Arnold & Son is celebrating its Double Tourbillon collection with the unveiling of two unique pieces adorned with dazzling green jade and delicate white opal. The two independent tourbillons and two time zones of this rare model have taken on a new face, available in either red gold or white gold.
Press Release information with additional information and commentary in italics.
Additional information and commentary
The Arnold & Son Double Tourbillon is one of the very interesting watches with its symmetrically laid out double tourbillons proudly displayed on the dial side alongside two sub-dials showing dual timezones. We covered the watch in detail in our Comprehensive Review: Arnold & Son DTE of the 2015 model. In that review, we said, “We think Arnold & Son has come a long way. With the Citizen backing, we see a more mature strategy and implementation which has resulted in very interesting, well thought out watches like the DTE.”. Indeed in the years since, we have seen Arnold take up the gauntlet to defend fine watchmaking under the ownership of Citizen. Quite remarkable, as the Japanese giant showed considerable restraint not to interfere with the Swiss mentality and the way of work that would have destroyed the DNA. Yet the English DNA within the Swiss made watches continue to flourish. The DTE (Double Tourbillon Escapement) is classified as a Grand Complication by Arnold & Son, so carries a premium price tag, but in our view when we examined the 2015 version, is up to the mark.
The Double Tourbillon demonstrates a high level of not only design capability, but also in La Joux Perret’s ability to execute the fine finishing. The dial is superbly symmetrical on the 12/6 axis, and one timezone, for e.g. the local time is displayed on the sub-dial marked with Roman numerals at 12 o’clock, while the sub-dial at 6 can be set to an alternate timezone marked with Arabic numerals. Each time zone has its own setting mechanism which can be independently set to the minute, with entirely separate gear trains and tourbillons.
The choice of a jade dial is unusual, to say the least. And to be able to offer the jade dial at only a CHF 10k premium is a rather reasonable ransom. The visual aesthetics is so beautiful, that we wonder why the mineral is not used more often in high watchmaking. Perhaps it is quite difficult to cut and machine. But the effect of the burst of the bright green nephrite setting off the shining bridges of the double tourbillons is quite a beautiful sight. Movement finissage is also very good, offering a level commensurate with the high asking price.
We are looking forward to handling and photographing the watch when it arrives on our Singapore shores. We hope, soon. And will bring you the comprehensive hands-on review when we do.
New: Arnold & Sons Double Tourbillon Jade Green
Worldwide retail price CHF 198,000, subject to change (excluding tax). This is a CHF 10,000 premium for the jade dial as opposed to the German Silver dial with Geneva stripes.
Arnold & Son continues to make advances in the field of exceptional, unique pieces. The Double Tourbillon Jade is also in keeping with collections by the Maison which are adorned with dials featuring expressive, rare stones.
Arnold & Son’s watchmaking has now climbed up a notch in singularity and symbolic strength, producing two unique versions of its Double Tourbillon model with a green jade dial punctuated by two opal sub-dials in immaculate white. The A&S8513 calibre allows its two independent tourbillons to emerge into view above these rare stones. United by a shared main plate, each displays a different time zone.
A mineral beauty
Arnold & Son had their sights set on jade from Wyoming. This bright green nephrite known as “Apple Green” is slightly veined with black. This brings greater depth, contrast and makes the stone all the more precious. Jade itself is a stone rich in symbolic meaning. A mineral linked to sacred beliefs, traditional medicine and protective rituals of several Asian and Central American civilisations; its cultural significance makes it like no other stone in the world.
The dial plate of the Double Tourbillon Jade has been expertly cut in a very particular way. In the shape of a clover, the main plate allows both dials and tourbillons to emerge to their full height. This complicates the stone cutting and engraving stages, which further underlines the mastery of the work.
Arnold & Son’s second major area of expertise is demonstrated by the calibre. The Double Tourbillon Jade movement is integrated into a red gold or white gold case with a diameter of 43.5 mm. Its sapphire crystal is domed, accommodating the height created by the two tourbillons. These are attached to a three-dimensional, skeletonized, cantilevered bridge, and are made in the same gold as the case. They are the culmination of the design, manufacture, finish and adjusting capabilities of Arnold & Son.
Paying homage to its founder, John Arnold, one of the most inventive watchmakers of his time and of the golden age of chronometry, Arnold & Son has always approached the double time zone with sophistication and precision. Instead of the classic “GMT” system, where an hour hand in the centre indicates the second time zone, Arnold & Son has chosen to give each time zone its own regulating organ: a reminder of the duality of time telling methods – timepieces on one hand, astronomy on the other – used on board English frigates in the 18th century.
The A&S8513 calibre is therefore equipped with two barrels and two crowns that control the two time zones. At midday, the local time is visible in Roman numerals. At six o’clock, Arabic numerals indicate the time of a second, more distant place that has a connection to the wearer. The two time zones are set completely independently down to the minute. Unlike most so-called travel watches, the Double Tourbillon Jade can therefore follow time zones offset by 15, 30 or 45 minutes, as is the case with certain countries in Central Asia.
The structure of the movement can be seen on the back of the Double Tourbillon Jade. The extremely successful finishes, a specialism in Arnold & Son watchmaking, are taken to the highest level. From the radiant Côtes de Genève to the circular-graining on the main plate, double snailing of the barrels, sunray decoration on the crown wheels, and polish on the gold bezels held in place by blued screws, everything about the A&S8513 calibre exudes eminence, craftsmanship and excellence.
Arnold & Sons Double Tourbillon Jade Technical specifications
References 1DTAR.Z01A.C120R (red gold)
1DTAW.Z01A.C121W (white gold)
Unique pieces 1 piece (red gold) and 1 piece (white gold)
Functions local hours and minutes (Roman numerals) independent reference hours and minutes (Arabic numerals)
Calibre A&S8513, mechanical hand-wound movement
Diameter 37.30 mm
Height 8.35 mm
Power reserve 90 hours
Frequency 3 Hz / 21,600 vph
Finishes main plate: sunray Côtes de Genève
bridges: rhodium (red gold) or NAC (white gold) coated, polished, and chamfered by hand
wheels: satin finish
bezels: 18-carat gold
screws: bevelled, mirror polished heads
tourbillon bridges: 18-carat gold, mirror polished with satin finish, polished and chamfered by hand
tourbillon cages: polished and chamfered by hand
Dial dial base: green jade, sub-dials: white opal
Material 18-carat white or red gold (5N)
Diameter 43.50 mm
Crystal domed sapphire, anti-reflective coating on both sides
Back sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating
Water resistant 30 metres/100ft
Material alligator leather, hand-stitched
Buckle pin, 18-carat white or red gold (5N)