Arnold & Son wowed the Watches & Wonders online exhibition earlier this year with the launch of the first Luna Magna, a timepiece that introduced the largest 3D moon-phase ever installed into a wristwatch. At the recently concluded WatchTime New York event, the manufacture introduced an even more precious encore to the original model in rose gold, this one cased in 950 platinum and limited to just 28 pieces worldwide.
Like the one on its rose-gold-cased predecessor, the 12-mm-diameter spherical moon that dominates the lower dial of the Luna Magna Platinum is made up of two hemispheres, one of marble for the light side of the moon, the other of aventurine glass for the dark side; neither material has ever been used to create a 3D moon for a watch. It measures a substantial 12 mm in diameter and floats inside an aventurine dial that depicts a star-filled midsummer sky with tiny metallic crystals. How does this voluminous lunar globe fit within the relatively modest dimensions of a luxury timepiece? It is positioned perfectly between the top and bottom of the movement, with its upper part enclosed in a domed section of the sapphire crystal; the design is repeated on the lower side of the watch, in which another sapphire glass rests in the small of the wrist. Measuring from one sapphire dome to the other, the case’s total thickness is the same as that of its rose-gold predecessor, only 15.9 mm.
Above the gigantic moon-phase is an off-centered subdial, made of mother-of-pearl on this platinum model, which hosts blued hour-and-minute hands and Roman numeral markers. The round, polished case, 44 mm in diameter and made of 18k rose gold, contains hand-wound Caliber A&S1021, which has been fully developed, manufactured, assembled and adjusted in-house at Arnold & Son’s manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Aside from its 3-Hz frequency, its impressive 90-hour power reserve, elaborate haute horlogerie finishes, the movement is distinguished by a special indicator for the age of the moon on its rear side. The latter device works in concert with the sophisticated moon-phase function, which is engineered to replicate the precise, real-life lunar cycle of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds and thus would not need adjustment for 122 years. The movement even makes such an adjustment easy, as the moon-phase settings can be accessed directly through the watch’s crown.
Further distinguishing the Luna Magna Platinum from the rose-gold version from last Spring is the blue PVD flange and the hand-stitched, dark blue alligator strap with a bright magenta lining, culminating in a pin buckle made of 950 platinum. Limited to 28 pieces, it’s priced at 55,900 Swiss francs.