Art watches are not always everyone's cup of tea, but hand-painted examples such as these two new models from Arnold & Son are prized for the incredible amount of labor that goes into them—and often because very few of them exist in the world. (See: the set of three incredible enameled watches that Hermès introduced at Baselworld this year.) If you don't like the look of colorful artwork on a watch, these two aren't going to win you over. But if hand-decorated watches with pictures are your thing, and—as Arnold & Son are probably betting—you come from an Eastern tradition in which you find dragons to be good luck, then you had better act fast.
In the case of each of these two watches, the Métiers d’Art Dragon Editions, there is only one model in the world. The layers of hand-painting imbues a real sense of depth when you look at the dragons, set against the simple white mother-of-pearl dials.
Both watches are ultraslim, an achievement that Arnold & Son has been honing in recent years, and come with black alligator straps. The UTTE Dragon case is 18 karat red gold, and the watch features the tourbillon calibre A&S8200 hand-wound movement with a one-minute flying tourbillon and more than 90 hours of power reserve. The whole thing measures at 42 mm and features a sapphire caseback that emphasizes the airiness of the tourbillon.
The HM Dragon is a simpler piece, with only hour and minute indicators but a more dramatic dragon painting on the face. It features the A&S1001 caliber hand-wound movement and 21 jewels on the inside. The case is 18 karat rose gold and also features a sapphire caseback—and wears slightly smaller at 40 mm.
The UTTE will retail for $85,900, and the HM for $41,900. They are available to purchase now—but since they're be one-of-a-kind, you can request to have diamonds inset in the bezel. If you do that, the prices jump to $92,400 and $48,500, and you will receive them in June. Since the dragon is the carefree spirit of the Chinese Zodiac—why not live a little?