The Arnold & Son legend dates back over 250 years to the middle of the 18th century, the same era in which a brand like Breguet was founded. As a matter of fact, John Arnold had a very close relationship with Abraham-Louis, founder of Breguet, and they both shared the passion for watchmaking. A story says that the two even exchanged trade secrets and Abraham-Louis’ son was actually trained to become a master watchmaker by John Arnold himself.
One of the first to show interest in Arnold’s watches was King George III who wanted Arnold to produce timepieces for the ships of His British Majesty. This naval background is still shown in the watches produced today and the quality and craftsmanship also remains.
We had the oppurtunityto test drive some of the most recent pieces and what better place to do a photoshoot than an in England?! We managed to bring some fantastic cars to the area thanks to the SuperCarDriver.com . Please enjoy this pictorial with descriptions of each watch to follow underneath.
Nick (above) is wearing the TB88 in rose gold from the Royal Collection, a watch released last year. Arnold & Son really pay attention to their heritage in this timepiece. However, they manage to do this without making the watch look outdated; rather the opposite. This is a very innovative watch that doesn’t look like anything else we have seen.
“TB” stands for true beat which is a complication very useful at sea in order to determine longitude position. Instead of having the sweeping second hand like automatic watches normally have, the TB88 second hand advances in full steps of one second. In turn, “88” is a little tribute paid to the first known Pocket Watch made by John Arnold, a watch that had case number 88. Furthermore, the watch face looks a lot like number 88 with the two twin barrels on the top and the true beat seconds and the power reserve indicator (with balance spring) underneath..
The skeleton look is given by the fact that the movement is inverted so that all the mechanical features can be seen from above. The two barrels on the top bring enough power to make the TB88 run for over 100 hours once fully wound. You can find the full specifications below.
- Functions: Hours, minutes, true beat seconds at 8 o’clock.
- Caliber: Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 32 jewels, diameter 37.8 mm, thickness 5.9 mm, power reserve 100 h, two barrels, 18’000 vibrations/h.
- Case: 18-Carat Rose Gold, diameter 46mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire.
- Dial: Open dial. Golden facetted hands, polished and brushed.
- Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator leather.
What you see next is the Arnold & Son TBR which is yet another very impressive true beat watch from the London-based watchmaker. Yes, the “TB” in the TBR is the same as for the TB88, but the “R” stands for retrograde. If the TB88 is symmetric, the TBR is a little less so but the layout is outstanding. The big retrograde date to the right, the hour and minute subdial on the left and the center true beat seconds make it a stunning watch to look at.
This watch is from the Arnold & Son Instrument Collection and is inspired by the later instrument-styled chronometers made by John Arnold. You can find the full specs below:
- Functions: Hours, minutes, true beat seconds, retrograde date.
- Caliber: Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, ceramic ball bearing, 34 jewels, diameter 30.40 mm, thickness 7.79 mm, power reserve 50 h, 28’800 vibrations/h.
- Case: 18-Carat Rose or White Gold, diameter 44mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire.
- Dial: Silvery-white and silvery opaline dial.
- Strap: Hand-stitched brown alligator leather.
The third watch we had the honour of bringing on this little tour was the HMS1 in rose gold with the most striking blue dial. This is a very elegant watch and a modern take on the traditional design of John Arnold. The sword-like hands matches the hour indices and the seconds subdial is just perfect in size. Just like the TB88, this watch features twin barrels hidden behind the dial which gives the watch a power reserve of at least 80 hours. Specifications are as follows:
- Functions: Hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock
- Caliber: Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 21 jewels, diameter 30 mm, thickness 2.7 mm, power reserve 80 h, two barrels, 21’600 vibrations/h
- Case: 18-Carat Rose Gold, diameter 40mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back with see-through sapphire.
- Dial: The most striking blue.
- Strap: Hand-stitched brown alligator leather.
Our opinion is that with these three watches you more than cover every possible activity in life. You have the sporty and very cool TB88, the beautiful and very exciting TBR and the elegant and simple HMS1.
Conclusion? Arnold & Son are definitely here to stay and we can’t wait to see what they have to show us at Basel later this month.
For more information please see the Arnold & Son website.