Arnold and son was founded in 1764 by John Arnold and his son John Roger. You may remember my previous post about the TEC1, which was released to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the brand. Now, they have just announced the TB Victory, which celebrates the key role Mr. Arnold and his son played in developing chronometers for sailers in the 18th century. Their newest watch comes in two versions that both appear the same from the front. The special 1/1 watch is being presented to Britain’s National Museum of the Royal Navy. The other versions, which is a limited edition of 28, lacks the palladium plate on the exhibition case back (seen below).
The name of the watch is derived from the HMS Victory, the boat where most of Mr. Arnold's inventions were used. The gold boat on the dial acknowledges this near the "water line".
Each watch uses the same in-house A&S6103, the first automatic movement with an
integrated true beat system. A true beat system is one of the most difficult complications in the entire world of watchmaking. It makes the movement appear to be quartz but rather than jumping with a little play side to side the second hand of this watch shifts solidly into place. So it does not sweep, but stops over each second marker like a quartz movement would. This is a feature that should not, under any circumstances, be overlooked as insignificant because the pieces must be accurate to 1/1000 of a millimeter for it to function correctly. Although it ticks like a quartz watch, this movement is actually beating at 28,800BPH allowing the watch to be almost spot-on accurate, just like the chronometers were. The power reserve is 50 hours, more than enough for an automatic movement. In addition to all these amazing features, the A&S6103 has 30 jewels and hacks.
The 44mm case is crafted out of 18-carat rose gold and although it is fully polished, it was no easy task to make or finish. It has beveled edges and angles on it that aesthetically make the case look better but it also shows that Arnold & Son put a lot of effort into polishing it because with all the nooks and crannies it would have been difficult to get all the surfaces and corners polished
The watch is just so easy on the eyes and because it is a limited edition of 28 pieces, it will only be worn by a select few. The price will pare down the group even more. The retail price for this watch is 33'160 CHF or around 40,000 USD. Is the price justifiable? With the limited edition of 28, a solid 44mm rose gold case, a creme dial with a 22-carat gold boat on it, and last but not least a true beat system I would have expected this watch to be more expensive than it is. So the price, although it may seem far fetched, is in no way unreasonable. Arnold and Son really hit it out of the park with this watch.
Tag Heuer, like many other brands, is revamping their collections for a changing market. Don't get me wrong, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the old Calibre 5 models. However, the new ones just really have that dressy look that the olds ones were lacking. The casual look of the textured dial and larger size took away from what was supposed to be a dressy watch. For Baselworld 2014 Tag Heuer is changing that. The picture above shows one of the new 39mm (the past models were 41mm) watch with a flat dial (rather than the textured one featured on older models). More information including price and pictures of the new watches can be found over on calibre11.com. The new Tag models are HOT.
Jake Fogarty is the founder and writer for most of what you will read here. If you want to contact me you can visit the contact and advertising page.