Awestruck or moonstruck? Arnold & Son’s fascination with the moon never seems to wane. The brand’s Luna Magna features what seems to be one of the largest spherical moon phases ever incorporated into a wristwatch. Continuing the legacy, the luxury watchmaker has now revealed a new Luna Magna Red Gold Meteorite (Ref. 1LMAR.Z01A.C211R) watch that spins into the ‘solar system’ with a more subtle palette, created with a fragment of meteorite and glowing opal. It is a limited edition of 38 pieces.
The moon phase is one of the most hypnotic complications in watchmaking. Inherently romantic, it is linked to the astronomical realities of timekeeping. Most of the time though, a moon-phase display follows an established formula. Now in seventh variation, this Luna Magna timepiece is the direct successor to the Luna Magna Platinum Meteorite watch, which earned an official nomination for GPHG 2022.
The new Arnold & Son Luna Magna Red Gold Meteorite watch shares case size, layout, and movement with its predecessors. However, it comes with a more understated and subtle colour scheme, compared with the older models. The timepiece maker has very carefully used meteorite and opal; in the process, it has moved closer to the more muted tonalities of the moon we perceive from Earth.
The watch, housed in a 44 mm 18 ct red gold case, gets a large-disc, blue PVD-treated meteorite dial. The latter has the signature criss-crossing, jagged geometric patterns, which are known as Widmanstätten patterns. To capture the three-dimensionality of our satellite, the Luna Magna (large moon) incorporates a 12 mm spherical moon into the dial in a large aperture at 6 o’clock, half of it comes from Cacholong opal and the other half from blue PVD meteorite. To enhance legibility in the dark, the sphere is treated with Super-LumiNova that is invisible during the day but turns a cool blue-green at night.
The duration of a complete lunar cycle is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds. If the watch is kept wound, it would only need a one-day adjustment in 122 years. However, there is a practical way to correct the moon phases directly through the rose gold crown at 3 o’clock. Time is indicated on the opal subdial at 12 o’clock with classic black Roman numerals and blued openworked hour and minute hands, treated with Super-LumiNova. Like the moon, the offset subdial too glows in the dark.
The watch is powered by the manual-winding A&S1021 calibre, delivering 90 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the sapphire caseback where just above the sphere is a more accurate indicator of the eight phases of the moon — new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent. The finishing is traditional: Geneva stripes radiating from the centre of the movement; blued, chamfered screws with polished heads; and circular graining with a satin finish on the wheels. The watch is finished on an ink blue alligator leather strap with electric blue alligator leather lining and features an 18 ct folding clasp with titanium blades.