Sunday, November 4, 2012

Arnold & Son TB88

This just in from Arnold & Son -

                               Arnold & Son TB88
Timeless elegance meets innovative technology

With a timepiece that references its English watchmaking heritage, Arnold & Son unveils the TB88 featuring the hand-finished A&S5003 caliber. Conceived, designed and manufactured in-house, this superbly engineered wristwatch heralds a new collection the Royal Collection that combines classical styling with leading-edge technology.

John Arnold was an exceptional watchmaker, who excelled in the development and production of marine chronometers. With his son, he built up a company that established itself as one of the most reputable suppliers of timepieces to the Royal Navy as well as intrepid explorers like James Cook, Matthew Flinders and George Vancouver, to name but a few. By the early 19th century, he had several major patents to his name and created a minor storm in precision timekeeping with the Arnold No. 36, the first-ever watch to be called a ‘chronometer’ – a term used to this day for a supremely accurate timepiece. The Arnold No. 36 was considered so important that it was included in the collection of the National Maritime Museum in London, where it can be seen to this day.
Courtesy of Arnold & Son
The latest model from Arnold & Son, the TB88, is proof that the company has lost none of its appetite for innovative technology or precision timekeeping. The A & S 5003 caliber brings together all the technical and aesthetic characteristics of a classical John Arnold chronometer. The letters ‘TB’ stand for ‘true beat’, a complication that alludes to the precision timekeeping required for navigation at sea. Unlike conventional mechanical watches, a true beat movement measures out time in complete seconds rather than fractions dependent on the balance frequency. This is useful for determining the exact time and, consequently, longitude, and makes it invaluable at sea.

The TB88 is also a tribute to John Arnold’s earliest known pocket watch, of which the original case bears the number ‘88’. The number is replicated by the design of the movement in this latest model, with its perfectly symmetrical layout featuring the twin barrels at the top, the balance wheel between 4 and 5 o’clock and the true beat seconds indicator between 7 and 8. The watch movement is ‘inverted’, which simply means that the technically interesting features are on the dial side of the movement instead of being hidden away on the reverse. This showcases the two barrels, which generate a full 100 hours’ power reserve when fully wound, and the Breguet overcoil balance spring. Bending and fitting the spring by hand is a delicate and highly skilled operation mastered by a precious few watchmakers.

But the feature that unquestionably sets Arnold & Son’s new TB88 apart is its unique ‘English’ design, as expressed through features like the straight-cut bridges. Each of the pivoting elements in the movement is mounted on its own bridge, 16 in total. Further shining examples of watchmaking at its finest are the hand-chamfered edges of the bridges and other key parts of the movement, together with the fascinating juxtaposition of the black and brushed components.

Courtesy of  Arnold & Son
The TB88 from Arnold & Son is housed in either a 18-carat rose gold case or stainless steel case measuring 46 millimeters in diameter, which is water-resistant to 30 meters and secured to the wearer’s wrist by a hand-stitched black alligator leather strap.


Main technical characteristics:

Caliber: A &  S 5003
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 32 jewels,
diameter 37.8 mm, thickness 5.9 mm, power reserve 100 h, two barrels,
18’000 vibrations/h, Breguet spring

Functions: hours, minutes, true beat seconds at 8 o’clock

Movement decoration: 
18-carat rose gold case model: 
nickel-silver movement, black ruthenium treated with Haute Horlogerie
finishing: manually chamfered bridges with polished edges and brushed
surfaces, mirror-polished screws

Stainless steel case model:
nickel-silver movement, NAC grey treated with Haute Horlogerie
finishing: manually chamfered bridges with polished edges and brushed
surfaces, mirror-polished screws

Case: 18-carat rose gold or stainless steel, diameter 46 mm, cambered sapphire
with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire,
water-resistant to 30 m

Strap: hand-stitched black alligator leather

1TBAP.B01A.C113A 18-carat rose gold case
1TBAS.S01A.C113S Stainless steel case

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