Arnold & Sons Makes Every Second Count

October 29, 2014

Arnold & Son celebrates its 250th anniversary with innovative and exquisite timepieces that uphold its founding familyís traditions.

Both sides of the DSTB, a limited edition of 50 pieces. The company started in 1764, the year that English horologist John Arnold presented a repeater watch, the smallest of its day, to King George III as a gift for the monarch’s birthday. After making watches for the aristocracy, Arnold expanded his legacy a few years later by revolutionizing maritime navigation and creating highly accurate chronometers that allowed sailors to determine longitude while at sea.

Anchors Aweigh

That nautical heritage can be seen clearly in the form of an anchor-shaped lever on the front of the limited edition DSTB. The acronym stands for Dial Side True Beat, which describes the watch’s namesake complication.

With most mechanical watches, the seconds hand rotates smoothly around the dial, making it difficult to read the exact second. In contrast, a true beat mechanism is easier to read because it forces the seconds hand to pause for every increment. For the DSTB, the true beat mechanism is exposed and given pride of place atop the movement plate. To better spotlight the mechanical show, a transparent seconds register frames the wheels, gold bridges and anchor-shaped lever as they work.

Turn the watch over and the DSTB’s self-winding movement is visible through the clear caseback attached to the 43.5mm red gold case. To maintain the exclusivity of this special anniversary timepiece, production will be limited to only 50 watches.

The DSTB is part of the Instrument Collection, a group inspired by the precise and durable timekeepers John Arnold and his son Roger made for the British Royal Navy and other marine explorers. Another member of that collection is the Time Pyramid. The stainless steel version introduced this year at Baselworld is garnering a great deal of attention. One look and you’ll understand why. Shaped like a pyramid, Arnold & Son’s skeleton movement is a vision of symmetric beauty from the balance wheel up top, to the crown at the bottom of the 44.6mm case.

Noble Pedigree

The firm also offers the Royal Collection, a showcase for watches that combines technical complexity with fine craftsmanship. The HM Perpetual Moon captures the spirit of the collection with a dramatic moon phase display that rises from the cream-colored dial. The level of detail is remarkable, from the crater-pocked gold moon to the waves of guillochè covered with translucent blue lacquer that make up the background.

A similar shade of blue takes over the dial of the red gold version of the TEC1. Its dagger-shaped hour markers echo the pointed tips found on the bridge that secures the tourbillon in place. Lines engraved on the main plate radiate behind the whirling mechanism and draw the eye deeper into the design. In addition to the tourbillon, the automatic movement also features a column-wheel chronograph thatís activated by the pushers on the side of the 45mm case. Extremely rare, the TEC1 is a limited edition of just 28 pieces.

As Arnold & Son observes its 250-year milestone, Cellini Jewelers joins the celebration by adding the historic brand to its collection. Cellini President Leon Adams explains why he’s a fan. “We only share brands that we think are unique and innovative, and Arnold & Son is one of the most exciting brands I’ve seen in a while.”