Swiss watch brand Arnold & Son celebrates the Chinese Year of the Dragon (2012), by launching a special edition HMS1 collection. The HMS1 Dragon Limited Edition in rose gold features a magnificent gold dragon(traditional Chinese dragon) appliqué on a black lacquered dial.
The figure on the dial was inspired by one of the dragons depicted on the Nine-Dragon Wall in Beihai Park, an imperial garden to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Wall was completed in 1756, which perhaps significantly was just eight years before John Arnold opened his clockmaking workshop in London’s Strand in 1764. It just so happens that the number eight is of particular importance in many Asian cultures.
The exquisite gold dragon appliqué is created by a craftsman selected specially for his expertise in hand-engraving, a traditional art form that involves the use of hardened steel tools called burins in combination with other special tools. These create cuts, lines and texturing that build up entire images or, as in the case of the HMS1 Dragon Special Edition, a perfectly sculpted figure in solid 22-carat gold with a breathtaking richness of detail, which is then duplicated for the series. The three-dimensional nature of the dragon appliqué also provides a spectacular illusion of depth that contrasts starkly with the HMS1’s ultra-slim case.
The dragon is mounted on a black lacquered dial with powdered gold indices for the minutes. Ticking away beneath the face is a hand-wound movement, manufactured entirely in-house and just 2.7 millimetres in thickness. The movement features twin barrels, which, apart from generating an 80-hour power reserve also guarantee a more constant force and in turn a more constant rate and greater accuracy. All the plates and bridges in the movement are hand-chamfered and decorated – a further indication of the traditional craftsmanship upheld by Arnold & Son throughout the company’s long history.
Available in 18-carat rose gold or in a second, more exclusive, version in 18-carat rose gold with a diamond-set bezel, the HMS1 Dragon Limited Edition is housed in a 40 mm diameter case, with a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap and is water-resistant to 30 metres.
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 21 jewels, diameter 30 mm, thickness 2.7 mm, power reserve 80 h, two barrels, 21’600 vibrations/h
18-carat rose gold case: nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: manually chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and ‘Côtes de Genève’, blued screws
Case, dial and strap
Case: 18-carat rose gold, diameter 40 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant to 30 m
Dial colour: black lacquered dial, 22-carat solid gold dragon appliqué
Strap: hand-stitched black alligator leather
Limited edition: one out of 50 pieces
1LCAP.B02A.C111A 18-carat rose gold case