Astronomy, Chronometry and World Time

Arnold & Son's three founding principles.

Throughout human history, measuring time has always referred to the stars. It was by observing certain stars and understanding their cycle that the first calendars were established with impressive accuracy. It took several millennia before this precision was enclosed in a timepiece like the ones designed by John Arnold.

The golden age of maritime explorations and discoveries ushered this precision into a new technical ideal – determining longitude at sea. Its immediate corollary was the identification of local time, which changed constantly as the observer moved along an east-west axis. Astronomy, chronometry and what we now call world time are thus inextricably linked within one and the same question, to which John Arnold and his son devoted their lives, their art and their genius.

This is how these three dimensions – astronomy, chronometry and world time – have come to be embodied in the House's contemporary timepieces.  Echoes of John Arnold's inventions and preoccupations, these pillars represent the foundations on which the Arnold & Son collections are based.

9 watches

Collections

Luna Magna

Luna Magna

Space and contrasts

Luna Magna features a three-dimensional moon. With this original timepiece, the Swiss watchmaker with English roots aims to make a lasting impression by presenting the largest rotating moon ever created in relief for a wristwatch. Beneath an off-centred dial at 12 o’clock, which constitutes one of the house’s aesthetic signatures, Arnold & Son has placed a rotating sphere that accurately represents the appearance of the quarters of the moon.

DSTB 42

DSTB 42

Beating out a new rhythm

The true-beat seconds function is characteristic of the instruments that John Arnold supplied to the Royal Navy. Their escapement used to beat at one oscillation per second, naturally indicated by a sweep-seconds hand. This explicit function inspired Arnold & Son to create one of its most iconic complications: ‘True Beat’, also known as deadbeat seconds. The distinctive feature of the DSTB collection is that it displays this mechanism in full on the dial, hence the ‘Dial-Side True Beat’ name, delivering watchmaking, design and spectacle all in one.

Ultrathin Tourbillon

Ultrathin Tourbillon

The finesse of gold and platinum

One of the slimmest tourbillons in the world is shedding its adornments. Pared back to its purest expression, the Ultrathin Tourbillon is elegantly revealed. Nothing distracts the eye from the hypnotic workings of the ultrathin flying tourbillon – the signature of the collection.

The vast expanse of the dial features two apertures. One houses the hours dial and the other welcomes the visible elements of the A&S8300 calibre. Ultrathin Tourbillon Gold expresses itself with elegance.

Perpetual Moon 41.5

Perpetual Moon 41.5

Celestial rays

The astronomical moon phases showcase Arnold & Son’s creativity and aesthetic flair. Perpetual Moon 41.5 features a unique dial motif, Stellar Rays, as befits this astronomical complication.

Realistically depicted with hand-painted shadows, the large moon is enhanced with a luminescent material that is particularly intense in darkness yet invisible in daylight, giving way to the white mother-of-pearl disc. It is set against a grained sky and is surrounded by the constellations of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia, also hand-painted and coated with Super-LumiNova. The constellations have been chosen as a direct reference to John Arnold’s history as a maker of naval chronometers. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia have been used by navigators in the northern hemisphere since time immemorial to find their bearings and locate the North Star (Polaris). The position of the latter defines the North and its angular altitude, or position in the North-South plane, and allows the distance to the equator, i.e., latitude, to be estimated.

Perpetual Moon 38

Perpetual Moon 38

Moonlight

Perpetual Moon 38 Gold is dedicated to the Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. Arnold & Son has incorporated its astronomical moon-phase calibre into an ultra-slim 38 mm red-gold case. This indication appears in the aperture of a shimmering dial. A sumptuous diamond setting illuminates the hour-markers, crown, lugs and bezel. Glittering by day, scintillating by night, Perpetual Moon 38 Gold makes radiance its hallmark.

The moon-phase complication is the most poetically and charmingly showcased watch function, but that is not all. The moon is large, influential and powerful, both in the sky and at Arnold & Son. It shapes our lives, our oceans, gravity and the appearance of our nights. It is this celestial body that reigns supreme on Perpetual Moon 38.

Nebula 41.5

Nebula 41.5

Supernovæ

Since its creation, Nebula has been a star. Its stellar mechanism, the A&S5201 calibre, is the gravitational force of this collection, giving it its appearance, identity and strength.

Arranged in a star around the edge of the calibre, the openworked, chamfered and satin-finished bridges create the impression of a watchmaking explosion, as well as a sense of rhythm and control. Positioned at regular intervals, these bridges are identical in shape but different in size and reflect the aesthetic heritage of John Arnold’s chronometers. They also illustrate Arnold & Son’s expertise.

Nebula 38

Nebula 38

Supernovæ

Since its creation, Nebula has been a star. Its stellar mechanism, the A&S5201 calibre, is the gravitational force of this collection, giving it its appearance, identity and strength.

Arranged in a star around the edge of the calibre, the openworked, chamfered and satin-finished bridges create the impression of a watchmaking explosion, as well as a sense of rhythm and control. Positioned at regular intervals, these bridges are identical in shape but different in size and reflect the aesthetic heritage of John Arnold’s chronometers. They also illustrate Arnold & Son’s expertise.

Swiss watchmaking with British roots

This is the story of John Arnold and the legacy he left behind with his eponymous company, Arnold & Son. Discover how the modern Swiss manufacture bearing his name draws inspiration from his unique vision and innovative spirit.

Chronometry

Chronometry

Be accurate

Rate accuracy, which is known as chronometry, is the key requirement of Arnold & Son's contemporary watchmaking. It is the standard of excellence for its collections, the first condition to be met and constantly checked, whether it is at the forefront or in the background of a watch designed by Arnold & Son. It is the most discreet of a movement's characteristics.

Astronomy

Astronomy

Under the sky

Astronomical complications are a signature of Arnold & Son collections, with the moon as the heavenly body of choice, main subject and major inspiration. The distinctive feature of the Brand's moon phase timepieces is that they feature “astronomical” display precision as a matter of course. This term corresponds to an accumulated one-day deviation in the moon phase display every 122 years. Since setting this complication requires great finesse, the Arnold & Son moons generally have a double display with a secondary indicator on the case back next to the movement. This extremely rare display bears witness to Arnold & Son's involvement in all types of development and reflects its favoured themes, which are as much chronometric as astronomical.

World Time

World Time

Here, elsewhere, everywhere

With ocean navigation, humankind divided up the world and invented longitudes, which were calculated by comparing the local time, observed using the sun, and the time at a starting point, kept by an extremely reliable timepiece. John Arnold was one of the leading suppliers of chronometers to the British Navy. He was the one who successfully improved the reliability and simplified the production of these indispensable marine chronometers, so much so that he became a benchmark among great explorers such as James Cook and later Dr David Livingstone. The indication of several time zones is therefore integral to Arnold & Son's watchmaking identity.

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