Openworked movements offer brands a distinct way of expressing themselves. Skeletonized movements have been embraced wholeheartedly by brands like Roger Dubuis and Armin Strom. Arnold & Son has now unveiled the Nebula 38 Steel as a follow-up to the rose gold version that was released in 2019.
Originally presented at Baselworld 2016 in a 41.5 mm case, the Nebula was introduced as Arnold & Son’s entry-level timepiece. The case of the new timepiece, as the name suggests, is made from 38 mm stainless steel with a thickness of 8.91 mm and a domed sapphire crystal on the dial side and a flat sapphire crystal caseback. This is a time-only watch and all the bridges, plates and solid components are openworked. The dial is characteristic by seven bridges (that look like inverted triangles) that are fixed to the perimeter of the mainplate, a nod to traditional British movement architecture.
These bridges are rimmed by a black lacquered chapter ring, the bridges themselves have a vertically brushed finish and feature highly polished bevels. The main plate and bridges are all chamfered, polished and treated with black ADLC. In a show of symmetry, the small-seconds sub-dial is placed at 7 o’clock just opposite the balance which is placed at 4 o’ clock.
On the caseback side, a large sapphire crystal reveals a mainplate that has been open-worked to the extreme. Its design features several crisscrossing arcs, with intersecting circles and ellipses that are meant to invoke a Gothic cathedral’s vault. The watch is powered by a hand-cranked Caliber A&S5101 movement. It has a power reserve of 90 hours, unusual for a skeletonized movement, and an escapement that beats at 3 Hz (21,600 vph). The wheels of the gear train too are chamfered and polished, the movement uses 18K gold chatons and screws with mirror polished heads. The watch is priced at CHF13,500 excl. tax (may be subject to modifications).