftly reflects the brand’s ingenuity and commitment to Haute Horlogerie.
Golden Wheel: Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement A&S6018, self-winding, silvery and mother-of-pearl dial, 18-carat red gold case, diameter 44 mm, © Arnold & Son
The Golden Wheel timepiece is a unique three-dimensional interpretation of the ancient wandering hours complication that has roots in table clocks of the mid-17thcentury. In fact, the first implementation of the wandering hours complication in pocket watches was most likely made in England at the beginning the 18th century. Thus, it is a fitting complication for the Arnold & Son watchmakers – inspired by British watchmaking heritage – to reinvent anew, perpetuating the long tradition of wandering hour watches.
Paul Lullin, pocket watch with wondering hours indication, silver, brass and enamel, case signed AH, London, beginning of the 18thcentury © Musée international d’horlogerie (MIH)
The Golden Wheel combines the first-ever wandering hours function with the true beat seconds complication. It is part of the Instrument Collection, which pays tribute to the timepieces focused on chronometry that were developed during the second half of John Arnold’s life and with his son Roger. In the case of the Golden Wheel, the manufacture movement was three years in the making from concept to development, and challenged the brand’s watchmakers at multiple stages of design and development.

The wandering hours function, also known as a jumping digital hours indication, occupies the top arc of the watch dial (from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock). Beneath it, Arnold & Son fills the time-carrousel of the Golden Wheel with a true beat seconds hand from the central axis – adding visual complexity and elegant motion. The true beat seconds (sometimes referred to as dead beat seconds) is a specialty of Arnold & Son. The precision function enables the seconds to beat incrementally as opposed to sweeping along the dial – allowing for more accurate reading.

The superlative technology and watchmaking expertise inherent in this movement is further enhanced by the fact that Arnold & Son has made the mechanism visible from the dial side in spectacular glory. Not only does the brand use three separate transparent sapphire disks (that seem to float above the dial) for the time indication, but also it elevates many of the other movement parts for an incredible three-dimensional allure. This creative and visionary spirit transforms the Golden Wheel into a thoroughly modern interpretation of the wandering hours.

Exploded view of the movement A&S6018 showing the wandering hours and the true beat seconds complication, 
© Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son crafts the central time-carrousel in solid 18-carat red gold, thereby giving the masterpiece its Golden Wheel name. The mother-of-pearl arc displays the current hour, as the sapphire disks with the hour numerals on them float over the arc. Gold arrows on the hour disks point to the minutes dial-frame located above the hours arc. Finally, the true beat seconds indication is displayed via a large graduated outer ring on the dial and read via the central golden hand. The dial plate is treated NAC grey with Côtes de Genève finishing.

The A&S6018 is a mechanical self-winding movement with 29 jewels and 232 components. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 50 hours of power reserve. In typical Arnold & Son style, the movement is treated in palladium and is meticulously decorated with Haute Horlogerie finishing, including hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining, Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, circular satin-finished wheels and blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. The oscillating weight is skeletonised with brushed surfaces and palladium treated. The magnificent movement is housed in a superb 44 mm 18-carat red gold case. The Golden Wheel is a limited edition of 125 timepieces.

Technical details
Movement
Calibre: A&S6018
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, 29 jewels, diameter 37.20 mm, thickness 8.00 mm, power reserve 50 h, 28,800 vibrations/h

Movement decoration
Palladium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: hand chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, dial plate NAC grey treated with Côtes de Genève, circular satin-finished wheels, blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads.
Central time-carrousel: solid 18-carat red gold, satin-finished with hand-chamfered and polished edges.
Oscillating weight: palladium treated, skeletonised with brushed surfaces

Functions
Jumping digital hours, minutes and true beat seconds

Dial
Silvery and white mother-of-pearl

Case
18-carat red gold, diameter 44 mm, cambered sapphire with antireflective coating on both sides, see-through sapphire case back, water-resistant to 30 m

Strap
Hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather

Availability
Limited edition: 125 timepieces
Reference: 1HVAR.M01A.C120A

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