Arnold & Son is marking 2024, an auspicious and untroubled year in the traditional Chinese calendar, with a majestic dragon and the artistic crafts. Fine watchmaking, miniature sculpture, and gemstone craftsmanship make up the two versions of Luna Magna Red Gold “Year of the Dragon”. This limited edition comprising eight pieces features an encounter between a dragon and the moon.
The year of the Wooden Dragon starts on 10 February 2024. The dragon in this element is a harbinger of calm determination, the natural ardour of the giant reptile tempered by wood. A year of questioning and control, it is also all about negotiation and generosity. These attributes coalesce to make this an eagerly-awaited year, duly celebrated by Arnold & Son with Luna Magna Red Gold “Year of the Dragon.”
Resonance of the gems
In the inimitable tradition of decorative horology to which Arnold & Son is deeply attached, this year is dedicated to a “Chinese Zodiac” limited edition in the Luna Magna collection. Two versions are available, each with eight pieces produced, featuring a large moon composed of red gold (5N) and pietersite or onyx, face to face with an impressive dragon in the same gold.
The large dial on which the dragon has landed is in fact a wide disc in the same stone as the three-dimensional moon, namely pietersite or onyx. The first is blue with veining, and the second smooth, glossy and black. The off-centre dial showing the hours and minutes is in white opal, a signature Arnold & Son gemstone.
With scales, claws, whiskers and horns, this oriental-style dragon turns its full attention to the three-dimensional globe that shows the phases of the moon on the Luna Magna Red Gold “Year of the Dragon”. The sphere has a double meaning here. It stands both for the moon, the cycles of which direct the Chinese calendar, and for the pearl of wisdom that, according to legend, is inseparable from the dragon, who ceaselessly attempts to catch it. With a final allusion to the Middle Kingdom, the lining of the straps is crafted from red alligator leather.
The sophistication of this celestial mechanism is also evident in its strict astronomical accuracy. The total duration of a lunar cycle is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds. Arnold & Son has approached this so closely that it would take 122 years to build up a 24-hour discrepancy between the display and astronomical reality. The disparity would be easy to correct since the moon function on the Luna Magna Red Gold “Year of the Dragon” is accessible directly via the crown. This practicality is only possible through Arnold & Son’s absolute mastery of the watchmaking process.