In Chinese mythology the dragon is a divine creature signifying power and good fortune, and is the free spirit of the zodiac. In ancient and modern Chinese culture, the dragon is often depicted along with the fenghuang.
The dragon and fenghuang are indeed considered symbolic of blissful relations between husband and wife, a common yin and yang metaphor. A symbol of high virtue and grace, the fenghuang has multiple positive connotations.
This limited edition was created to celebrate these divine creatures. The dragon and fenghuang are depicted with a technique reinterpreting the principles of the ancestral art of Chinese paper cutting, also named Jianzhi. Instead of paper the motive is created on mother-of-pearl by applying successive layers of lacquer with a miniature pad, executed with exquisite delicacy of touch and featuring fine details that evoke the depth and texture of the dragon and the fenghuang.
Arnold & Son is proud of this singular timepiece, as Fabien Dutriaux explains: “The light reflected from the depths of the white mother-of-pearl dial illuminates the richness of detail in the exquisite motive and eloquently expresses our mastery of the decorative arts.” It is no small tribute to the craftsman who created it to say that the image on the dial captures all the finesse in the ancestral Chinese art of paper cutting.
The watch is powered by the A&S1001 movement, which is just 2.70 mm thick and manufactured entirely in-house. Housed in a 40 mm 18-karat rose gold case, it has twin barrels that generate a 90-hour power reserve, guarantee a more constant force and in turn a more constant rate and greater accuracy. All the plates and bridges in the movement are hand-chamfered and decorated – a further indication of the traditional craftsmanship upheld by Arnold & Son.
The HM Dragon and Fenghuang is limited to just 5 timepieces.