Explore the history behind the Arnold & Son Instrument Collection with the navigational allure of the line’s first watch, the TBR.
The watchmakers at Arnold & Son have long sought towards a higher goal than just luxury watch creation. The founders’ love of the craft drove them to dedicate themselves to achieving absolute precision and the ability to do more with a watch. That same passion drives the craftsmen today and yields some of the finest timepieces available.
The Instrument Collection is the proud result of that quest for quality and depth, reflecting the reality that during the time of John Arnold and his son John Roger, timepieces were essential to nautical navigation. Under the influence of the British Royal Navy as rulers of the seas, Arnold and his son made watches that were rugged and reliable as possible, both functional and attractive. Not just accessories and useful jewelry, watches were technical instruments upon which depended life and death. These pieces incorporated chronometric dials with hours and minutes in a balanced design. Mimicking this arrangement, the Instrument Collection presents watches that proudly herald the time of the brand’s inception and the beauty of where it all began.
The TBR is the first member of this line, and with a name representing the hallmark of the watch’s two complications, True Beat and Retrograde, it represents elegance in simplicity. The True Beat refers to a highly precise complication which allows careful measurement of the seconds. The date dial which counts out the days of the month and automatically reverts to the 1 on the first of the month, is a little used complication called Retrograde.
In this twist, the seconds complication is the entirety of the face, as the hours lay slightly to the side. This focus on the smaller units of time hearkens again to the mariner navigators, who required down-to-the-second knowledge of time in order to determine longitude. And on the high seas, it is enough to know the day of the month–as long as you can recall which month you are currently in.
Not only were the complicated calculations of the long ago Navy eased in this design, stylistically for today there is a pleasant aesthetic quality to this ancient layout. And for the history buffs, it is a conversation piece, to discuss the use of a watch once on the high waves of Britain, now proudly on your own fashion wise wrist.
At first glance the Panerai Pocket Watch Pam 446 is indeed a gadget to match all gadgets. The intricate workings are clearly visible as they dangle from a sturdy chain present a feeling of confidence in the machine while at the same time still mesmerizing one back into the days when ticking clocks stood as the one true mechanism. Amidst this duality of style lies one of the deepest beating hearts come from the craft of watchmaking, still to be seen in this modern world.
Unafraid of change, Panerai instead accepted the challenge of creating a modern wonder with all the quality and modernity necessary. The 59mm black ceramic case and chain allow freedom of movement without sacrifice of class. The skeletonized Panerai P.2005/S caliber is hand wound and holds a power reserve for up to 6 days. 277 carefully chosen parts piece together in an elaborate puzzle, the completion of which creates a grander design than any but Officine Panerai could imagine.
Clearly a work of art, it is yet sturdy enough for the boldest adventurer to take on the world in high style. And perhaps this is the perfect recipient of this proud emblem of Officine Panerai’s quest for the contemporary while still holding true to the origins of watchmaking. The modern day explorer who also craves the ultimate in class. This remarkable piece celebrates both the old and the new in a glorious–and pricey at 165,000 Euros–pocketful.
As only 50 pieces are to be made, this is not only a marvelous achievement in epic watchmaking, it is also an expression of the demands of the modern world and its technologies. Rare as this watch is, there is also a pure fineness yet sturdiness to it that seems to pull it from the crowd and declare it something special.
In this pocket watch, Officine Panerai has crafted what they deem, “the ultimate expression of a brand devoted to innovation as well as tradition”. If such gems as these are to come from the newly attractive blend of old and new, then please, carry on and good luck!
Nine brands brought together by Franck Muller appeared in highlighted glory at the 21st annual World Presentation Haute Horlogerie. Hosted at the premier watchmaker’s headquarters in Watchland, Geneva, it was a chance for 6 straight days of celebration in the birthplace of luxury watches. Presenting to over 2,500 eager watch aficionados from more than 100 different countries, Franck Muller’s event has become the pinnacle of watch and jewelry display, an exhibition featuring the best watches from the grand master of timepiece creation. 2013 began in ticking glory to the celebration of some of these favorite pieces.
Some of the stars of the show had already earned honorable mention on their own the year before. The Tourbillon Rapide Thunderbolt was named the 2012 Technical Breakthrough by Singapore’s trade magazine Revolution n. A technical masterpiece, hand-crafted, designed and manufactured in Geneva, this timepiece completes a rotation every 5 seconds, making it likely the fastest tourbillon in the world. The complex beauty of this watchface elicits a simple belief in the power of movement. It’s intricate design is evident even at its face, a detailed maze to match the delicacy of its inner movement.
Designed for those seeking adventure and all the spirit of conquest called to mind by the conquistadors of yore, the GPG Conquistador Cortez was specially created for the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix. With such an illustrious beginning, it is only fitting that this incredible timepiece be representative of strong men with convictions and an eye for style. The thrill of the race and the adventure lust both are encapsulated in the intrigue and depth of this watch. On display at the WPHH were all three variations–central seconds and date display, stop watch and tourbillon–each appealing to a different kind of risk taker, not one of these titanium-cased wonders causing disappointment.
No watch has ever embodied the inspiration for its name quite like the Iron Croco, completing the alligator collection with a watchface so like the texture of that giant lizard one can nearly spot the gleam of its eyes. Scales are etched carefully into the case, surrounding large Wonderland style numbers, circling in quirky form. The alligator strap skin completes the exotic feel of this watch’s extraordinary detail and steel case that comes across as stylish and fiercely proud.
A huge success in its birthplace after years of awing Monaco, Franck Muller has returned to Geneva with continued beautiful artistry and a fantastic show.