John Arnold was born in Cornwall in 1736. His father was a watchmaker and his uncle a gunsmith, which probably explains his early interest in precision engineering and metalwork. A talented craftsman and scholar, he left England for the Netherlands at the age of 19 after completing his apprenticeship to hone his watchmaking skills. He returned two years later speaking excellent German, which stood him in good stead later at the court of George III, and had established himself as a watchmaker of repute in London's Strand by his mid-twenties. After Arnold presented the smallest repeating watch ever made to King George III and to the court, he rapidly acquired a wealthy clientele. He was one of the most inventive watchmakers of his day and held patents for a detent escapement, bimetallic balance and helical balance spring. Arnold's "No. 36" was the first timepiece to be called a chronometer, a term reserved for unusually precise watches to this day. Arnold also played a central role in the events of his day. Along with other watchmakers, he addressed the problem of determining longitude, and won several grants and awards offered by the British Parliament. He enjoyed such respect in his profession that he became a close friend of Abraham-Louis Breguet. The timepieces of Arnold and his son accompanied famous explorers on their voyages of discovery, helped the East India Company establish its empire and how Napoleon Bonaparte himself presented an Arnold clock to the Observatory of Milan in 1802.
250 years later, Arnold & Son celebrates its 250th anniversary with another masterpiece of horology in a limited edition of only 28 pieces, the DTE: Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch. A generous 43.5 mm watch 18K red gold with two white dials —one with Roman numerals and the other with Arabic numerals— accentuated with blued hour and minute hands. The DTE is a masterpiece of symmetry, balance and three-dimensional beauty combined with technical foresight and ultimate performance precision.
The double barrels of the watch offer a superb 90 hours of power reserve. In typical Arnold & Son style, the watch is incredibly detailed and features superlative Haute Horlogerie finishing. The dial side of the timepiece offers symmetry and depth. It features two white lacquered domed dials – one each at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock – for the dual time displays. The two tourbillon escapements are harmoniously balanced at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock and seem to float over the dial thanks to their alluring raised 18K red gold bridges. The backdrop for these double lacquered dials and double tourbillon escapements is a magnificently decorated vertical Côtes de Genève stripes plate.
The two crowns – one each for setting the local and the home time – are located at 2 o’clock and 8 o’clock, and the two mainsprings are wound using the crown at 2 o’clock. In addition to the double tourbillon escapement and the dual dial/dual time indication, the watch is incredibly efficient in that it not only offers local time in hours and minutes, but also offers hours and minutes of a second time zone to be set separately —thereby enabling the wearer to have precise time in zones that differ from Greenwich Mean Time by quarter-hour or half-hour increments. Each time zone display has its own gear train and its own tourbillon escapement.
The watch, powered by the all-new mechanical hand-wound calibre A&S8513 —visible via the display case back—, brings the centuries-old tradition of double movements back to life in 21st century style. The watch is fitted with an very elegant hand-stitched brown or black alligator strap.
Sticker Price $210,000 USD. For more info on Arnold & Son click here.
Technical Specifications Arnold & Son DTE ref. 1DTAR.L01A.C120A
Case: 18K red gold measuring 43.5 mm in diameter with display case back.
Movement: Calibre A&S8513 Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical double tourbillon movement, hand-wound, 42 jewels, diameter 37.3 mm, thickness 8.35 mm, power reserve 90 hours, double barrel, 21,600 vph. Fully decorated nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with hand-chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular graining and 'Côtes de Genève' rayonnantes, plate dial side with 'Côtes de Genève', circular satin-finished wheels with
hand-chamfered and polished edges, blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads.
Functions: local hours and minutes, GMT hours and minutes, double tourbillon.
Tourbillon: 18K red gold bridges, satin-finished and mirror- polished surfaces with hand-chamfered and polished edges. Hand-chamfered and mirror-polished tourbillon cages.
Dial: domed and white lacquered.
Crystal: cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides.
Water Resistance: 30 meters.
Strap: Hand-stitched brown or black alligator leather.
Limited edition: 250th Anniversary, 28 timepieces.