Arnold & Son Have Been Busy

Posted on 24 March 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Arnold & Son, the Swiss haute watchmakers, have been busy of late and have announced several new watches to be shown at Baselworld.  2014 is also the 250th anniversary for the brand, so it seems that parties are taking a back seat to new watches.

TEC1

First up is the TEC1, a gorgeous torbillon chronograph, the third torbillon in the brand’s history.  And yes, it is also a column wheel chronograph and an automatic, so there are complications on top of complications here.  The watch is offered in three versions, a limited edition 250th anniversary in 18 carat red gold with an inscribed 22 carat red gold rotor and a blue lacquered guilloché dial; and two non-limited edition versions, one an 18 carat red gold case with a anthracite dial and the other a palladium case with a white and silver dial.  The watch will be fairly noticeable at 45mm and the hand stitched alligator strap should set off the colors nicely.

Arnold & Son DTE_lr

Doubling down on the torbillon movement, we come to the DTE, Double Torbillon Escapement Dual Time Watch.  Built for the world traveler or someone who needs to time the markets in both Tokyo and New York, the watch has two dials set north and south for the dual time zones, both with lovely blued hands, and the dual torbillons are set east and west, giving the watch great symmetry along both axes.  The watch case is 43.5 mm in 18 carat rose gold with sapphire crystals up front and for the exhibition case back.  Arnold & Son created a new movement for the watch, the hand wound calibre A&S8513, with a 90 hour power reserve.  The two crowns each set one of the time zones independent of the other, but the mainspring is wound by the crown set at 2:00, so you only have to wind the watch once.  I am assuming that neither the TEC1 nor the DTE were built for my budget.

HMS Victory

But then again, the next watch from the house was not built for any budget.  As a tribute to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Arnold & Son is presenting a unique edition of the TB Victory to the museum.  Why is a Swiss watchmaker paying tribute to the British Navy?  Well, Arnold & Son dates back to John Arnold, born in Cornwell in 1736.  The son of a watchmaker, he honed his own craft and eventually was a successful London watchmaker, presenting watches to King George and winning awards offered by Parliament for accurate timing, a requirement for seagoing vessels.   This watch pays homage to the brand’s ties to the British Navy and to the HMS Victory, Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and perhaps Britain’s most famous warship.  The watch would be at home in the existing set of three watches the brand has made to commemorate the HMS Victory, but it also stands alone.  The ship itself is shown in relief on the dial, and the hours and minutes are set in a sub dial at 9:00.

Horses Set

Lastly, in honor of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the The Horse, Arnold & Son is announcing a limited edition of 28 pairs of watches as the HM Horses Set.  Each pair comes with a two horses as would be depicted on a traditional Chinese paining.  The watch is housed in an 18 carat rose gold case (with optional diamonds for the bezel) and comes with a hand sewn black alligator strap.  Powering the watches are the in-house A&S1001 calibre.

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Models: Arnold and Son TEC1, DTE, TB Victory, and HM Horse set
  • Price: If you have to ask…
  • Who we think they might be for: If you have to ask…
  • Would I buy or recommend them just on the photos?:  My poor wrist is crying out for the TEC1 (sorry wrist).
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be:  I really wouldn’t
  • What spoke to me the most about these watches:  The TEC1.  Pretty much everything about it.
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