The Arnold & Son TB88 model is not only one of the very first watches from this manufacture but also a tribute to John Arnold's earliest known pocket watch, of which the original case bears the number '88'. The new TB88 Gunmetal maintains all the original cues of the first Arnold & Son TB88 but this time with a gorgeous sandblasted gunmetal grey DLC stainless steel case paying homage to the English gunsmith tradition. With its perfectly symmetrical layout creating two figure '8' side-by-side, the Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal is a more modern and cool interpretation of the classic watch that saw Arnold & Son come to life a few years ago.
The Dial & Case
The Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal, just like its siblings in stainless steel or 18K rose gold is fitted with a generous 46 mm case this time in sandblasted stainless steel with grey DLC coating and with the same double-step bezel and lugs construction. As far as the dial, the TB88 features an inverted watch movement on its dial side, which means that the intricate, technically interesting features of the calibre are visible on the dial side instead of being hidden away on the reverse. This showcases the two barrels, which generate a full 100 hours' power reserve when fully wound, and the Breguet overcoil balance spring.
The skeletonized dial features features twin barrels at the top, the balance wheel between 4 and 5 o'clock and a True Beat seconds indicator with black ring between 7 and 8 o'clock. Additionally, one can read the words 'slow' and 'fast' right next to the balance wheel for regulation purposes. The dial side is rounded out by a black flange with white minute markers.
But the feature that unquestionably sets Arnold & Son's TB88 Gunmetal limited edition apart is its unique 'English' design, as expressed through features like the straight-cut bridges. Each of the pivoting elements in the movement is mounted on its own bridge with 16 in total. Further shining examples of watchmaking at its finest are the hand-bevelled and polished edges of the bridges and other key parts of the mechanism, together with the juxtaposition of the black ruthenium or NAC grey movement and brushed components.
The TB88 Gunmetal is water resistant to 30 meters and it features a cambered sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides to allow for uncompromised view of the dial under any type of lighting conditions.
In order to make this watch even more modern looking and somewhat 'stealth' —if that is even possible—, the new Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal is fitted with a black Cordura 1100 —aramid fiber like— strap with pin buckle. The strap features calfskin leather lining, calfskin keepers and a calfskin reinforcement where the holes are located. The strap is very well made, extremely comfortable and it gives the watch a super sporty and somewhat military look and feel.
The Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal Limited Edition is powered by the Arnold & Son in-house movement calibre A&S5003. This manual wound movement with two barrels and 32 jewels, beats at a frequency of 18,000 vph to provide a power reserve of 100 hours. The nickel-silver movement with NAC grey treated bridges is fully visible via the display case back and is exceptionally finished with hand chamfered bridges, circular satin finished wheels and screws with bevelled and mirror polished heads. The movement, just like the dial side are a real treat for the eyes.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Arnold & Son TB88 Gunmetal Limited Edition of 5 pieces wears true to its size and extremely nicely. The sportier look of the gunmetal grey case along with the NAC grey treated bridges make this watch one of our all-time favorite Arnold & Son timepieces. If you like classic looking watches with a twist, this is a watch that ticks all the boxes for sure. Classy and sporty at the same time. Just imagine yourself at the Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds wearing this on your wrist as you aim for the gold. Hopefully, by the time you finished reading this hands-on review the watch is not sold out.
Sticker Price $41,500 USD. For more info on Arnold & Son click here.