A watch that we really enjoyed reviewing in the metal while we were attending Baselworld 2017 was the new Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36. This watch where symmetry and skeletonization are the name of the game is one of the best examples of the impressive work that comes out of the Arnold & Son workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. While Arnold & Son is now owned by the Citizen Group who acquired the Prothor Group —owners of Manufacture La Joux-Perret, component and watch parts maker Prototec and Arnold & Son— in 2012 after paying close to CHF 65 Million, the quality of their watches has not decreased and their 'haute horlogerie' status remains untouched with the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 being no exception.
Inspired by the John Arnold pocket chronometer No. 1/36, which will celebrate 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 and the rich history of their name. Prominently positioned on the dial side, the tourbillon takes the center stage on the new Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36.
The tourbillon, a central element of this watch is highlighted by a skeletonized and mirror-polished top bridge with the one-minute tourbillon featuring the traditional Arnold & Son three-spoke design. With a fully skeletonized dial the small seconds between 7 and 8 o'clock are the second most prominent element on this dial adding to the symmetric design and exquisite layout.
A COSC certified chronometer; the dial side offers a view of the mainplate of the movement with its smooth sand-blasted 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 upper part of the dial features the double barrels laser-engraved with "Arnold & Son Tourbillon" and "Certified Chronometer". Rounded out by mirror polished hands, the new Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is as elegant as it is impressive from a movement architecture standpoint.
The Case & Strap
Available in 5N 18K red gold ref. 1ETAR.G01A.C112A or stainless steel ref. 1ETAS.G01A.C112S and limited to 28 examples in each metal, the Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is equipped with a case measuring 46 mm in diameter and fitted with a cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides. Both watches are equipped with a chocolate brown alligator strap and with pin buckle matching the metal of the case.
At the heart of the watch is the fully designed and developed in-house manual wound movement calibre A&S8600. This COSC movement with 33 jewels and featuring double barrel, provides a power reserve of 90 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Finished with golden coated smooth sand-blasted main plate and bridges with chamfered and polished edges, the main plate also features jewels set in several mirror-polished 18k gold chatons. While the wheels in the gear train are embellished with circular satin finishing with chamfered and polished edges the back of the watch is as impressive as the front.
On the Wrist & Price
On the wrist, the new Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 wears true to its size and with stunning wrist presence. An homage to one of the most iconic chronometers from John Arnold and a very impressive timepiece that will wow everyone around you as you pull your shirt cuff up to reveal this beauty. Without a doubt, a watch that packs a lot of bang for the money.
Sticker Price $56,550 USD for 5N 18K red gold and $39,995 in stainless steel.. For more info on Arnold & Son click here.