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ARNOLD AND SON LUNA MAGNA ULTIMATE II REVIEW

A magnificent pairing of the skills of the master gem-setter and the expertise of the master watchmaker, the Luna Magna Ultimate II by Arnold and Son is technically complex and reassuringly opulent. Boasting the exclusivity of an 8 piece release, this high-jewellery métiers d’art edition is equipped with the company’s sophisticated A&S1021 calibre, and features one of the most majestic examples of a moonphase display, the company’s signature spherical moon, which for this edition is hosted within a shimmering and luxurious setting.


Housed within a generous case of 18ct white gold sized at 44mm, the casing of the Magna Ultimate II has been set with an array of white diamonds of 7.62 ct. Embellished using the invisible-setting technique the precious gems flow over the bezel of the case curving downwards to the lugs, creating a delightful illusory aspect.


The tall sides of the box-style sapphire crystal rise above the case, giving a sense of airy spaciousness in order to accommodate the pronounced spherical centrepiece which dominates the display. Set upon a background which comprises of pure ruthenium crystals, each treated with a PVD-coating in an exquisite shade of lagoon-blue, the large rounded moon is an instantly absorbing spectacle. Pavé-set with 161 brilliant-cut diamonds onto the illuminated half of the moon and with a further 161 Paraíba tourmalines on the other to represent it’s dark side, it is a miniature art-form expertly crafted in order to stir the aesthetic senses. Accompanying this spectacular sculpture, the hours and minutes are displayed on a decentralised inner dial of white opal, whose milky white surface features roman numerals, with arrow-tipped blue hands to indicate the time.


Beating within, the A&S1021 manual winding calibre is configured around the rotating sphere, and through the sapphire crystal underside, the dual allurement of the two-tone moon can be appreciated. The movement has been beautifully decorated with radiating bands of Côtes de Genève and with highly polished anglage defining the edges. Notably the mechanism is so precise that if allowed to run continuously, the moon phase would require an adjustment just once in 122 years. At its centre, the movement has a secondary moon phase display which indicates precisely the age of the moon, and it also provides a reference with which to calibrate the Luna Magna’s moon phase, easily accessed via the crown. Deriving an impressive ninety hours of power reserve, the Manufacture movement beats at 21’600 vib/h (3Hz).


A timepiece which exhibits a harmonious blend of watchmaking prowess and luxurious élan, the Arnold and Son Luna Magna Ultimate II comes presented on a lagoon-blue alligator leather strap, lined with raspberry-pink alligator leather and secured with an 18ct white gold pin buckle embellished with 26 baguette-cut diamonds.


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