By John Galt
Arnold & Son has released a new reference of the TECH1 with palladium case and a black guilloche dial that will join the sophisticated Royal collection. The collection is inspired by timepieces created by John Arnold for King George III and other members of the British Royal family.
This new reference is the first time Arnold & Son exceptional watch makers have combined a tourbillon, large column wheel chronograph and automatic winding mechanism into such an elegant and classic timepiece.
The 45mm case is both avant-garde and classically elegant even with the size, looking at the dial your eyes are immediately drawn to the cut away aperture between 10 O’Clock and 2 O’Clock housing the tourbillon escapement showing the incredible view as the tourbillon cage rotates. Coupled with a sapphire case back the tourbillon seems to float majestically in thin air. At first glance you expect the sub-dial at 6 O’Clock to house the small seconds but this is no ordinary piece, the sub dial houses the chronograph minutes with seconds counter via a centrally mounted second hand. The black guilloche dial with silver hands and hour markers are a perfect contrast to the palladium case. However gorgeous and alluring the dial and tourbillon are the real beauty and technical prowess of the TECH1 is apparent when you turn the piece over, peering through the exhibition case back you notice the large column wheel with an integrated automatic winding system. There it sits, showing just what a challenge the Arnold & Son research and development team had in creating a piece with high frequency tourbillon, chronograph and an automatic winding system in way that was technically advanced and yet in keeping with the elegant look, which they did by designing a new calibre and totally disregarded the traditional layout.
In keeping with Arnold & Son tradition and heritage the new Calibre 8305 is meticulously finished with each palladium treated part featuring manually chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and exquisite Côte de Genève rayonnantes. The chronograph levers are satin finished and again hand-chamfered with polished edges, each screw is lovingly blued with mirror polished heads. All of that in my opinion pales in contrast to the totally stunning 22-carat red gold rotor which has been skeletonised with its hand-engraved brushed surfaces and polished edges which truly takes your breath away.
Finishing of the piece is a hand stitched either black or brown alligator strap.
- Calibre: A&S8305
- Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, column-wheel, ceramic ball bearing, 30 jewels, diameter 35.00 mm, thickness 8.15 mm, power reserve 55 h, 28,800 vibrations/h
- Functions: hours, minutes, tourbillon, chronograph
- Movement decoration: palladium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: hand-chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, all chronograph levers are satin-finished with hand-chamfered and polished edges, circular satin-finished wheels, blued screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads.
Tourbillon: stainless steel tourbillon-barrette, satin-finished with hand-chamfered and polished edges. Hand-chamfered tourbillon cage with mirror-polished top bridge.
Oscillating weight: hand-engraved 22-carat red gold, skeletonized with brushed surfaces and chamfered polished edges.
- Dial: black guilloché
- Case: palladium 950, diameter 45 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
- Limited edition: 125 timepieces
- Reference: 1CTAG.U02A.C113G
This is truly beautiful with the seemingly floating tourbillon appearing like a full moon shining brightly in the sky lighting up the dark of the night, Arnold & Son have produced a piece of true haute horology with breath-taking engraved movement this is pure horology at its finest an I for one take my hat off to them. For more info, please visit arnoldandson.com
The Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton is the most recent addition to the DBG (Double-Balance GMT) set that we reviewed the first, non-skeletonized version of in greater detail back in 2013. For those unfamiliar with this particular piece, it’s basically two motions which share a winding platform, housed in one watch. Skeletonized, this watch looks incredible and is the best example of Arnold & Son’s relentless progress.First, a tiny bit more about Arnold & Son’s DBG system. Every time display is powered by its own barrel, with its gear train, escapement, and equilibrium, while sharing a single winding system. Even though this isn’t always unprecedented, because of the offsets of the shared components compared to the individual components, it isn’t always pretty, and rarely skeletonized. But with the DBG Skeleton, we see almost perfect symmetry about the dial and caseback.The unusual nature of the in-house A&S1309 movement allows for a few added mechanical and functional benefits. For instance, because of the separate socket, gear train, and escapement/balance, the GMT function includes a “minutes” hand rather than the conventional 24-hour counter just. Every time zone display from the Arnold & Son DBG Skeleton can be set to incremental quarters of this hour. So for a few Indian, Australian, and Canadian time zones that are off by half-hours, for example, the watch can account for that. Additionally, the Equation of Time screen at 12 o’clock decides the gap between each display, as well as whether it is night or day in the next time zone. The A&S1309 defeats at 21,600bph and features a 40-hour power book.
John Galt – Contributing Editor
John Galt caught the horology bug back in 2010 on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology, his favorite brands being HYT and Greubel Forsey that push the bounders of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.