The Arnold & Son Double Tourbillon Jade
Two unique pieces in white or red gold cases with vibrant “Apple Green” jade dials offer the spectacle of two independent tourbillons regulating two independent time zones.
Arnold & Son has consolidated a reputation for its highly technical watches with mechanics exposed on the dial and, more recently, for its impressive three-dimensional rendition of the Moon. Named after John Arnold, the celebrated 18th-century English watchmaker whose precision marine chronometers accompanied legendary navigators like James Cook on his voyages to the Pacific, the theme of reliable travelling companions continues to this day with the recently released Globetrotter. The DTE, a spectacular model with two independent tourbillons and two independent time zones launched in 2014, is back with a beautiful green jade dial and white opal sub-dials. Only two pieces of the Arnold & Son Double Tourbillon Jade will be produced: one in an 18k white gold case and the second in 5N red gold.
Two in One
Unlike conventional dual time or GMT watches that indicate a second time zone with an additional hand, Arnold & Son underscores its founder’s contributions to the golden age of chronometry with two independent tourbillons regulating the two independent time zones. According to the brand, the double regulating organs are a reminder of the two-pronged approach to calculate time on board English frigates in the 18th century, which relied on marine chronometers and astronomy.
In effect, each time zone is equipped with its own regulating organ and can be set independently down to the minute. This particular feature means that time zones offset by 15, 30 and 45 minutes can be dealt with accurately. Moreover, the two separate gear trains and tourbillon escapements are powered by two mainspring barrels, delivering 90 hours of autonomy when fully wound.
The case of the Double Tourbillon, which measures 43.5mm across, is available in red gold and white gold. Polished throughout, the distinctive crowns at 2 and 7 o’clock are used to adjust the independent time zone sub-dials and wind the movements.
Vibrant Green Jade dial
Arnold & Son is no stranger to stone dials and has used Mexican obsidian, specular haematite, bronzite, eudialyte, verdite and opal for the background scenery of its dials and sub-dials. The latest stone, known as “Apple Green”, is bright green jade from Wyoming. The presence of subtle black veins in the jade adds value to the stone and gives the dial greater depth. The dial plate of jade was cut in the shape of a clover with two deep wells for the tourbillons.
The twin tourbillons at 3 and 9 o’clock are held in place by a three-dimensional, skeletonised cantilevered bridge made in the same gold as the case. The openworked surfaces of the bridge are satin-brushed, contrasting with the bright gleaming polish of the inclined supports.
Milky white opal is used as the background material for the two independent time zone counters at 12 and 6 o’clock, which are framed by either a red or white gold ring. As with many Arnold & Son watches, symmetrical layouts are a distinguishing feature and the horizontal axis with the tourbillons of the watch is intersected by the vertical axis with the two sub-dials. Local time is displayed in the sub-dial at noon with classical black Roman numerals, while reference time can be set in the lower sub-dial with Arabic numerals. Both are equipped with blued openworked arrow-tipped hands. The sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating protecting the dial is domed to accommodate the height of the two tourbillons, while the caseback features a sapphire crystal, also with anti-reflective coating, to view the manual-winding movement.
Like Arnold & Son’s twenty or so calibres, this manual-winding double tourbillon movement has been developed, manufactured, decorated, assembled and adjusted by its sister manufacture La Joux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Measuring 37.39mm in diameter with a height of 8.35mm, the frequency is 3Hz and the power reserve, spread across two barrels, is 90 hours. Although the brand has not supplied any pictures of the movement, the Haute Horlogerie finishings include sunray Côtes de Genève, circular graining, double snailing on the barrels, sunray decoration on the crown wheels, hand-polished and chamfered bridges and mirror-polished 18k white or red gold tourbillon bridges chamfered by hand.
The Double Tourbillon Jade in 18k white gold and 5N red gold come with a green hand-stitched alligator leather strap and a white or red gold pin buckle.
Availability & Price
Only one piece in each metal of the Arnold & Son Double Tourbillon Jade will be produced. The retail price is CHF 198,000 (excl. tax). For more information, please visit Arnold & Son’s website.