Reading through the press materials on this one-of-a-kind piece, I couldn’t figure out why Arnold & Son was producing this mother-of-pearl/falcon dial. Aside from Arnold & Son’s long history of royal clockmaking, there isn’t any strong connection between the watchmaker and the noble pastime of falconry. They have made other hand-painted Métiers d’Art pieces over the years that celebrate the sea-going history of the company as a pioneer in marine navigation, which makes sense. But here, I was stumped.
Then they subtly admit it:
Today, falconry is a tradition that is still upheld in various parts of the world, particularly the Arabian Peninsula.
So they want to boost their reputation in a lucrative market, while making a bundle. And then, if there was any doubt:
If desired, the watch is available with a diamond-set bezel.
I’m sure that’s a reasonably priced, very tasteful upgrade. It’s certainly appropriate for a watch that celebrates a sporting pastime. The brown alligator strap, however, seems like a more reasonable choice for such a watch. And I can certainly imagine the un-bedazzled version on the wrist of a gentleman falconer.
While the dial is supposed to be the star of this show, the movement soars for me. I’m sure that the hand-painted miniature falcon is stunning in person; in pixel it looks like a commemorative plate. The ultra-thin A&S1001 in-house manual packs 90 hours of power in 30 mm x 2.70 mm and it is of course beautifully finished. The 40-mm 18k-karart rose gold case has a sapphire back to show off the handiwork.
Pricing is “depending on the final version,” i.e., with or without diamonds and, i.e., if you have to ask, it’s too much. arnoldandson.com
Arnold & Son Métiers d’Art HM Falcon
- Price: Upon Request.
- Who’s it for? One lucky sheik or oil tycoon, preferably with falcon.
- Would I wear it? I am neither a sheik nor an oil tycoon, so no. But if I was headed to Downton Abbey for an afternoon of falconry, it would be the perfect companion.
- What I’d change? It is perfect for what it is.
- Standout feature? Obviously the dial is the selling point, but the movement lights me up.
Tech Specs from Arnold & Son
- Case Material: 18k-karart rose gold
- Case Size: 40 mm
- Movement: A&S1001
- Crystal: Cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Band Material: Hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather
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