April 29, 2022
by Kenny Yeo
The Ultrathin Tourbillon is arguably one of Arnold & Son’s most recognizable watches. It’s been around for a while now. The first version was actually unveiled back in 2013. And back then, it was the thinnest tourbillon watch in the world. The design was timeless and, naturally, Arnold & Son followed up with a couple of models, including a skeletonized one. And now, the company is introducing two new versions that may just be the most elegant yet.
Joining the Ultrathin Tourbillon family are two models made in 5N red gold and platinum. The cases are 41.5mm in diameter and retain the sleek and classic lines of the earlier Ultrathin Tourbillon models. Crucially, as befits watches with the word “ultrathin” in their names, these watches are just 8.3mm-thick. Not surprisingly, water resistance is just 30 meters, which is really the norm for these kinds of watches.
The dial is where the magic happens. The basic configuration is unchanged, so you have the white mother-of-pearl hour dial at 12 o’clock and the large tourbillon below at 6 o’clock. The main dial, however, is made using a technique that Arnold & Son says is new called “Cosmic Grené,” intended to resemble glittering stars, an effect achieved by mixing gold powder with aluminum sparkles, which creates a sparkling sandblasted surface. Both models feature dials made with this new technique, however, the red gold model gets a blue dial while the platinum model gets a green dial. Both models come with color-matching hand-stitched alligator straps.
The movement is the calibre A&S8300, which is an updated version of the A&S8200 seen in the earliest Ultrathin Tourbillon watch. The basic architecture is unaltered, and the movement remains slim at just 2.97mm-thick. However, we now have a variable inertia balance that delivers a more stable calibration over time. The tourbillon carriage has also been redesigned to resemble a sextant and anchor. This pays homage to John Arnold, who was famous for his marine chronometers. As a result of these changes, the power reserve has been bumped up to at least 100 hours.
As you’d expect, the movement is highly finished. The main plate features Côtes de Genève radiating from the center, while the wheels feature circular satin finishing. All screws are blued and their heads are chamfered and mirror-polished by hand. The bridges are also hand-polished. The movement also has a new rear tourbillon bridge made from 3N yellow gold.
Arnold & Son is very good at making elegant and simple-looking watches with loads of details to admire and gawk over, and these new watches are no different. On the surface, they look like regular tourbillon watches, but I’m sure the exquisite new dials and finely finished movements will provide hours with loads of visual distraction. The new Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon watches are limited to 28 pieces in each metal. The price is 73,300 CHF for the red gold model and 85,100 CHF for the platinum model. For more information, visit the brand’s website.