August 31, 2021
by Kenny Yeo
Arnold & Son’s fascination with the moon is clear to see. After watches like the Perpetual Moon and Double Hemisphere Perpetual Moon, the brand unveiled a new moonphase watch earlier this year called the Luna Magna. It looks simple, but it’s one of the most elegant new watches this year, and it features one of the largest 3D moonphase complications ever in a watch. And now, Arnold & Son has a new bejeweled version of the watch called the Luna Magna Ultimate 1.
Presumably, Arnold & Son means for this watch to be the ultimate expression of the Luna Magna. The basic specifications are unchanged, so you have a 44mm-wide case that is 15.9mm-thick — the hefty thickness is because of the large 3D moon. Water-resistance remains the same at just 30 meters, so be sure to keep this watch away from liquids.
Everything else, however, has been made more exquisite and precious. The case is 18k white gold, and the bezel and even the lugs are paved baguette-cut diamonds of the highest quality. The bezel features 112 diamonds totaling 5.90 carats, while the lugs feature 20 diamonds totaling 7.62 carats. Even the white buckle is paved with 26 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 0.97 carats.
The dial configuration is the same. The main blue dial is actually made from hundreds of pure ruthenium crystals. At 12 o’clock is a white subdial made from white opal that shows the time. At 6 o’clock is the oversized 3D moonphase indicator. Here, the 3D moon is made from white gold and set with a combination of hundreds of diamonds and blue sapphires.
The movement powering this watch is Arnold & Son’s in-house hand-wound calibre A&S1021. It’s visible through a sapphire display caseback, and there’s a lot to see and admire. In the center of the movement is the moonphase indicator, and below it, you can see the rear portion of the 3D moon; the moonphase is accurate to 122 years. Arnold & Son employs many finishing techniques to decorate the movement. The main plate features circular graining, while the bridges have chamfered edges and Côtes de Genève. The wheels have a circular satin finish, and the screws are blued and have polished heads. In terms of performance, the A&S1021 beats at 3 Hz and has a 90-hour power reserve.
Watch enthusiasts often frown upon bejeweled watches, but I think this watch gets a pass. The original Luna Magna was noted for its simplicity and elegance, and this new watch, despite all of its diamonds, loses none of it. Arnold & Son did a commendable job of applying the diamonds in a very tasteful manner. Like the original, the Luna Magna Ultimate 1 is dripping with style and class. But perhaps more crucially, it shows us that it’s possible to use diamonds to elevate a watch’s aesthetic. The Arnold & Son Luna Magna Ultimate 1 is 169,000 Swiss Francs and is limited to just eight pieces. For more information, visit arnoldandson.com.