Media Alert

Arnold & Son Spiderweb Watch Designed in Collaboration with Artist Matt Copson Goes to Auction Block Dec 11 with TimeforArt at Phillips New York


WHEN: December 10-11, 2022, Auction Taking Place December 11

WHERE: Phillips New York – 432 Park Avenue

Preview the Auction Catalogue Listing

New York (December 1, 2022) – Swiss watchmaker Arnold & Son has commissioned British artist Matt Copson to create a unique timepiece for auction: the Arnold & Son x Matt Copson edition. The one-of-a-kind Arnold & Son HM Swiss Institute by Matt Copson watch will be a feature lot in the TimeForArt auction, a subset of the upcoming Phillips New York Watch Auction: SEVEN, on December 11, 2022. Arnold & Son commissioned Copson in tribute to the Swiss watchmaker’s longstanding British ties, and together, the creative partners designed a luminous spiderweb-inspired watch for the first-ever benefit watch auction in support of contemporary art. The lot is available for preview at Phillips New York between December 3-9.

The inaugural edition of TimeForArt curates exceptional timepieces from the world’s foremost watchmakers, including the Arnold & Son x Matt Copson collaboration, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to supporting today’s most visionary artists through Swiss Institute’s innovative exhibitions, public programs, educational and community engagement workshops in New York and beyond.

Each curated TimeForArt timepiece express the most artistic elements of contemporary watchmaking, shining a light on the creative core at the heart of horology today. Featured watches, including the Arnold & Son x Matt Copson edition, were developed in alignment with the theme “artists for artists,” and represent unique collaborations with world-renowned artisans, interventions by leading contemporary artists, bespoke examples of innovative craftsmanship, or coveted limited-edition timepieces. 

Arnold & Son offered the renowned artist carte blanche to create the design of his choice. With the dial as his canvas, within a 40mm stainless steel case, Copson opted for a spiderweb motif and employed a polished silver-tone web in relief against a matte silver background. A spider caps the hour hand and a fly the minute hand, so that once every hour the spider appears to catch the fly, yet every hour it escapes again. The seemingly playful touch and cartoonish element of the dial aligns with Copson’s larger body of work, which explores deeper themes of life, death, and pursuit of purpose. In darkness, the dial comes alive with dramatic green SuperLuminova – an allusion to the artist’s frequent use of light and lasers. The spider and fly also received a luminous treatment.

The timepiece comes with a textured black rubber strap. The signed case back of the Arnold & Son HM Swiss Institute by Matt Copson watch is engraved with Copson’s name and that of the Swiss Institute. The one-of-a-kind automatic timepiece also comes with an Arnold & Son Certificate of Guarantee, a wooden watch case by Matt Copson, and a leather travel pouch.

The lot will be offered by live auction on December 11, 2022, in partnership with Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, at the Phillips New York headquarters at 432 Park Avenue. Bids may be placed in advance or during the live-streamed event – in-person, via the phone, or online.

Arnold & Son is proud to collaborate with Matt Copson to produce a unique timekeeping masterpiece for the inaugural TimeForArt auction, which ushers in a new collaborative chapter in the long history of art and horology. The brand is also proud to support local New York partner Swiss Institute, an artist-centric, content-driven, and philanthropically-minded partner with a vibrant platform dedicated to celebrating contemporary horology through an artistic lens.

Phillips New York Catalogue Essay – Lot 131

On the occasion of TimeForArt, the renowned programming of Swiss Institute inspired Arnold & Son to create a unique timepiece featuring two distinct faces, sold to benefit this independent non-profit contemporary art institution dedicated to promoting forward-thinking and experimental art. As a continuation of Arnold & Son’s explorations of the exchange between traditional haute horlogerie and contemporary art, the Swiss watchmaking house with English roots gave carte blanche to one of England’s most innovative artists, Matt Copson. Set against a metallic web embedded in a pristine white face that glows in the dark, the hour and minute hands of the watch are adorned with a spider and fly, respectively. The passage of time becomes an existential chase of prey and predator, turning the mechanisms of the piece into a darkly humorous fable. In his practice as an artist, Copson uses darkness and shadows to explore some of life’s most elusive questions. In this pièce unique, the artist distills these themes into a visually striking scene, brilliantly illuminated when viewed in dark environments.

Generously donated by Arnold & Son, the watch is being sold to benefit the missions of Swiss Institute.

About Arnold & Son

Named after John Arnold, English watchmaker of the 18th century renowned for his ingenuity and work on marine chronometers, Arnold & Son perpetuates today his legacy, exploring contemporary ways to interpret traditional watch craftsmanship. From its Manufacture based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, cradle of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Arnold & Son develops its timepieces in-house including its complicated calibers.

The House established iconic collections such as the Time Pyramid with its unique architecture, the Nebula featuring a fully skeletonized movement, the Perpetual Moon and the Luna Magna displaying among the most spectacular moon phases on the market or the Globetrotter, impressive three-dimensional worldtimer. The twenty plus calibers presented to date by Arnold & Son have all been conceived, designed, developed, machined, decorated, assembled, and adjusted by its sister Manufacture, La Joux-Perret. This independence and creativity demonstrate the House’s ability to perpetuate John Arnold’s exceptional inventions.

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About Swiss Institute:

Swiss Institute (SI) is an independent non-profit space for international contemporary art. Open to all and always free of charge, its innovative exhibitions, education workshops, and public programs make SI one of New York City’s pioneering venues for art since 1986. As a fully independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization primarily funded through private support, philanthropy is essential in implementing SI’s mission. 

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