Editor’s note: While Sydney remains in a Covid-19 related lockdown, we highly anticipate the releases from the Geneva Watch Days 2021 like a breath of fresh air. Following the coverage of Watches & Wonders 2021 and the Only Watch Auction 2021, here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter. For our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
What is it: The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter SS 3.0 in two variations, the steel blue ref. 1WTAS.U01C.C155S limited to 88-pieces (18’900 CHF sans taxes) and the regular production steel opaline variant ref. 1WTAS.S02C.C155S (17’900 CHF sans taxes). Both feature the in-house caliber A&S6022, 45×17.2mm case dimensions with the sapphire crystal itself measuring 7.78mm, 50.92mm lug-to-lug, and 30m water-resistance. Out of the two, my pick is the opaline version with the white opaline and circular brushed 24-hour sapphire disc.
Why: Announced at the ongoing Geneva Watch Days 2021 as a successor to the 2018 version that retailed for CHF 14’900 (VAT excl.) and the 50-piece 2019 Globetrotter Night Edition that retailed for 16’800 CHF (VAT excl.)
When released: 31 August 2021
Where: Available globally
Who is it for: Those with big wrists, large enthusiasm for travelling, and even larger passion for watches
Larger than life timepieces seem to be the order of the day for Arnold & Son. Earlier this year, they released the Perpetual Moon Obsidian & Luna Magna from Watches & Wonders 2021. Both celestial-inspired beauties. Now for Geneva Watch Days 2021, meet the yeti of worldtimers, the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter 3.0 in stainless steel.
Size does matter when it comes to this 47 x 17.23 behemoth, and thankfully, it works in its favour.
Art is meant to be appreciated, and this wrist art is presented here in its finest form. I remember once visiting the Louvre, standing in a queue — when non-socially distanced queues were an actual thing — and waiting to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. That tiny painting was as underwhelming in person as a room-temperature lemonade on a scorching beach.
The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter scores big thanks to the myriad details that are lavished gracefully, with some new developments setting this 3.0 version part from its 2018 predecessor.
Around the world in 24 hours. Thanks to the 3D dual time globular display of the Northern hemisphere that turns once every 24 hours anti-clockwise, watch connoisseurs now get the opportunity to sit this UFO shaped timepiece on their wrists and travel away.
Sojourn In Style
One of the reasons I like this so much is that it’s not likely other worldtimer /dual-time watch I have come across. As much as globetrotting has become an alien concept these days, I personally have a soft spot for worldtimers. Besides the unattainable for me Breguet Hora Mundi SH my personal favourite so far is the Omega Aqua Terra Worldtimer which I even went on write lovingly about recently finding 5 Reasons Why the Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer Is Going To Be My Next Watch.
I will even go on to say that as far as I am concerned the Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer is the perfect watch in theory – it can be dressed down or up, you can go diving with it given its 150m water-resistance and screw-down crown, and you can obviously tell different times; it comes with a display case-back for anyone wanting to marvel at the in-house METAS certified movement, it is worry-free with Omega’s 5-year warranty, and is anti-magnetic to >15’000 gauss.
So for those who travel throwing caution to the wind, it’s the prefect travel-beater, one that is classy and relaxed at the same time.
The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter is the complete opposite of that if I may, and that’s why I am falling in love with it too. It’s as if MB&F took the Aqua Terra WT and gave it their own spin.
It’s a piece of art that’s meant to be cherished and cared for. It’s a link from the past to the present, with its roots in the long line of marine chronometers that John Arnold created for the British Navy in the 18th century to a timepiece that’s blossomed into a very contemporary form of wrist art.
Its nuanced dial, the execution of the complications, the finishings, are frankly to me more worthy of spending time admiring than the aforementioned Mona Lisa.
Unifying the globe (kind of)
The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter boasts of a number of elements, both visual and mechanical, that lend to it that extra flair.
The brass sculptural globe depicts America, Eurasia and Africa, the continents first rhodium-plated and then polished. The flat-ish continents feature contrasting matt mountain ranges and oceans that are hand-painted with numerous layers of lacquer in blue pigments, enriched with mother-of-pearl powder.
One of the most fascinating finishes is the use of Super LumiNova along the shorelines. This comes alive at night, allowing the wearer to not only have legibility but also a sense of mystique.
Scour forums and one gets the sense that the ‘bridge’ on the dial doesn’t sit well with people. But personally, I like its use; architecturally, it lends a symmetric and unifying element to the design, and also visually makes the 17.23mm thick sapphire crystal covered case work in cahoots with the overall design.
This open-worked steel arch bridge features a satin finish on all its flat surfaces, while the chamfered surfaces are polished by hand. Fixed with screws on both ends, it symbolically represents an actual bridge unifying the world.
I may be in the minority here but I also prefer the non-limited opaline dial version more; the star of the show is the globe, and with a unified blue dial it kind of fades away.
My only beef with the timepiece is the absence of Australia (and much of the Southern Hemisphere really) from the globe.
Though their press release does state that they also offer the southern hemisphere and can customise the world map of Globetrotter collection pieces to special order. Whether this will incur an extra cost or not, and how much of a bit time we are looking at, is something that can make a difference to potential collectors. We will be going digitally hands-on with the brand’s offerings soon, and will update this article once we have further information.
Extra cost or not, whichever hemisphere it reveals, one can’t deny the timepiece’s charm. Like I said, I prefer this in the opaline version, and the use of Roman numerals works better on that and the opaline 2019 Globetrotter Night edition much better as well.
Simply put, funds permitting, I would recommend this for anyone who likes timepieces that are distinct and off the beaten track.
Peregrinate to Horological Excellence
Inside this large vessel of travelling time, churns the power of the brand’s in-house calibre A&S6022. This automatic movement has been fully developed, manufactured, decorated, assembled, adjusted and fitted at the brand’s factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The 39mm diameter and 6.55mm thick calibre A&S6022 features 29 jewels, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz, offers a power reserve of 45-hours, and features a plethora of swoon-worthy surface decorations: the skeletonized oscillating weight features Clous de Paris guilloché pattern or hobnail motif and is ADLC & NAC coated; main plate is ‘pearlised’ and NAC coated, the three quarter bridge covering the two trains features sunburst Côtes de Genève finishing, and screws are chamfered and mirror-polished.
That’s All Folks!
I will wrap this up by modifying a Jules Verne quote: “The watch’s globe is everything. It’s large size covers seven tenths of most wrists. Its design is pure and horologically healthy. It is an immense desert, where the wearer is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides”.
It’s time to get the whole world in your hands; travel in style and spin round the northern hemisphere with the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter SS 3.0. And even if you can’t travel at the moment, the timepiece is an excellent conversation starter with self, allowing oneself to muse over the planet and continue one’s arduous peregrination for horological excellence.
To find out more about the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter SS 3.0 and other A&S watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © 2021 – Arnold & Son. Make sure to check out our reviews of other 2021 novelties here.