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Arnold & Son - Golden Wheel

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With BaselWorld 2015 at the doors (March 19-26, 2015) watch manufacturers have started to offer previews of their new models. Arnold & Son just presented the Golden Wheel, a new model which combines for the first time a wandering hours function with the true beat seconds complication.


The wandering hours function, also known as a floating hours or chronoscope, has been around at least since 1656 when the Italian brothers Campani built a night clock for Pope Alexander VII where the conventional hands were replaced by hour figures on rotating discs. Among the others, Breguet, Audemars Piguet and Urwerk created several models with this function. The Audemars Piguet Star Wheels is certainly one of the most famous example of wristwatches with wandering hours.

The true beat seconds, also known as dead beat seconds, is a specialty of Arnold & Son (see for example the Instrument CTB that we covered last year). This function the seconds to beat incrementally as opposed to sweeping along the dial so facilitating a more accurate reading.

Integrating the two functions was the challenge for Arnold & Son watchmakers. The development of the movement of the Golden Wheel required three years in the making from concept to development.

The dial is certainly fascinating. The mother-of-pearl arc from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock displays the current hour, as the sapphire disks with the hour numerals on them float over the arc. The small gold arrows indicate the current minute pointing to the minutes dial-frame located above the hours arc.


The rest of the dial is used to display the time-carrousel crafted in solid 18-carat red gold - hence the Golden Wheel name - with a true beat seconds hand from the central axis. The dial plate is treated NAC grey with Côtes de Genève finishing.


Housed in a 44 mm red gold case, the A&S6018 self-winding movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 50 hours of power reserve. Treated in palladium and featuring a skeletonised oscillating weight, the movement is decorated with Haute Horlogerie finishing, including hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining, Côtes de Genève rayonnantes and blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads.

The Arnold & Son Golden Wheel, which is part of the Instrument collection, is a limited edition of 125 timepieces with a price of Swiss Francs 43,300 before taxes. arnoldandson.com


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