Revisiting the “Arnold 36”

Revisiting the “Arnold 36”

March 27, 2017

Symmetry and skeletonization are two traits that should come to mind whenever Arnold & Son is mentioned, and the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is certainly no exception. Drawing inspiration from the John Arnold pocket chronometer No. 1/36, which will mark its 240th anniversary in 2018, the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is a commemorative creation leading up to the milestone year for the historically significant John Arnold chronometer.

The John Arnold Chronometer No. 1/36 — or “Arnold 36” as it is more commonly called — was not only the first pocket watch by John Arnold to use a larger movement with his “T” balance, but also the first to be referred to as a “chronometer” for its superior timekeeping capabilities. In this respect, the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is a faithful, contemporary horological homage.

Following the classical codes of traditional English chronometer movements, the main pivoting elements such as the wheels, barrels, the tourbillon, and others are each mounted on their own bridge. The triangular, multi-level bridges (no less than 13) are mostly skeletonized, providing a more contemporary sense of three-dimensional depth to the entire timepiece.

The tourbillon, a central element of this timepiece, is highlighted in a most magnificent manner. Held by a skeletonized and mirror-polished top bridge, the one-minute tourbillon features a typically Arnold & Son three-spoke design. Weighing mere fractions of a gram, the tourbillon cage consists of no less than 58 components. Prominently positioned on the dial side, the tourbillon can also be viewed from the back, thanks to an opening in the main plate. The same kind of opening is made below the small seconds display, adding to the symmetry of the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36.

The apparent technical virtuosity of the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is not only a treat for the eyes, as the watch is a COSC certified chronometer. This is something of a rare achievement for a tourbillon-equipped timepiece.

The decorative haute horlogerie arts are also lavishly demonstrated in the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36. The entirely in-house conceived and manufactured A&S8600 caliber features a smooth sand-blasted main plate and bridges with chamfered and polished edges. The main plate and bridges are treated with a golden coating, echoing the aesthetics of the historical pocket watches made by John Arnold. The main plate also is set with several mirror-polished 18k gold chatons, while the wheels in the gear train are embellished with circular satin finishing with chamfered and polished edges. Even the screws are beveled and feature with mirror-polished heads.

The heart of the watch, the tourbillon, features a traditional construction with a top bridge, while the mirror-polished cage has the signature Arnold & Son three-spoke design, making a complete turn in 60 seconds.

The double barrels, embellished with laser-engraving decoration, provide a considerable power reserve of 90 hours when fully wound.

The Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is available in rose gold as well as stainless steel, limited to 28 examples in each version.

Technical Specifications

Movement

  • Hand-wound manufacture caliber A&S8600
  • Power reserve: Approximately 90 hours
  • Double barrel
  • COSC certified

Movement Decoration

  • Nickel-silver and steel movement,
  • Rose gold treated bridges and main plate with haute horlogerie finishing
  • Sand blasted bridges with chamfered and polished edges
  • Tourbillon cage: Mirror-polished with hand-chamfered polished edges and circular satin-finished surfaces
  • Inner bezel NAC treated with rhodium indexes

Functions

  • Hours and minutes
  • Small seconds
  • Tourbillon

Case

  • 18-karat rose gold or stainless steel
  • Diameter: 46mm
  • Cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides
  • Sapphire case back
  • Water-resistant to 30m

Strap

  • Hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather

Limited edition

  • 28 pieces in each version 

References

  • Rose gold: 1ETAR.G01A.C112A
  • Stainless steel: 1ETAS.G01A.C112S