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2014 Collectors’ Showcase

<< Back to Robb Report, 2014 Watch Collector

Architecturally Significant

After a top-to-bottom reorganization, Arnold & Son has explosively relaunched a range of new models that build on the English watchmaking style of its namesake, John Arnold. Thanks to the technical capacity of La Joux Perret, the movement maker that owns the brand, these models also explore the possibilities of novel movement architecture. Time Pyramid ($40,300) is a prime example of this combination. Loosely based on 19th-century skeleton clocks, the timepiece is an exercise in the creative placement of watch components. Two winding barrels with power reserve displays fan out on either side of the case, while the main gear train, capped by the escapement and the balance wheel, stacks up through the center. The symmetry of the design gives the watch a clock’s stately countenance, while the visibility of all its components will keep even veteran watch collectors glued to its running.

Arnold & Son, 213.622.1133,

Musical Spectacle

Wearing a decidedly lighthearted costume, Bulgari’s latest complicated watch masks a serious intent: to employ the most sophisticated techniques in both mechanics and the decorative arts. Commedia dell’Arte, the brand’s new automaton watch in three versions, limited to eight pieces of each (Brighella, pictured left, $430,000), is certainly that ambitious in every practice area. The movement comprises a cathedral gong minute repeater with jumping hours and retrograde minutes, set inside the sound-propagating Magsonic case that Bulgari’s workshops developed several years ago. Depicting scenes of 16th-century Italian theatrics, the automaton mechanisms activated by the repeater are particularly complex, with sequenced actions as the chime progresses. The figures, engraved and hand-painted by the now-famous Olivier Vaucher studio of decorative arts, are among the most vibrant ever brought to wristwatches.

Bulgari, 800.285.4274,