Arnold & Son DTE: amazing Double Tourbillon Escapement

Arnold & Son DTE: amazing Double Tourbillon Escapement

by Olivier Müller

What will ever stop Arnold & Son ? The pace the brand unveils its novelties is properly amazing, with a new creation every quarter or so – and even more amazing considering that these pieces are true masterpieces of fine watchmaking, requiring several months or years of developments.

Blending its British heritage and watchmaking ingenuity, Arnold & Son today celebrates its 250th anniversary with a timepiece that reflects its past with a look forward, with the Double Tourbillon Escapement Dual Time watch – DTE.

Arnold & Son DTE – A bit of history

The DTE, which joins the brand’s Instrument Collection, whose signature is in-house manufactured movements 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 precision – especially for the Marine purpose.

Arnold & Son developed and produced chronometers that solved the 18th-century problem of determining longitude at sea (also, thereby establishing themselves as official suppliers to the Royal Navy). Clearly one of the greatest watchmakers in history, John Arnold shared his knowledge with Abraham-Louis Breguet. Evidence of their partnership is Breguet’s first ever tourbillon cage (No 169) mounted in John Arnold’s No. 11 movement, a watch that can be found today in London’s British Museum.

This year, as Arnold & Son honours its 250 years of watchmaking heritage, it celebrates by unveiling the dual time Double Tourbillon Escapement watch.

Arnold & Son DTE – Who are you, DTE ?

The DTE is a piece of symmetry, balance and three-dimensional architecture, combined with technical foresight and performance precision. The watch, powered by the all-new mechanical hand-wound calibre A&S8513, brings the centuries-old tradition of double movements back to life – in 21st century style. It features two separate time zone displays – each of which can be set independently from the other thanks to dedicated setting mechanisms. Each has its own gear train and its own tourbillon escapement.

In addition to the double tourbillon escapement and the dual dial/dual time indication, the watch is efficient in that it not only offers local time in hours and minutes, but also offers hours and minutes of a second time zone to be set separately – thereby enabling the wearer to have precise time in zones that differ from Greenwich Mean Time by quarter- or half-hour increments. The double barrels of the watch offer 90 hours of power reserve.

Arnold & Son DTE - Double Tourbillon Escapement

Arnold & Son DTE – Double Tourbillon Escapement

In typical Arnold & Son style, the dial side of the timepiece offers symmetry and depth. It features two white lacquered domed dials – one each at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock – for the dual time displays. The two tourbillon escapements are harmoniously balanced at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock and seem to float over the dial thanks to their alluring raised 18-carat red gold bridges. The backdrop for these double lacquered dials and double tourbillon escapements is a decorated vertical Côtes de Genève stripes plate. The two crowns – one each for setting the local and the home time – are located at 2 o’clock and 8 o’clock, and the two mainsprings are wound using the crown at 2 o’clock.

The 43.5 mm DTE is created in 18-carat red gold. The white dials (with Roman numerals in one and Arabic numerals in the other) are accented with blued hour and minute hands. The back of the watchfeatures a transparent sapphire crystal for viewing the decorated nickel-silver movement. One regret : only 28 pieces ! Price for the Arnold & Son DTE watch is $210,000.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.