Besides the stately HMS1 Royal Blue that some of us will see in the flesh during the Baselworld 2013 show, Arnold & Son -a Swiss-based brand of British origin- is going to present this week yet another gorgeous model. Their new Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon (1GLAS.B01A.C122S, pictured) features an in-house hand-wound movement with one of the most handsome moon-phase displays that I have seen in my lifetime.
Called Caliber A&S1512, the movement is equipped with an oversized “moon disk” whole 29 millimeters in diameter with a brilliantly sculpted face of the moon almost half an inch in size. While a great number of manufacturers still prefer to equip their timekeepers with either smiling or frowning moons, this one accurately depicts an actual surface of our natural satellite the way we see it from Earth.
As far as I understand it from the press release, there was only one “master” disk that was done by hand, while the others are simply replicated using an industrial process. Well, that doesn’t look like a drawback to me: it not only makes the watch easier to manufacture but also allows the brand to slightly reduce its price to a more competitive level while keeping the profit margin intact.
Like many moon-phase watches that were introduced during the last four or five years (check this gorgeous Bulgari Daniel Roth Grande Lune or the elegant Perrelet Big Central Moonphase (ref. A5000/2) for example), the caliber is equipped with a complicated “perpetual moon” mechanism that allows for just one day deviation in a course of 122 years. When the mistake occurs, your great-grandson will only have to press once a corrector pusher to make the watch run without error for the next 122 years.
By the way, as you can see on the photos, the back of the movement has a special indicator that will allow you to set the complication as accurate as possible: a nice feature that we rarely see on mechanical watches.
Although the movement is not very bulky, the Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon is a little bigger than a normal dress watch measuring 42 millimeters in diameter. If you have a normal wrist, it will possibly look good on you.
Now, the bad news: Arnold & Son plans to charge for this beauty more than 15,000 Swiss francs (and we are talking about the version in steel!), which makes it one of the most expensive “simple” watches on the market even with an inevitable discount that you will probably be able to negotiate. Still, the timekeeper is absolutely worth every penny that A&S wants for it.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon specification
Price: CHF 15,120 / USD 15,300 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber A&S1512, in-house, 34mm x 5.35 mm, two barrels, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27 jewels
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 80 hours
Movement decoration: Hand-finished, rhodium-plated, Geneva stripes, and circular-graining
Functions: Hours, minutes, large moon phase indicator
Case, Bezel and Crown: Rose gold / Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Dial: Blue (Ref. 1GLAR.U04A.C122A) / Cream (Ref. 1GLAR.I01A.C122A) / Black (Ref. 1GLAS.B01A.C122S)
Hour markers: Applied
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather strap on pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective