Arnold and Son flies the Union Jack with pride, continuing a British watch making tradition that goes back to John Arnold (1736-1799) and his son John Roger Arnold (1769-1843). The company supplied marine chronometers to the Royal Navy for navigating longitude. The Instrument Collection, which boasts the Time Pyramid among others, harkens to the past, but recasts this past in innovative interpretations. The Time Pyramid is the latest addition.
“A magician never reveals his secrets” is the answer given at every elementary aged birthday party where the magician is the event’s top billing. Disappearing coin – just a wave of the hand. Guess the card – a touch of the card to the forehead. Rabbit out of the hat – a tap of the wand and “Presto.” Children’s “Ah,” “Wow,” “Cool” is followed by “How did he do that?” The first look at the Time Pyramid elicits this same question, but instead of the magician’s code of silence, Arnold & Son lets us peek. We get to see inside this watch, but it still looks like magic. What do we see?
The watch’s appearance is an amalgamation of past maritime excellence, English skeleton clocks and historic Arnold and Son regulators. On the sapphire dial of this 44.6mm rose gold watch is a skeletonized view of a three layer movement, which earns the moniker “pyramid.”
The subsidiary seconds dial is on the bottom level, perfectly centered in the dial. The hour and minute hands are in the same sub dial; the hours can be read from indications roman numeral on a sapphire crystal dial in the middle level, and the minutes are indicated on the silver top level ring.
The going train of gears, visible on multiple levels and connected to not one, but two main barrels, creates the pyramid shape and an amazing 80 hours of power. The middle level is reminiscent of some of the recent mysterious watches (see here) from Cartier and Konstantin Chaykin, creating the illusion that the hands are floating. Is it magic?
At the twelve o’clock position sits the escapement and the balance wheel is making its mesmerizing movement while perfectly visible to everyone. On either side of the dial, are two power reserve indicators, one for each barrel. The power reserve hands indicate the reserve level via graduated dots (that are printed under the top sapphire crystal) in an arc format, and demonstrate how one barrel transfers energy to the second one when needed. Essentially, as the first barrel winds the second one, the power reserve indicator of the first barrel goes down, while the second one goes up – making for an accurate and intriguing readout.
The 3-D depth of the watch’s façade is equally matched underneath, revealing hand chamfered bridges and highly polished edges – standard in the Instrument line. The hand-wound Caliber A&S1615 and its ingenuity are on full display. The Time Pyramid is no magician’s trick, but make no mistake, it is magical!
Time Pyramid – technical characteristics:
- Caliber: A&S1615, Exclusive Arnold & Son skeletonized mechanical movement, hand-wound, 27 jewels, diameter 37 mm, thickness 4.40 mm, power reserve over 80 h, 21’600 vibrations/h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, double power reserve indication
- Movement decoration: Skeletonized nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with Haute Horlogerie finish: manually chamfered bridges with polished edges, Côtes de Genève, circular satin-finished wheels, blued screws
- Dial color: Sapphire, circular satin-finished dial frame with chamfered and polished edge
- Case: 18-carat red gold, diameter 44.6 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant to 30 m
For more information, please visit the Arnold & Son website.
This article is written by Max Reddick, contributing writer for Monochrome Watches.