Arnold & Son Nebula 38 Now in Stainless Steel Previously, only available in red gold and limited to 50 by Ben Hodges April 07, 2020 MIN READArnold & Son Nebula 38 Now in Stainless Steel
New from the Swiss watchmaker with English Heritage is the Arnold & Son Nebula 38 in stainless steel. The technical achievement of the skeletonized dial can now be appreciated in a daily durable material.
The human brain finds beauty in symmetry
It is posited that how attractive humans find each other has at least something to do with facial symmetry. As “scientifically” grounded as that theory may be, I think most of us would agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But if you were to put together a grid of the most universally beautiful people on earth, the characteristic trait would be the symmetry of the left side to the right side of their face. The same can be said for watch dials too. Symmetrical dials are easy to achieve with solid dials that hide the movement and display only the indications. But what about skeletonized watches?
Watch movements are inherently asymmetric. Wheel sizes in the gear-train vary from the power delivery from the barrel to the escapement that controls the release of that power. That makes this design from Arnold & Son decidedly impressive. Especially the barrel bridge, crown bridge, balance bridge and gear-train bridges, which are evenly dispersed around the outside of the dial and angled towards the center.
New Arnold & Son Nebula 38 in steel
The Nebula name is very apt as the distinctive bridges reflect the expansive nature of space dust. The 38 in the name corresponds with the extremely wearable diameter of the stainless-steel case. This case size is also rare for a wristwatch with ambitions to push technical boundaries. Typically, innovative watches tend to blow up the size of the case to highlight the intricacies, but the Nebula 38 contains this in a manageable size for everyday wear. This is also true of the slenderness of the case at 8.91 mm. And that even includes a domed sapphire crystal on the front.
A focus on technical innovations
The hand-wound A&S5101 Caliber cleverly balances the mechanical structure by mirroring the offset running seconds with the balance wheel. While, of course, this could never be perfectly symmetrical, as the functions differ, the sub-dial position correlates to the location and size of the chamfered and polished balance wheel. Caliber A&S5101 also has an impressive 90-hour power reserve. Twin mainspring barrels visible at 10:30 and 1:30 generate this healthy reserve. It is appreciated that despite all this complexity, the watch remains legible. This is thanks to the minute hand extending over the anthracite flange ring with white minute markers.
It may not be “at a glance” legible but the minute markers are clear and provide much-needed contrast.
As you may be able to tell, I am quite enthusiastic about this watch. It defines what is pleasing in watch-making. No unnecessary complications, but a focus on technical innovations to improve aesthetics. It may not be “at a glance” legible but the minute markers are clear and provide much-needed contrast. The Arnold & Son Nebula 38 in stainless-steel on has a water resistance of 30m and is available for CHF 13,500 with a calfskin strap. You can find out more on the watch here and read up on Arnold & Son on Fratello here.
Brand Arnold & Son ModelNebula 38 SteelReference1NECS.B01ADialAnthracite flangeCase MaterialStainless steelCase Dimensions38 mmCrystalDomed sapphire with an anti reflective coating on both sidesCase BackFlat sapphire crystalMovementCalibre A&S5101 hand-wound,Water Resistance30 metresStrapCalfskin with pin buckleFunctionsTime-onlyPriceCHF 13,500 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Ben has been working in central London for 7 years. In that time, Ben has developed an interest in watches after being gifted his father’s Breitling at 25. He explores the weird and wonderful in horology at all price ranges,… read more
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