Watches: Arnold & Son Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Escapement Guilloché
By Thierry Ané on July 15, 2015
Considering the amazing decorative job the brand achieved with the stunning Time Pyramid Guilloché that we presented with live picturesWatches: Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Guilloché (+live pics) on Watch Agora earlier this year, it made sense that it would be only a matter of time before we were treated with gorgeous engine-turned interpretations of another prestigious creation from Arnold & Son: the Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Escapement.
First unveiled in rose gold and palladium limited editions of 50 pieces in 2013, what was the world’s thinnest tourbillon at the time offers the ideal dial’s layout to showcase the brand’s refinement when it comes to artistic crafts: an elegant silvery-white sub-dial with Roman numerals and arrow-shaped skeleton hands in blued steel forms a figure eight with the ethereal flying tourbillon on the vertical axis, leaving ample space for decorations on the sides.
The brand already took advantage of this feature by adding understated light-grey Côtes de Genève on a palladium model and even some surprising Côtes de Genève Rayonnantes on a palladium model. They even experimented with guilloché on a very small scale for the ultra-exclusive Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Escapement Asprey in 2013 (8 pieces only). This time around, though, Arnold & Son offers watch connoisseurs two 28-piece red gold series of expertly engine-turned iterations of one of the most elegant tourbillon models on the market.
It goes without saying that the design team did not alter the perfectly-proportioned 42 mm case. With a thickness of just 8.34 mm, this beautifully polished red gold frame with timeless lines remains a statement of the brand’s aesthetic refinement. Mounted on black or brown alligator depending on the owner’s preferences, it is classically secured by a pin buckle crafted in the same material as the case.
Inside the precious frame, one still finds the nickel-silver and rhodium treated A&S8200 movement with Haute Horlogerie finishing. The large sapphire crystal aperture on the back of the watch offers an uncluttered view of the hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, circular satin-finished wheels with hand-chamfered and polished edges, blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. The watch connoisseur will also immediately notice the gorgeous hand-made engravings on the tourbillon bridge.
What differentiates both versions is the type of guilloché used to adorn the 18-karat solid gold dial. On the first model, the rose engine was used to etch intricate geometric patterns of growing size to create a stunning optical effect. The second timepiece boasts elegant lines radiating from the centre. In a way, they recall the guilloché patterns that appear on both sides of the Time Pyramid Guilloché. What is certain, though, is that both models pay a vibrant tribute to this age-old craft only mastered by a handful of skilled artists.
Once again, right in the middle of summer when most brands seem lethargic, Arnold & Son brilliantly showcases their impeccable taste and limitless creativity. These two new references will join the long list of flawless creations in the “Instrument Collection” and more importantly, are bound to meet the same commercial success as their predecessors.
For more information please visit the Arnold & Son web site.