Editor’s note: Now that Geneva Watch Days has wrapped up for this year, we look at some of the watches that stood out. We sat down with Dimitra Darmanger, Head of Marketing & Communication for Arnold & Son to find out more about their 2021 novelties, and have come back with a feeling that the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Series are a must have for any serious watch connoisseur.
Leo Tolstoy, in War and Peace, once wrote: “Patience and time, they will do it all”.
You know when I was a little boy many chapters ago, seeing a plane up high in the sky, I used to marvel at the idea of catching one some day. Pestering my parents, I eventually was taken for a holiday on this mythical beast. Those days, good ol’ days, children were even made to feel special by the pilots and hostesses. Flying has got to be one of the coolest memories from my childhood.
As life went by, time turned the pages, and plane travel became the norm. Taking vacations, as long as funds permitted, became easy and ‘normal’. Then, Covid hit. Life stalled, movement ceased, the pulse of many a things paused.
Now slowly it seems with the vaccine the chance of travel might be possible again. Funnily enough, in the present chapter of life, despite all this time separating my past to present, I still look up to the skies in the same hope. I see planes whizzing past, those glorious behemoths showcasing the promise of travelling again.
I don’t know about you but I with every fibre of my being wants to travel; just get out, throw caution to the wind, and travel.
And the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Series epitomises the meaning of the above Tolstoy quote for me; it promises me hope that my patience will bear fruit, and eventually I will get the time to travel (and in style).
Evolution Of The Revolution
Compared to the previous generation of these watches — the 2017 gold version, 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.) — the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Series have evolved (and are dearer but for good reason).
The design of the upper bridge has been completely redesigned, making it more elongated and more open, thereby concealing less of the prime globe realestate. Even the placeholder for the ruby has changed designs. It is also better finished and carries this functional ruby in its centre holding the axis of universal time.
The globe has been reworked on as well; in the oceans, they have incorporated a ‘wave-like’ effect thanks to the use of several layers of blue lacquer. Interestingly, in between these layers, you also get mother-of-pearl powder.
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.
Then around the shore of the continents they have added Super LumiNova for that impressive nighttime glow.
The 18-carat 5N red gold case is also a first for the series, and the ref. 1WTAR.U01C. C153A also sees the complementary use of this material in the 18-carat 4N red gold appliqué indices, the bridge, and the rotor.
For the steel offerings, A&S has also introduced a gradient blue fume dial. Though after checking both of them out, I must admit, that the non-limited opaline version is much more legible and probably my pick of the three.
The brand has further modified the dial, by removing the peripheral extra layer of Arabic numerals as markers, making it more clutter-free and less busy. The Roman numerals are also reworked, being longer, thinner and overall open up the dial. The opaline version now also comes on a special blue coloured strap — with a red inside stitching — designed to complement the blues of the oceans on the globe.
Customisation Is An Option
They also offer the southern hemisphere and can customise the world map of Globetrotter collection pieces to special order.
The good news is that not only does it not cost extra for the southern hemisphere dial, but the brand can also add distinction to the place of your choice to make the pieces extra special. In fact, a few years ago, they modified one for a client with Turkey depicted in red.
Live Life Kingsize
The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Series comes in both precious metal and stainless steel versions (and we have looked into the latter in more detail here).
It’s not just about the aesthetics though; buying a timepiece of this caliber also means that is acquiring something that’s a mechanical beauty as well. Call it the beauty with brains if you may. The series feature the brand’s in-house calibre A&S6022 that is an automatic movement and 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.
Coming back to the aesthetics, the ref. 1WTAR.U01C.C153A (41’900 CHF) from June 2021 that was a LE of 28-pieces and is now sold out, is a 18-carat 5N red gold timepiece that boasts of a stunning gradient-blue dial, while the stainless steel versions feature both blue and opaline dial options. The steel blue ref. 1WTAS.U01C.C155S is limited to 88-pieces (18’900 CHF sans taxes) and the steel opaline variant ref. 1WTAS.S02C.C155S is part of the regular production (and retails for 17’900 CHF sans taxes).
No matter which variant you choose, you can’t deny the distinctive looks and the stunning aesthetics.
Of course the watch doesn’t work as a very legible worldtimer though – it’s more of a symbolic and artistic take on the concept. Though anyone who owns one will technically need to learn a bit of geography to precisely figure out the dual time, but hey, there is never any harm in gaining more knowledge, is there?
These watches are bold timepieces no doubt, but this large sizing works in their favour. For the rotating — 3D dual time globular display of the Northern hemisphere that turns once every 24 hours anti-clockwise — globe’s myriad finishes to be visible and readable, the size comes in handy.
Now 45mm diameter with 17.2mm overall thickness in not a small watch by any means. But credit to the brand, they end up being quite wearable though, thanks to the very short lugs, and despite the large diameter, it reads only 50.92mm lug-to-lug.
Compare that to say the Omega Aqua Terra Worldtimer for instance. The Omega is only 43mm in diameter, but measures a similar that ~50mm lug-to-lug.
And if you take the height in consideration, overalls it reads to be 17.2mm. But the sapphire crystal itself is 7.78mm, leaving the actual watch case (and band) to be only 9.42. Visually, crystal being transparent, it does help the watch look smaller. Also, for reference, the handsome new Sinn 103 Classic 12 is roughly the same height, coming in at 17mm height.
For those of you who still wish this was smaller, fret not, there is a smaller version in the works, though its details are under wraps.
Travel. World. Time.
I also like the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Series because they aren’t like anything out there.
There are of course the usual masterpieces in the market such as Patek Philippe 5230G-014 World Time (~$50’000 AUD), Vacheron Constantin Overseas Worldtime (57’000 AUD), Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time ref. Q8108420/Q8102520 (~20’000 AUD), Chopard Time Traveller One (13’700 AUD) among others.
The Globetrotter Series cover this span, ranging between ~22’000 to 65’000 AUD, but don’t look anything even remotely like any of the above.
And as charming as the above options are, for someone looking to wear an unconventional ‘art’ timepiece, the A&S offerings are stellar.
That’s All Folks!
These timepieces are the beautiful crystallisation of the idea that sees one strapping around their wrist a world-time or a dual-time watch and taking on their travels head-on.
For me, the best part is that this hope of travelling the world again is packaged inside a futuristic case design that’s almost like a UFO in itself.
Presenting the world on the wrist, Arnold & Son gives people like me a welcome escape from reality, into a possible future where rather than needing an escape from, I would be escaping to.
To find out more about the new Arnold & Son Globetrotter SS 2.0 and other A&S watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © 2021 – Arnold & Son and we thank Dimitra Darmanger for organising these exclusively for us. Make sure to check out our reviews of other 2021 novelties here, and for our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.