True to English watchmaking heritage, we present you our hands-on with the new Arnold & Son TES Blue Tourbillon with blue CVD main plate. This new watch part of the Royal Collection which combines classic styling with leading-edge technology, was previously only available in 18K red gold with NAC anthracite grey main plate. The tourbillon, a living testament of the partnership between John Arnold and Abraham-Louis Breguet that is evidenced by Breguet’s first ever tourbillon mounted in the John Arnold’s No. 11 movement —a watch that can be found today in London’s British Museum—, takes the center stage in the construction of the TES Tourbillon.
This time for the new TES Blue Tourbillon, the generous 44 mm case appears in 18K white gold gold, to bring an eclectic color combination along with the striking blue main plate. The dial, pretty much conformed by a blue flange and a wave-form barrel bridge made out of sapphire, allows maximum view of the openworked spring barrel, the wheels and the blue main plate. The tourbillon located at 6 o'clock shows motion-work bridges classically triangular but skeletonized. The combination of sapphire and openworked bridges gives an incredible depth and three-dimensional effect to the watch and thus a modern look.
The unique Arnold & Son design is also reflected by the three-spoke wheels. This same three-spoke design can also be found in the tourbillon cage and the openings in the main plate. The decoration of the main plate is a reminiscence of an old guilloché pattern found on the cases of antique Arnold & Son pocket watches. The main plate is also skeletonized around the barrel and the tourbillon carriage allowing to look through the movement and therefore through the watch itself. When compared to more conventional tourbillons found today, the Arnold & Son TES Blue Tourbillon is said to be “inverted”, that is to say most technical elements and visually interesting features are shown on the dial side, when those would normally be hidden on the reverse of the dial.
Just like its predecessor, the new Arnold & Son TES Blue Tourbillon is powered by the manual wound Arnold & Son calibre A&S8100. This movement featuring a tourbillon, is equipped with 19 jewels and decorated with nickel-silver and sapphire as well as blue CVD treated main plate with superlative Haute Horlogerie finishing with hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, A&S specific pattern engraved on the main plate, circular satin-finished wheels with hand chamfered and polished edges, screwed gold chatons, mirror-polished tourbillon cage and bridge, screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph the movement provides a generous power reserve of 80 hours. Fully visible via the display case back and the openworked dial, when examining the winding system and the gear train on this movement, one can see the traditional construction, which uses wheels with asymmetrical and curved tooth known as 'wolf’s teeth', used to improve the smoothness of the overall movement.
This very unique looking timepiece, will be produced in a limited edition of only 25 pieces and fitted with a black alligator strap with folding buckle. On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size but quite comfortably. An elegant timepiece, that thanks to its generous case size and striking blue main plate can look as great in the boardroom as it will while smoking a cigar after a round of golf on St. Andrews hole 19.
Sticker Price $162,200 USD. For more info on Arnold & Son click here.