Historically, in the late 18th Century, the English watchmaking reigned supreme and the country’s watchmakers developed an aesthetic entirely of their own, dictated partly by contemporary taste but also by their desire to roll back the boundaries of a field that combined art, tradition and technology like no other. And in those times, the legendary inventor and watchmaker John Arnold and his son played an influential role in the directions taken by English watchmaking, and crafted magnificent movements and designs with cutting-edge mechanical features. Today, the Swiss luxury watchmaker Arnold & Son which is proud to draw on and maintain that unique heritage has come up with the Royal Collection which is solely inspired by the timepieces made during the earlier part of John Arnold’s life for King George III and the royal court. These classical timepieces in the great English tradition are an eloquent expression of elegance and sophistication in the inimitable. Also, we have recently seen the Arnold & Son DBS watch which features two major complications in one.
Models in the Royal Collection, the TB88, HMS1 and TE8 impressively reflect many of the features that made the original company’s name.
The TB88 comes with the A&S5003 calibre, which was entirely conceived and manufactured in-house, impressively brings together all the technical and aesthetic characteristics of a classical John Arnold chronometer. The letters ‘TB’ stand for ‘true beat’, a complication that alludes to the precision timekeeping required for navigation at sea.
With an 18-carat rose gold case, black open dial, the TB88 is also a tribute to John Arnold’s earliest known pocket watch, of which the original case bears the number ‘88’.
Described to be the true modern expression of the traditional search for precision combined with Arnold & Son’s superior craftsmanship, the HMS1 houses a manufacture hand-wound movement A&S1001 which is only 2.7 mm thick and provides an exceptional 80 hours power reserve due to its double barrel.
With 18-carat rose gold case, cream dial, the watch limited to just 250 examples also features further haute horlogerie details such as hand angling and decoration of all bridges and fine hand stitching on the alligator leather strap.
With hand-finished manufacture A&S8000 calibre, the TE8 comes with tourbillion escapement which was developed by John Arnold in close partnership with A-L Breguet.
Aesthetically what sets this masterpiece limited to just 25 pieces apart is its unique “English” design; the 18-carat rose gold case, black open dial is a ¾ waveform cut-out on the barrel bridge, the tourbillon and motion-work bridges are triangular, and even the three-spoke wheels are shaped with a distinctive flare.