While we very much focus on watches at the affordable end of the spectrum here at WWR, we do occasionally take forays into the realm of the luxury watch, especially if the watch in question offers something rather unique. One of the brands that has tripped that threshold more than a few times has been Arnold & Son, and their latest certainly fits the bill as well. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at what the Arnold and Son Golden Wheel has to offer.
At first glance, I was not actually quite sure what I was looking at with this particular watch. Slowly, the features came into focus. Let’s start with those three sapphire discs. These are actually part of a complication known as a “wandering hours”, which was more commonly seen in table clocks of days long gone by. As the hour progresses, the appropriate disc (and numeral indicating the hour) will sweep along from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock, thereby indicating the current time. Once the disc moves off of that arc, the next one will pick up the time, and the prior disc will begin its rotation to be ready for when it is called into action again in two more hours.
Right there, that would be enough to account for the watch being an intriguing one. With the Arnold and Son Golden Wheel, though, that is not all that was rolled into the package. We also have a true-beat, or “dead beat” seconds hand, which ticks the seconds out, rather than sweeping (ie, what you would commonly see a quartz watch doing). In a mechanical watch, this is a rarer approach. I can appreciate it, but I have not made my mind up if that is something I’d prefer over a very smoothly sweeping hand.
Finally, Arnold and Son being the brand that they are, they show off a decent amount of the automatic movement from the dial side. It may not be as much as we have seen on prior watches from the brand, but it is still a decent amount. Here, I imagine things were done to strike a balance to keep the trend, but not obscure the sapphire discs or draw attention away from the wandering hour complication bits that are seen. There is no word as of yet as to how many of the Arnold & Son Golden Hour will be made available, as the full unveiling is set to happen at Baselworld in March. We are told that most of the pieces, which have an anticipated price of $49,950, are still available. arnoldandson.com
- Brand & Model: Arnold & Son Golden Wheel
- Price: $49,950
- Who we think it might be for: You’ve got money to burn and you don’t want some pedestrian chronograph or (the horror!) three-hander. You need unique!
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: While I’d love to see one in person, this sort of timekeeping is not perhaps the most practical
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: It would be really clever if (likely with the use of polarizing films) the current hour indication disc became opaque when “active”
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s a sharp look, and I don’t believe I have seen the wandering hours implemented in a watch before