Arnold & Son’s Golden Wheel timepiece is a unique three-dimensional interpretation of the ancient wandering hours complication that has roots in table clocks of the mid-17th century. In fact, the first implementation of the wandering hours complication in pocket watches was most likely made in England at the beginning of 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.
Arnold & Son crafts the central time-carrousel in solid 18-karat red gold, thereby giving the masterpiece its Golden Wheel name. The latest version of the Golden Wheel now features sapphire discs with black figures, a redesigned outer ring and a black ADLC treated dial plate in order to further increase contrast and readability.
The mother-of-pearl arc displays the current hour, as the sapphire disks with the black hour numerals float over the contrasting white arc. Black arrows on the hour disks now point to the minutes dial-frame located above the hours arc. Finally, the true beat seconds indication is displayed via large dots on the outer ring and read via the central golden hand. The dial plate is now black ADLC treated with Côtes de Genève finishing.
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. 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 A&S6018 is a mechanical self-winding movement with 29 jewels and 232 components. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 45 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-karat red gold case. The Golden Wheel is a limited edition of 125 timepieces.