Published by Pierre-Paul Godts
Arnold & Son Unveils the World’s First True Beat Seconds and Chronograph Wristwatch: the Instrument CTB
With rich British heritage and unparalleled style, Arnold & Son never ceases to amaze and delight watch lovers with its deft blend of respected watchmaking tradition, visionary ingenuity and untiring commitment to excellence. A grand example of the brand’s unflagging Haute Horlogerie prowess can be found in the all new CTB – a world premiere.
The CTB joins Arnold & Son’s Instrument Collection – and, like every other model from Arnold & Son, features an in-house mechanical movement. This line is inspired by the timepieces produced during the second part of John Arnold’s life when he and his son, John Roger, dedicated themselves to the quest for absolute precision (thereby establishing themselves as official suppliers to the Royal Navy).
Underscoring its continued commitment to forward-thinking precision, Arnold & Son’s watchmaking experts masterfully rose to challenge of creating a World’s First in a wristwatch: a chronograph with a central true beat seconds hand. The magnificent CTB represents the brand’s second chronograph and blends the iconic Instrument Collection complication of a true beat seconds, while at the same time remaining true to the line’s optic code of superb legibility. This aesthetic direction has been achieved by incorporating a central true beat seconds hand and a central chronograph seconds hand – both on the same axis but with different jumping intervals. A huge technical challenge to have both functions operating from the centre, Arnold & Son’s unique invention is protected by two patents.
Sometimes referred to as a dead beat seconds, the true beat seconds is a precision function wherein the seconds beat incrementally as opposed to sweeping along the dial – allowing for more accurate reading. To accomplish this function in and of itself is no easy feat. However, Arnold & Son has taken the idea to new heights by incorporating the true beat seconds on the same axis as the chronograph seconds hand. The result, when the continually running chronograph hand is started, is visually amazing. It gives the impression that it can catch up to the true beat seconds hand, but this never happens since the true beat seconds hand jumps away each second in a delightful and entrancing game of cat and mouse.
The A&S7103 calibre is a proprietary mechanical self-winding movement with column-wheel operated chronograph. The movement is configured to give optimum balance and beauty to the dial, with off-centered hour and minutes at 12 o’clock, big central true beat seconds and central chronographs seconds, and 60-minutes chronograph indicator at 6 o’clock. The 31-jewel movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers more than 50 hours of power reserve. This world’s-first timepiece also offers the efficiency of bi-directional winding thanks to ceramic ball bearings.
Meaning that from the front of the watch looking at the caseback you see a dark manifestation and no opinion of your sickly arm hair. From the back of the watch, you can see right through to the other hand. So compare this metal “Translucent Back” version of this Arnold & Son Time Pyramid with the very first version that has the totally clear sapphire crystal caseback that I went hands with here. And this “updated” version costs a bit more, of course. Approximately $2,000. It does seem a bit steep following the first version in steel has been released under a year before.The Arnold & Son Time Pyramid watch initially came out in 2013, also in 2014 I reviewed the 18k rose gold version of this Time Pyramid on aBlogtoWatch here. This remains one of my favorite watches made by Arnold & Son nowadays due to its distinctive design, superbly symmetrical motion, and fantastic wrist presence. The case is 44.6mm wide (water resistant to only 30 meters) and produced using a crown o’clock thanks to the design of this motion. Additionally, it gives the case a more compact look as a result of the symmetry you get together with the crown position.
Each movement is NAC grey treated and meticulously completed in Haute Horlogerie finishing with hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, brushed and skeletonised rotor, and screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. The 44 mm stainless steel timepiece is offered with a light-grey and silvery opaline dial. The dial has a complex multi-level structure with at least three different finishes that offer breathtaking depth and dimension.
- Calibre: A&S7103
- Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, column-wheel, ceramic ball bearing, 31 jewels, diameter 30.4 mm, thickness 8.5 mm, power reserve 50 h (without chronograph), 28,800 vibrations/h
- Functions: hours, minutes, true beat seconds, chronograph
- Movement decoration: NAC grey treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: hand-chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, circular satin-finished wheels, screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads. Oscillating weight: skeletonised with brushed surfaces
- Dial: light-grey and silvery opaline
- Case: Stainless steel, diameter 44 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, see-through sapphire case back, water-resistant to 30 m
- Strap: Hand-stitched black or brown alligator leather
- Reference: 1CHAS.S02A.C121S
Pierre-Paul Godts – Contributing Writer
Pierre-Paul has worked for over 20 years as a Creative Director for different Advertising Agencies. Today he workes in his own Graphic design agency. Proprietor and founder of WatchMundi and WatchMundi Magazine. WatchMundi is dedicated to share the latest horological industry news from the captivating realm of wrist watches principaly in the domain of Pilot, Diving, Marine, Nautical, Vintage, GMT, WorldTimer or Motor Racing watches.