In a bold effort that pays homage to one of the most historically significant chronometers – the John Arnold pocket chronometer No. 1/36 – Arnold & Son has just announced the new Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 Gunmetal. A followup to the Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 announced during Baselworld 2017, this new version introduces dark grey and rose gold tones that serve to enhance the visual beauty and complexity of a watch that showcases the brand’s technical prowess. More importantly, the watch features a new stainless steel case with anthracite DLC coating to achieve the pronounced gunmetal look. While the inspiration for the watch is arguably one of the most important classical timepieces in the brand’s history, this model is far more contemporary in its execution and design.
The original “Arnold 36” chronometer was not only the first pocket watch by John Arnold to use a larger movement with the “T” balance, but also the first to be called a “chronometer” for its superior timekeeping capabilities. This was, of course, before the COSC affiliation that term is known for today. Rather than fully replicate the piece visually, however, Arnold & Son has created something striking and modern with a movement that essentially takes place of the dial completely. Aside from the Arnold 36 chronometer, Arnold & Son is also paying tribute to the old English gunsmith tradition, which is closely related to traditional watchmaking and shares many common techniques.
Though the contemporary Arnold & Son is now owned by the Citizen Group and has been revived in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the heritage of precision timekeeping, progress in escapement engineering, and Breguet’s influence can nevertheless be felt with this timepiece. The Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton basically combines two motions, each using their particular barrel, gear train, escapement, and balance, combined by a single winding system and one centralized second hand. The two dials for house time and GMT are thus powered with their own dedicated movements, allowing each to be set independently via a double crown system at 3 and 9 o’clock. Coolness factor apart, this also has a practical benefit in being able to set GMT time into the minute, which is very beneficial when dealing with time zones cancel by half an hour such as parts of India, Australia, and Canada.In comparison to the non-skeletonized version of this Arnold & Son DBG we analyzed before, this incarnation supposes some legibility in order to better display that beautifully symmetrical motion. A ring of smoked sapphire crystal is used for each dial to help bring the numerals more into focus against the busy backdrop without completely obscuring it, and it is a clever move. GMT time can also be differentiated through the dial’s use of skeletonized hands and Roman numerals, versus the Arabic numerals and strong palms featured on the house time dial. Unlike the last edition, the hands on the Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton are gilded rather than blued, which can be visually a nice complement to the exposed equilibrium wheels but also makes them difficult to see at a glance.
The case itself is large at 46mm, which is appropriate considering how much there is to appreciate on the dial side. Everything is on display and demonstrates some of the most lavishly decorated components the brand is capable of producing. The main pivoting elements such as the wheels, barrels, the tourbillon, and others are each mounted on their own bridge. The triangular, multilevel bridges (no less than thirteen) are mostly skeletonized, providing a more contemporary sense of three-dimensional depth to the entire timepiece. The inner dial bezel is also Rhodium treated with black indexes and water resistance is generous at 30m.
Inside, the COSC-certified calibre A&S8600 operates at 4Hz with the help of a double barrel system that ensure 90 hours of power reserve when fully wound. It’s manually wound, with a main plate and bridges treated with a golden coating, echoing the aesthetics of the historical pocket watches made by John Arnold. The heart of the watch, the tourbillon, features a traditional construction with a top bridge, while the mirror-polished cage has the signature Arnold & Son three-spoke design, making a complete turn in 60 seconds.
The main plate is also set with mirror-polished 18k gold chatons and the wheels in the gear train are embellished with circular satin finishing with chamfered and polished edges. Even the screws are beveled and feature mirror-polished heads. While complex in its execution, the movement allows for an elegant and simple time-only display with running seconds. Other features include a dual AR-coated sapphire crystal and a sapphire display caseback.
Tourbillon Chronometer No.36 Specifications
- Calibre: A&S8600. Manufacture Arnold & Son calibre, hand-wound, 33 jewels, diameter 37.8 mm, thickness 5.9 mm, power reserve 90 h, double barrel, 4 Hz / 28’800, COSC-certified
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, tourbillon
- Movement decoration: Nickel-silver and steel movement, 5N red gold treated bridges and main plate with Haute Horlogerie finishing: sand blasted bridges with chamfered and polished edges, 18k gold chatons, screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads Tourbillon cage: mirror-polished with hand-chamfered polished edges and circular satin-finished surfaces
- Dial: Inner bezel Rhodium treated with black indexes
- Case: Stainless steel with anthracite DLC coating, diameter 46 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, see-through sapphire caseback, water-resistant to 30m
The Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 Gunmetal is a limited edition of 28 pieces with a retail price of 36,400 CHF (excluding VAT). You can learn more by visiting the official Arnold & Son website. arnoldandson.com
Sponsored Posts are a form of advertising that allows sponsors to share useful news, messages, and offers to aBlogtoWatch readers in a way traditional display advertising is often not best suited to. All Sponsored Posts are subject to editorial guidelines with the intent that they offer readers useful news, promotions, or stories. The viewpoints and opinions expressed in Sponsored Posts are those of the advertiser and not necessarily those of aBlogtoWatch or its writers.